What was I thinking, with the structure of this silly novel?
To start from the beginning: I've got an A plot and a B plot. These happen in chronological sequence, and that's how my first draft was written. But that resulted in a really lumpy shape that I didn't like very much, and I don't think it works structurally to resolve one bunch of problems and then move on to the next bunch. (It also makes the B half of the book very talky and soap-opera-ish, and I needed something to break up the melodrama).
So I borrowed the trend all the cool YA writers are doing and decided to write it A-B-A-B. But this, it seems, is even more lumpy, because:
-the B plot of course contains some spoilers for the A plot, which I'm trying to keep to a minimum-- which aren't as much a concern to me as the moments of 'They're not friends in the A plot, and they're friends in the B plot, What happened?'. Usually this only works if What Happened was some kind of traumatic half-repressed event.
-by pure coincidence, the melodramatic moments of the A plot and the B plot pop up *in immediate sequence.* This is not good. Ideally you want to have the interesting parts of the B plot filling in when the A plot is less interesting.
I guess that the solution is to write straight through to the end, and then write all my scenes out on index cards so that I can figure out where I need to fill in a little more in either the A plot or the B plot in order to get the events to line up the way that I would like them to. And, too, I need to rethink if maybe straight chronological order might be best after all.
On the positive side, I'm getting a better and better sense for what happens in the rest of the B plot, the part that never made it to my first draft; and there are some parts that I find really adorable, so I can hope that will keep me writing...