So I did one of the boring things I have to do when I get close to the end of a finished first draft: the outline. This outline is not one I follow, it’s the one that follows me. It lists all the scenes I’ve already written so I can see the plot lurches, the subplots I’ve dropped, the characters who have disappeared, the scenes I need to write ye
This book is the swiss cheese of narrative excessiveness.
I thought it might be when I got to the scene where the Historical Society tries to burn Nita at the stake (really, Jenny? what made you think you could pull that off?), but the table/outline also shows me the big empty spaces where I had intended Nita and Nick to be “doing things” (there’s plenty for them to do) and just gotten distracted by people with flaming torches (both the literal and figurative). Then there’s Vinnie, whatever happened to Vinnie? It’s like he stepped on a rake and has been unconscious for four days. (No, that’s not going to happen. Probably. Although it is a solution to “Where’s Vinnie?”) And how did the Mayor end up in a coma? (Stepped on a rake? No, we’ve done that. Although possibly the Big Bad has a contingent of Evil Rakes . . . no, that’s how we ended up with Nita tied to a stake. Focus, Jenny.) Mitzi’s going strong, though, and so is Sandy, so there’s that.
Other good things have come from this left-brain slog: this is definitely a romance. I know this because all the scenes I’ve been avoiding are the mystery scenes, possibly because at last count there are too damn many mysteries. Another good thing: the timeline (dual timeline with Earth and Hell, working that out was not a picnic) solved a lot of problems for me. Belia’s making regular phone-ins now, usually through the fireplace. I’ve got the breakfasts and lunches wrestled into place. The grandmas have shown up and appalled everybody. I’m making progress. Unfortunately, I have identified several scenes yet to write, and the word count is already at 90,000. The book is contracted for 100,000, and my editor told me once that I had 10,000 words leeway either way, so it can go up to 110,000. I think Fast Women was 116,000. Wonder how SMP is going to feel about 125,000? Probably not good.
At least that awful sex scene is gone. Oh, and for those of you who cared, the marriage proposal is back. I’ll figure out the finances later. Right now, I have to get that burning-at-the-stake scene out of there, it’s ridiculous. Also, no rakes.