Monday, February 06, 2012

Where is Chaper Fourteen?

Yesterday, after the family left about noon, I hit the computer and was pretty much there until 9:30, with time out for a short nap, feeding the dogs, and a quick supper--which I ate at the computer. I was doing a final run through the work-in-progress and sailed along through chapters four through thirteen. Then, about 9:30 I hit chapter fourteen. As it should, it started on a new page, with "Chapter Fourten" properly dropped down and centered.
And then it was one pagraph, and there, centered in the next block of text was "Chapter Fifteen." I searched frantically--the files on the computer, backup files on jump drives. Chapter fourteen just flat doesn't exist, and I am left wondering if it ever did and trying to reconstruct what should be in it. And in Chapter Fifteen, everything is gallywumpas--passages out of order, repetitions. Whatever I did, I must have done it over time, because you simply couldn't do that much damage at one sitting.
Today was one of those days, and I really didn't get back to revisions until suppertime, so I haven't made a lot of progress. I'm sure I can put all the pieces together again, unlike Humpty Dumpty, but it sure will need at least one and probably two more readings.
One thing that tickles me--I have a tendency to take some passages from the reality of my life. The heroine in this one takes her niece and nephew to look at a dog at the humane society. The niece has been studying available dogs online and found a Labradoodle she really wants--that, of course, reflects my interest in those "doodle" breeds. They ask if they can see the dog on a leash, outside the cage.  But when the attendant goes to put the leash on the dog, he begins to jump all over her in enthusiasm, and Kate, the heroine, has second thoughts about his rambunctiousness. The attendant says over her shoulder, "I"m telling him he's not making a good impression." That really happened eight years ago when I got my Aussie, Scooby. He was three and a half and full of it. He's turned out to be a good dog, so loving, but he never did calm down till he was about ten. Now eleven and a half, his age is showing and he's docile. So I have the wild Indian Bordoodle puppy to deal with.
There's another incident that comes from reality, but I realize telling it would be a spoiler, so I can't share that one--only after you've read it.
Meantime, wish me luck. I think reconstructing a novel is harder than writing it in the first place.

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