I’m pulling together the “final” draft of my old novel to send on for proofreading, and discovered, to my dismay, that there is a scene in one of my chapters (8) that actually chronologically happens in the evening *after* the events of the entire chapter after it (9, which happens over the span of the afternoon).
The wayward scene was tucked in with the rest of the chapter it’s in because they are cause and effect. But I feel like, in a book where every other scene is ordered chronologically, it needs to go where it happens in time, not where I put it–where there is that interesting contrast of (1) character A finds out something about character B and (2) we see the consequences to character B that we know the reason for and she doesn’t.
I can’t mess with the timeline of the chapters by saying the events of chapter 9 happen the day after everything in chapter 8, because we see events in chapter 7 that are the same day as 9, only earlier, and heck, even characters from 9 in chapter 8 getting ready for the events of 9.
The alternative is to move that one little scene into its own chapter and proper spot in the timeline, and renumber all my chapters to make room for it. Which kind of rankles me, given my exponential chapter count already. But that out-of-sequence scene, happening in the evening of that same one day, represents a shift of the weather and mood from earlier in the day, and it’s just weird to then cut back to earlier in the day in the very next chapter.
Any thoughts? Would an out-of-sequence scene like that bug you? Or would you even notice it?