It's been a week, I should probably update those of you that care.
When last I wrote on the subject I had mentioned thinking about jumping my key character, Karen, up three years in age. I did do that. Scrivener's index card synopsis feature and document notes made it really easy to just to through and leave myself notes about the new age she should be in each chapter. So I did that on the eighth while finishing up chapter three.
While ending chapter four I noticed something I really should have noticed before NaNo even started. I had misplaced the blue moon. So, after beating my head on the desk for a bit, I went and fixed that. One index card on the cork board dragged from the end of the manuscript to the beginning and then going and readjusting all the ages again took care of the bulk of that. Now I have four chapters to either rewrite or time shift plus one entirely empty new first chapter.Then
, while writing yesterday, I had a flash of either brilliance or insanity. I've been having a lot of trouble writing this story, which is nothing new since I've had that problem with previous NaNo stories, but I have a pretty good idea of why
with this one. The first problem I've already addressed some, that's Karen's young age. Shifting her three years older helped but it still means when I go back and rewrite the beginning I'll be writing a four year old. The other is that I'm writing this four (and five, and six, and...) year old child in a world with a level of technology roughly equivalent to the late eighteenth century. Now I don't think I'm quite as badly off as most Americans are with history, and growing up in Massachusetts gives you mandatory history of things like Plymouth, Salem, and field trips to Old Sturbridge Village
, but this doesn't help that much about two and a half decades later when you need to know the minutia of daily life in the late 1700s.
So, the flash of possibly insane brilliance... what if I hadn't set this story in the past? What if I had set it in an alternate universe current time? Like I did with my last two NaNo stories (which is probably why I didn't, at least subconsciously). If I did shift it to a "modern" setting, could I make it in the same world as my 2009 NaNo story?
That one, for those that don't want to go looking at my old posts, didn't really gel into a single story. It ultimately fractured into a bunch of flashbacks as I was struggling to get to 50k at the end of the month. I had decided that when I got back to it I would probably break it up into a series of short stories.
I wrote a lot of notes yesterday, about what I would need to do to shift this story into the same world as the one from 2009. There are quite a lot of things that would have to be changed to make it work. The culture between alternate magical late 1700s and alternate magical early 2000s is very different. I wrote down all the ones that came to mind immediately and the wrenches they threw into my plot (I actually have one this year) and some possible solutions.
While I was doing that I was also wondering if I could, or should, introduce these characters to the ones from 2009. That lead to another flash of inspiration and now I have to change Apollonia's career over in the 2009 story. Changing that makes the story that was trying to evolve around her so much easier! It's enough to make me want to beat my head on the desk some more because it was so obvious what her career should have been. Looking back it was really clear that I was subconsciously shoving her in that direction even while I was trying to write her story. So I have a pile of notes about how I need to change her career, and how by doing that I can take those sections of the story that didn't fit together that well and shuffle them around and suddenly it all works.
I think, if I weren't using Scrivener this year I would have had a meltdown over this story. I would either have one long text file with several chunks separated by white space and notes and would have been scrolling through it for ages trying to keep all the notes updated. Or I would have splintered the file into multiple new files and would have had to splice them to do the final word count verification version. Scrivener lets me keep all those outdated bits I wrote in discrete chunks and allows them to be included in word count without forcing them to be in the same file as what I'm working on now. It also lets me write notes and keep them separate from the story. If you hadn't guessed, I really, really like Scrivener. :)