…what it was like at this stage, working on Empress. There was a point when I realized that I had to go through the manuscript and actually figure out exactly when everything happened, make a list of all the scenes, and link them to a sequence of calendar dates. I used an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, turned it to landscape, and wrote out a brief description (less than a sentence, typically) of each scene in tiny handwriting, with lots of crossed-out bits. And writing out those little descriptions helped me see what I had left to do.
I’d forgotten that I’d turned the paper to landscape — it’s not something I typically do, although I work a fair amount in longhand — until today, when I did the exact same thing with all the scenes from The Rules for Hearts. Weird. I wonder what rotating the paper ninety degrees does to my brain.