Today–tonight, actually–I cleared up a major problem found late last week. In moving things from file to file, chunks of a secondary “transfer” file got mangled and I hadn’t noticed. Luckily, since I knew I wasn’t thinking as well as I used to, I kept multiple earlier drafts under different titles, and was able to find the complete draft of that section (it’s about 8-9 pages). I gave it a contrasting color (to be easy to find) and saved it twice, once with a title that contained Save Until Final MS and the other that said [plotpoint] for editing. Then I inserted the latter copy into the main ms. file, deleted the mangled bits, made sure everything fit together properly before and after. And did some mild editing, just to calm my nerves again, on the eight pages (changed a couple of verbs, took out a clumsy transition and put in a smoother one) before saving the ms. and staring at the wall, trying to organize what next. Oh yes. After midnight. Bed would be a good idea.
The eight pages reveals that electricians have been working on the place for the past ten days…but nothing in the action of the last ten days mentions that…hmmm. Yes, they needed an upgtrade of some wiring and some storage units in the basement, which we haven’t seen yet, so there’s something to work on tomorrow. (There’s PLENTY to work on all this next week, along with getting M- his second COVID shot, and a trip to the dentist, and a trip to the city to pay his rent & utilities. But I can’t just dump something like “Yes, that’s what the electricians have been doing in the basement the last ten days” when as far as readers know the last ten days were all about something ELSE. As a reader, that would stop me in my tracks and I’d sit there flipping pages to see what I’d missed.
There’s about 30 days in the summer, now, that I know are packed full of busy-busy-busy, but not all of it’s plot-worthy. How many times do you want to read through instructors trying to teach kids of different ages and stages of training to do various things with horses and ponies? And deal with gardening, housekeeping routines, trips to and from town for groceries, visits to the clinic, and suchlike? Not as many times as these things happened, since they’re just routine everyday…oh, and deliveries of hay and feed, and hauling away of manure…it’s stuff that interests the characters doing it, but readers, I hope, will be more interested in whether Ky’s used a blue card yet, and why a character didn’t know something Ky thinks he should have known, and why another character is so very hostile, and so on. Nonetheless, plotworthy or not, that pink and purple 3 drawer chest is staying IN.
All of which ARE plotworthy but are layered onto the existing day-by-day of bringing a large household into full working order, while working around the invited but still chaotic invasion of riding instructors, horses. the whole riding school support system. The plotworthy bits need to be shoved around so they make a reasonable (for some definition of reasonable) sequence without leaving too many long stretches of ho-hum more of the same. I didn’t have to worry about this sort of thing previously, but…though the ingredients are in this book now, almost all complete, it still needs to have a temporal sequence that will make sense. Not some crushed together plot-bits with long pauses between. Luckily, Ky’s past exploits have ways to stick their pins on the map, to throw out yet another metaphor or simile or…I am too tired now and need to go to bed.