Friday, September 6, 2019
Sometimes old is best
Working on my Great Depression book - currently called Dear Sister - and I got stuck at about the 3/4 point. The chapters were supposed to be alternating between the two sisters, and for the most part had been cooperating.
Then I hit a snag, which I didn't realize until I was 3/4 of the way through my second draft. I'd been so busy thinking about changing the point of view from third to first, that I forgot I had this issue where each sister had two consecutive chapters and they threw the timeline completely out of whack.
The whole point of writing from both their viewpoints is to contrast their lives, and there I was, leaving readers in one place for far too long, with nothing to compare and contrast with. Thus the cards.
Each scene is written on a card, with the character's initial and a general idea of the date. I laid them all out, figured out which dates were written in stone (i.e., something that happened for real) and which were not. Then I drank some coffee and rearranged. More coffee, more futzing. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.
I finally got the storyline where I wanted it and took two days off writing to let the ideas marinate. And last night, before bed, I realized that I didn't actually want the second sister's POV in the book after all. It takes away from the character I really want to write about, and Clare's story, and the all-important contrasts therein, can be shared in their frequent letters, which is where the Dear Sister title comes from.
So, draft 3. I see you.