Three days after creating my chapter and scene notecards, I’m making sense of my category and themes, ready to continue editing.
The category is Coming of Age. The themes were not so obvious to me.
However, when you simplify the contents of your childhood into a patchwork pattern on a table, suddenly the themes that were so evasive begin to bubble up from the depths of your submerged life.
I stood over the cards for ten minutes, heartlessly pulling the cards that I’m sure represent boring topics. Putting them aside—not discarding yet—you never know.
With the table thinned out a bit, I began to stack similar themes and subjects.
Fear has a big pile. Fear of the draft horses on the farm, fear of being left alone, fear of fertilized eggs! Fear of being in charge of my siblings’ fears: the swimming lessons, the dentist!
My shameful shyness and its related topics are an interesting stack, tied to childhood depression, longing, “girlfriendship” (and the lack thereof), and my mother’s questionable child-rearing methods. The unopened copy of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby & Child Care—except for the part about chicken pox, measles and mumps. Or was that masturbation?
The Feminism stack surprised me. I knew that I was a child feminist, but the number of scenes that innocently demonstrated this budding characteristic in my busy little mind was amazing to me. From a very young age, I resented all of the special privileges that boys were privy to.
Another prominent theme is Secrets. (They wouldn’t remain secrets if I revealed them here.)
I discovered that there were three themes that saved my life.
Nature, Reading, Music. In that order.
Now that the cards are re-ordered, I can begin dragging the chapters and scenes into the Revision.
By no means am I near the end, but if I can get this content in proper order, then I can begin to refine the results.