I’ve woken up, my eyes springing open because a) the cat came to me, wanting to be held, and b) I think I’ve messed up my novel’s time-line.
So, I’m in our guest-room, trying to unravel this dilemma, knowing the only real way to fix it is to open up my laptop and take a look. And yet, if I do that, I can kiss sleep goodbye. At least for a few more hours.
Time is hard.
I’ve put myself in this jam because in my last draft of this novel, I decided to pass a few days in between sections.
I think this decision came about because I’d taught a workshop around then that dwelt a bit on summary and scene. It felt right to summarize a few days rather than anchor myself in those scenes.
In this draft, I realize, to be blunt: that’s stupid.
So, I tried to fix it, but made this mistake, which I didn’t realize, as happens, until my brain relaxed enough to spill it (as an aside, my best stomach-dropping middle-of-the-night-eyes-springing-open moment was when I realized that I’d written, in a cover letter for an application to work at a library, that I had described myself not as a voracious reader but a VIVACIOUS reader. Gah!).
Tomorrow (today?) I must rip back the web and re-spin. Which will mean adjusting and abandoning some writing I’ve grown fond off, making more from scratch.
Have I mentioned how hard I find time?
I remember, late in the process of writing Swarm, having to go through the novel looking for moon stages.
One of the last scenes needed a bright, full moon so I had to make sure any mention of that night sky aligned with all other references (and I seem to like letting readers know what’s up with the moon). This novel is more challenging, moving through time from the perspectives of several characters.
The cat is back, wanting to use my notebook as her bed.
I think I’m also ready to sleep.
The simple truth: there is no way to address this problem except the following.
Slow things down to the moment. Work through that moment.