Be the first to know about new releases - and even read them early!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Who's in what class with who and when now? OR The benefits of a book bible

I am editing a book right now.
I wrote it 2 years ago and it has potential, but needs a lot of work. Two whole plots are changing, so today I finished reading it, hacking and slashing at pages and it turns out I deleted 76 out of 202 pages. And that's just the FULL pages that I took out, not including the multitude of half pages that have big red slashes through them. Oh God...
So um, it's definitely going to be different from the first draft.

I have always been a bit of a panster, when writing. Just winging it, letting it flow, seeing where it takes me.
But with my revision, I am learning, teaching myself to be much more methodical. And I think that is what is helping to keep my head from exploding.

I never kept a Book Bible or anything like that, sure, I wrote down a list of characters and a couple of facts about them, but now, I really think I need more preparation than that.

I came across this scene, a pretty small scene, but it contained a LOT of information I was going to need further on in the book.

Basically, the scene looks like this.

Mads called her best friends MJ (Main Character) and Vanya and had something super important to tell them, and they all had to meet at the tram stop before school.
So MJ and Vanya were there, but Mads never showed.

So this is the scene that got me thinking:

I scanned the faces for Mads as the first period bell rang and everyone got up and pushed and shoved each other out of the room but she wasn’t there. And I didn’t have class with her next either so I had to be all patient and wait until recess to hear the big news.

In English I was totally checking out Dev though. Did he look extra happy about something? Not really, he was squinting at the white board and chewing the end of his pen. Did he look distracted or whatever? Well yeah – but only because he was sitting next to Lachie and they kept talking and snickering about something. I didn’t like it.

What was I saying? Oh yeah. At recess I was standing by Mads’s locker waiting for her, in the process of flattening myself against the lockers as a hoard of year seven’s bounded past, bumping into people and making passing teachers yell at them to stop bloody running and then the teachers would scurry off to the staff room hoping no one had noticed they’d just sworn at some students.

I caught my muesli bar and was contemplating eating it as Van rounded the corner.

“So?” I asked.

“She wasn’t in Math.” She said. Huh.

And then she wasn’t in Geography or Science either or at lunch which was completely frustrating.

So. judging by this scene, MJ does not have class with Mads first period. She has English second period with Mads and two other boys, Dev and Lachie. But Vanya does not have English with them. She has something else second period.

Vanya tells MJ that Mads wasn't in maths, which means that MJ does not have maths with Vanya or Mads. Similarly, MJ muses that Mads wasn't in Geography or Science either (no mention of whether Vanya was, so I can go either way on that one) which means that MJ and Mads have these classes together.
And all of these lessons took place before lunch.

In order to keep track of all this, and what classes my characters should be on their way to at different times of day, if they can walk into class together or have to split up because they each have something different on at that time, I need a Bible.

My brain just can't keep track of it all by itself. So that's what I'm working on right now. My bible. And doing a chapter summary, before I let myself get to writing the new scenes, which I'm itching to do. It's all in the desire to keep my sanity.

Did that makes sense or has my brain actually exploded and I haven't realised it yet?



  1. How many periods do they have before lunch? Cos we used to have 5.. in which case you may not have much of a problem!

    Still, book bible sounds like a great idea...

  2. At my high school we had 4. Form assembly (which isn't a class) then 2 classes, then recess then 2 classes then lunch then 2 classes then HOME TIME!!

    My brain is most definitely appreciating the book bible idea. And Chapter summaries. It's all becoming clear, not completely befuddled. *happy sigh*

  3. Ah see we had homeroom, 2 classes, recess, 3 classes, lunch 2 classes. We musta had shorter classes than you...

    Clear! Clear is good.. very good! Yay!

  4. Yes- that was enormously helpful! Chapter summaries, here I come :)

  5. I'm so glad, Kara! My head is much less befuddled by doing chapter summaries. Hope it works for you too!

  6. Hey, I popped over from YAlitchat! When my stories started to get complicated, I started using Liquid Story Binder. It has way more functions than I need, but it's a great way to organize things.

    Good Luck! :)

  7. Hi Susan, sorry I never replied!
    Liquid Story Binder, huh? Great tip, I definitely have to look into it!


Thanks for commenting! I love comments. I seriously do. Except when they're spam. I get a lot of spam here so, unfortunately, I had to add word verification to stamp that out. But I don't want to stamp out YOUR comment, so keep them coming, okay?