Feb

13

2009

jigsaw puzzle

Filed under: crows, Girl from Mars, writing

I’ve been working on my revisions for Girl from Mars (which should be out in May, by the way) and I’m finding it all very puzzling.

My editor has asked me to tweak the heroine’s motivations and feelings a little bit, to give her some more depth and conflict, and that involves writing a couple of new scenes. I’ve spent the last three days working on one of them, which is a scene where the heroine’s best (male) friend, Jim, meets the guy who she’s supposed to hate, but really is attracted to (Dan), and they take an instant suspicion to each other. The best friend Jim, having more to lose, dislikes Dan more, and gets all protective of the heroine. Dan is just sort of bemused and feels challenged by Jim. The heroine basically wants to crawl under a rock at the sight of all this testosterone.

The thing is, when you write a new scene to go into an already-written book, it’s like fitting in a jigsaw puzzle piece with the rest of the book. Actually, it’s more like forcing a whole new piece into an already-finished jigsaw. You have to readjust every other scene so that the new one fits.

In this case, the new scene could go in two different places–before chapter seventeen (where it fits better structurally and thematically, and makes the following conflict worse) or before chapter twenty-one (where it produces more conflict in itself, and makes everything that seemed okay before, more complicated).

I have no idea where to put it.

Oh, and did I also mention it introduces two new characters (one of whom is “George” from One Night Stand)…and I have to figure out what to do with them now, too?

throws self down on floor in fit


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  1. Before chapter 17. Then if ed objects, move it uncomplainingly to before chap 21 and earn Brownie points.

    And I do, do, do know what you mean re adding extra scenes. If I’m asked for a 200 word scene, it increases the size of the book by about a K, all in dribs and drabs (or stars and sparkles, according to your pov).

  2. I’d say go for a walk and all will become clear 🙂

    Hell, it works half the time for me.

    lx

  3. Wine solves everything rofl

  4. I have done a list of the pros and cons for putting the scene in either place. Though the pros work out even for both places, the cons for chapter 21 can actually become pros, so before chapter 21 it goes.

    Now I have to work out what happens with the extra characters…

  5. I have faith in your ability.



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