I’m entering Miracle in a Dry Season in a writing contest that requires me to submit a chapter by chapter summary. Eek. Writing the overall summary was hard enough. Well, the past few days I’ve tackled my novel, chapter by chapter. And now? I’m wishing I’d done this months ago!
I feel like I have an aerial view of my book. Writing out what happens in each chapter is incredibly valuable. It gives me a big picture, a flow chart, a map of the world I’ve created. It also:

  • Pinpoints which chapters are, ummm, blah. I looked at one chapter and realized nothing happened. Well. That will never do. So I reworked it.
  • Uncovers inconsistencies. In one chapter a character’s hometown was Westcott. Later it was something else. Oops.
  • Shows where chapters can be combined or just tightened up. It also shows where too much happens in one chapter. Kind of like a hosta that needs to be dug up and divided.
  • Helps me find where I need to go for future editing. This is a map after all! Now, if I want to find that scene where __________ happens, I just scan my chapter summary.

Talk about a wise investment of time. Fabulous! My task for the coming weekend? A chapter by chapter summary of The Memory of Drowning. Can’t wait to see how it looks from the sky.