Home » Creativity » Anatomy of a Rebuild

Anatomy of a Rebuild

With the new scene out of the way, the time had come to start tearing up an old scene:  lunch at the Pret á Manger outside the Russel Square tube station in London at 13:17, or 1:17 PM for you not on Universal Time.  Since I know some people will ask, “How do you know there’s a Pret á Manger outside the Russel Square tube station?” because just like Johnny Cash, I’ve been everywhere, man:

Resturaunt on the left, tube station on the right.  You're welcome.

Restaurant on the left, tube station on the right. You’re welcome.

Now, getting in and tearing things up isn’t always pretty.  I could have just copied the scene off and put it aside with, “Don’t Touch Until Ready to Delete,” but I didn’t want to do that because it just gets in the way eventually.  The easiest thing to do here is use the Scrivener ability to take a snapshot of your document.  The snapshot is nothing more than a saved copy of your scene/chapter/whatever at the time it was taken.  The nice thing about the snapshot function is that you can take as many as you like, and “roll them back” into the original any time you like.  Or delete them if you think they serve no other purpose in your writing life.

It doesn't really have the same impact without Ringo singing in the background.

It doesn’t really have the same impact without Ringo singing in the background.

I knew where my kids were going this time, but I now needed to make some notes concerning stations and the such.  Because I’m nutty like that, you know?  For this scene I’d already went into the Document References and attached a link to the map of the London Underground that I’d imported into Scrivener, so I split the screen and pulled it up so I could make sure I get some of the stations right–which came in handy later, because you’ll see why.

This is how you get around with a map--and a bit of imagination.

This is how you get around with a map–and a bit of imagination.

Now that I knew my stations more or less, I brought up the document notes–and the London Journey Planer website that I’d also embedded in a note card in Scrivener, and started looking at the route I’d taken.  There were a few points on the trip where I wanted the kids to walk, so I plugged in a few stations, knowing that walking is something they do in London, and the website keeps track of that.

Yes

Yes, you can walk this route in ten minutes if you’re healthy–and training for the next Olympics.

You can see my notes on the right as to where the kids are going, what stations they’re arriving at/leaving from, and in this shot I’m figuring out if they can walk from the London Eye to Big Ben tower–and since Westminster Station is right across the street from there, and this Journey Results tell me I can probably walk it in ten minutes if I push it, then, yes:  it’s very doable for a couple of eleven year old kids.

One of the things I left off of here, and didn’t realize it until I was writing, was the place that Kerry hinted at going.  So I popped up Google Maps, got the location, then looked for nearby tube stations that would take them to Russel Square.  Found it–probably because I’d actually almost used it before–and added that note in as well, saying they’d summoned a cab–or a dragon, hard to say which–and taken it to the place Kerry wanted to see.

Lastly it was time to skim and see where new stuff needed to get added, and old stuff that didn’t make sense needed to come out.  One of those things that came out was a few comments about Collin and Alicia and why they weren’t invited, but since Annie had made those comments in the prior scene they didn’t need to be here as well.

I made a few comment markers in the story and highlighted them so I’d know where I should put my new stuff and where I might need to edit the old.

Just like some of us used to do in school--when we did that study thing.

Just like some of us used to do in school–when we did that study thing.

With all that out of the way–about an hour’s work or so, not counting getting the maps and stuff a few days ago–it was time to write.  And in that empty space between the two orange comments, I wrote.  I had Annie taking Kerry around London; nothing major, just out to London Bridge, then down the Thames to the London Eye, then over the river to Big Ben and St. John’s Park and a look at Buckingham Palace . . . a nice little walking tour where kids could talk and take pictures–and at a couple of points in the narrative, Annie managed to get a little touchy-feely with her newest traveling companion.  That girl–whatever is on her mind?

When I finished I’d had my best night in a while.  The count said 1,063, but that didn’t take into consideration the one hundred and thirteen words I’d cut before I started, so the final count was far closer to twelve hundred words.  And that’s just the start.

There’s more to come tonight.  Much more . . .

22 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Rebuild

  1. Good stuff! This is helping me get over my nerves about my 1st major editing project. BIG difference between editing a 20 page work for a comp class and editing a 600 page novel that’s too jig for its own good.

  2. I am just so impressed by the way you know Scrivner inside and out! I know I don’t comment as often as I should on your posts, because they usually just leave me with my mouth hanging open thinking “how did she do that?” I’ve got some scene moving and changing myself to do soon and needless to say, it will not be as easy a task as you make it look. You rock! 😀

    • I’ve also thought about what’s going to happen in this scene for probably a week now, so that does help. I’ve said before, it’s all in the prep work; you get that right, and the rest is easy.

      • That’s true. What I’m working on is breaking up and moving the backstory to various other flashbacks and memory dialogues. But it’s difficult trying to figure out what needs to stay at the beginning, because some of it is a definite “must know” right up front, otherwise the rest of the book doesn’t make sense. You sound like you’ve got a great handle on yours, though. Yay, you! 😀

        • That’s where setting up your flashbacks in separate cards and then connecting them to a previous scene would work well in Scrivener. One of the things I found is you can even write out the whole scene as you like it, and then you can “split it” with a function, and fragment it off to another card. It’s really kind of neat.

          • Oh, wow. That is cool. I never really had any interest in Scrivner before I started reading your blog. I think you ought to let one of their powers-that-be know about it and they should pay you for being such a fine spokesperson.

          • I did get a message from them when I first started using the Windows version, and there are a lot of blogs out there that talk about it. I’m not the only one, but I do show how I use it a lot. And Aeon Timeline as well.

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