Structure

Posted by on August 8, 2014

Just now, the book is laid out in chronological sections as follows:

  1. Up to 1837 (Ancient History, Early Baroque Era, Napoleonic Wars; 3 entries)
  2. 1837 to 1901 (Victorian Era; or, Jeffersonian Era, American Civil War, Reconstruction and Gilded Era; 8 entries)
  3. 1902 to 1938 (Edwardian Era, Progressive Era, World War I, Great Depression, and Interwar Period; 15 entries)
  4. 1939 to 1945 (World War II; 11 entries)
  5. 1946 to Present (Civil Rights Movement, Information Age, Present Day; 20 entries)

So. I almost completely skip anything before the Victorian Era, then cram several major things together, but World War II gets it very own section all to itself… It all seems a little unbalanced. What, women never did anything important before 1837? World War II was pretty all-consuming, yes, but so were some other things in those lists that got combined with others. Like the other World War. They’re kind of arbitrary divisions, really.

I struggled with this for quite a while, in the first draft. I felt like there ought to be sections, to help break the material up into digestible chunks, but had difficulty coming up with what they should be. I tried sorting by area of interest, but the lines are too blurred and fuzzy and there’s too much overlap. Sorting by geography is out unless I choose to add more subjects, since that only emphasizes the diversity problem — but it also has its own problems of overlap when you run into cases of multiple citizenship. Sorting chronologically would, I thought, be the simplest, but at the same time it does rather highlight a few flaws itself.

I’m hoping that Scrivener will help me organize this a bit better. By tagging the entries and then seeing what tags come up in the group as a whole, perhaps I can find some sort of rhyme or reason.

Or perhaps creating a rhyme or reason, by adding and subtracting entries where necessary, needs to be part of the editing process.

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