I am brain dead.
After my recent full read-through of Houses of Cards I noticed a very definitive change in tone from the first half of the book (which has focused predominantly on the relationship) to the second half of the book (when the investigation really gets rolling). Prior to the second half there were threats of which the reader was aware but the hero and heroine weren’t. It felt unbalanced and wouldn’t work wonderfully for the genre (which a few kind crit partners mentioned before, but I am hard headed and had to see it for myself). In any event I see it now and elected to make some changes to address the issue, such that the romance and the suspense are more neck and neck. I wrote out each scene (like a one line description) on an index card and had them scattered all over my living room today working on a storyboard. Finally reorganized things, wrote up a new timeline, pasted all the scenes that will still work in their appropriate order, made notations of what needs changing and adding. In the end I went from 74,500 words to 69,805 (with some other bits that are salvageable, but need more work), with 4 scenes to alter, 8 new ones to write, and a timeline that is, I think, more suspenseful than the original version. It will be plenty to keep me busy in the car to and from Nebraska at the end of the week.