Nothing left but hooks and some wire

I feel like I’m moving.

This is what the doors into my office looked like a few months ago, when I finished Stars Fall Out. I’ve been reading and analyzing my draft, making plans for the revision, and spreadsheeting the hell out of everything.

One by one, I’ve taken down my first draft scene cards as I get ready to make my changes. I keep thinking of that line from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, that all he left were some hooks and some wire. It’s like a physical manifestation of the process of separating from the first draft. I found a lot of stuff I liked on my read-through (all my characters are grumpy, except the antagonist, of course), but there’s also plenty of work to do.

I kind of want to start the next book already just so I can put up more colorful cards.

It’s been two or three years since I last did the Index-Card-a-Day challenge, but since I’ve been meaning to do more watercolor sketching, I decided to try it this year with time limits on how long I spend per card.

This is the result of my hands-on plot-fixing session the other day. It led to me writing a scene I came up with twelve years ago, but hadn’t figured out how to write (in part because of Stars Fall Out’s long, weird history). I plotted and wrote it in an hour-and-a-half, and it’s improved two main characters, my worldbuilding for the city of Nirsuathu, and even the ending.

I slammed my laptop shut, wished Dunkin Donuts were more conducive to victory laps, then drove to work while blasting “Outsiders” by Franz Ferdinand, which is part of my Stars playlist, and is quite a bombastic song for representing a character who’s been stuck in Nirsuathu for months.

If I ever mention “going through a pack a day,” it will probably be in reference to index cards. I keep finding more uses for them.

Index cards, tarot cards, scissors, two rolls of tape, and two plot outlines, one for reading, and one for chopping into pieces.

It’s time to fix a plot problem.

Blue index cards

I accidentally bought a package of unruled blue index cards and then found a template online to print lines on them.

I wish I could say that it’s cheaper to do it yourself and that the quality is better. Not so much. But at least I have index cards to write my main character’s scenes on.