I love the Internet. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I LOVE IT TOO MUCH. It distracts, it taunts, it teases, it wants us to love it. And we do. I can easily spend hours browsing through Tudor-related Facebook Pages, watching clips on YouTube (though I am a firm non-believer in funny cat videos), and reading what’s Freshly Pressed.
So it’s a wonder that I got anything done yesterday. And really, it’s sad, because it’s not even that much.
After mulling it over and arguing with myself, I’ve decided to upgrade from editing my manuscript to re-writing a large portion of it. As in, almost the thing.
Yeah. I know. It’s easier said than done. But there are a lot of things that need explaining, characters that are not needed (farewell, my beloved Master Locksley), and characters I want more of (hellooo, Will and Tomlee), as well as a general plot with gaping, unexplained problems.
Hence, I’m re-writing. The first step I took was outlining what I originally had. You ask: but didn’t you outline it before you began writing? Why, I’m glad you asked. You see, I did outline it — at least, chapters 13 to 31. Then the unthinkable happened. It went though the washing machine. I tried to save it, but it was too late.
So I spent yesterday speed-reading my manuscript and copying down the main points in each chapter on pieces of furniture ordering paper from the ’80s. I’m not 100% sure what it was doing in the house, but it was a nice substitute for recipe cards.
Then I took a bed sheet, tacked it to the wall in the hallway, and pinned the pieces of paper to it. It took a surprising amount of time for my clumsy fingers. Idea stems from here.
It also made me feel like Peter Jackson (or any other movie director) using a story board. The location is rather inconvenient, however. I’ve been sitting in the hallway, staring at it, and have essentially become a physical road block for anyone in the house who needs to use the bathroom.
I plan on plotting out my new version on more pieces of ancient paper and pinning them below the original. This way I can directly compare: decide what to keep and throw away, and what needs adding. I have a sneaking suspicion that the highlighters in my desk will be used like they’ve never been used over the next week or so.
That’s my goal. Finish the new outline in a week or so. Do you think that’s reasonable enough, with the constant black hole (aka Internet) squirreling away my time, plus the two fantastic books I’m reading (Revelation by C.J. Sansom and The Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell), plus the two remaining episodes of The Tudors, Season 3 that I need finishing? Okay, The Tudors can wait. I think.
Are you always battling with the Internet? How do you organize your thoughts? Any interesting books you’ve come across lately?
PS: a short story I wrote for a friend’s birthday can be read here.