Last night I spent three and a half hours working on Summer Rush (arguably the most well spent three and a half hours of my entire week). I sat at the kitchen table with my mom, Dominique, and Jasmine, and just worked with whatever came to my mind.
First, I got out index cards and, one to a card, I wrote the nine main scenes of the entire novel. I’m taking it as a good sign that it only took about ten minutes. I knew where I wanted the story to go, but this helped me to keep it straight in my head. With all the main scenes in their proper places (if only on the index cards), I have my plot arc all planned out.
After that, I got out another six index cards and broke them down into these categories: Plot (1), Subplots (2), and Sub-subplots (3). Then I wrote them all out, what the focus was in each one. The point of that was to know what was most important, and what needed to get the most face time in each chapter/scene.
Next, I played the What If? game for a while. Love that game.
Finally, I got out the printed pages of Summer Rush and buckled down to the real work. I’m pretty happy with the first chapter as is, so my focus was chapter two. Basically, I hate that chapter, plus that scene is being moved, so there was a lot of chopping out and hacking up going on ^.^ Chapter three, too, had to go. I’m trying to salvage everything that I can (I use a bright, lime-green highlighter to show what I want to save. It’s so pretty!).
And then came chapter four… I had a good laugh, reading that chapter again. The more I read this story, the more I love it, and the more I hate it, at the same time. There’s so much work that needs to be done!
While the entire plot line of the Geisha House of Dance is being pulled out, I still didn’t want to give up Rexi learning how to dance altogether. For some reason I’m completely in love with that, plus it affects another scene that I’m also completely in love with. After I decided to pull it, my mind automatically started going to how they could still get some form of dance lessons, and eventually I hit on it.
The outcome of that also affected Brett, and his entire history. I was so excited about what I dreamed up for him that I laughed out loud, grinned like a maniac, and kissed my pen (I’m being completely serious). I stopped after I noticed Naomi giving me a weird look, but I was still laughing happily inside. The fact that I’d been up for sixteen hours might have had something to do with that. Just guessing.
Today, I’ll tackle chapters 5, 6, and 7. Hopefully. There’s much laundry, some homework, and reading that also needs to get done. I wouldn’t mind relaxing and doing my paint-by-number, either. It’s supposed to be SUNNY today, and sun always makes me happy!
With all the chopping and hacking going on, I’m beginning to think Summer Rush might shrink to its original projected length of 80,000 words. Who knows? I just can’t wait until it’s all polished and pretty!