Three chapters to go on Lesson Two. Is this as tedious and difficult as it sounds? Yes and no. In the last four weeks I’ve read my novel twice. At first, it felt tedious and frustrating. Of course, I love my story, but the second time around I was drowning in deja vu.
But, now, I’m beginning to see the point of the first two lessons.
Lesson Three is scene wrangling. The idea is to write each scene, from Chapter One, scene one to Chapter twenty-five, final scene, on separate index cards. Then, you use your scene cards to corral the wild scenes, put them in smooth reading order without omitting important plot threads or adding anything that derails the reader. It may sound ridiculous at first, but it’s beginning to make sense.
After two readings, I know every scene in every chapter by heart. I’ll only need to refer to the chapters, and I can move quickly – on to my eight hundred gorilla, plot triage.