Snagged

I hit a snag on Lesson Thirteen of How To Revise Your Novel.

I knew it was coming, but I put it out of my mind. Now, however, the monsters of conflict and resolution are in my face.

If your plot is not as robust as it should be, it shows up in conflict and resolution tracking. It’s not like I haven’t known this all along. By the time I finished the draft, I knew it, but I gave the novel to my beta readers anyway. And, when they finished reading, they confirmed it for me. They didn’t know what I wanted them to know because I didn’t tell them.

Seems like an obvious error anyone paying attention to their writing would not make, right? As it turns out, it happens frequently. Most of the time, first novels get mangled this way but, according to my research, even experienced professionals trot their plot off into word-land and the plot is rarely seen again.

After discussing my dilemma with writer friends and forum buddies, it comes down to this; I was not clear about the bad guys in the novel. I created a rough outline of their motivations, but I never fleshed it out, so I couldn’t torment my characters with tricky roadblocks and unexpected disasters. Although my characters aren’t always clear about who their enemies are and why they do what they do, I have the omniscient view. I have to know everything.

Someone on the forum suggested I do a brief plot outline for the villains. Duh, why didn’t I think of that?

So, in spite of work, Christmas, and distractions of every type, I continue. I will fix this problem. I will NOT write this novel again.

Besides, I have an idea for another book.

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5 thoughts on “Snagged

  1. Fascinating process, though it sounds painful. And you said you didn’t have any kids. Sounds like parenthood to me!

  2. Great idea to do a plan for the villains. I was never too sure who was and who wasn’t and if there
    even was one other than the guy we never saw. Good luck!

  3. Nancy, Thanks for replying to my post on the forum! I look forward to future HTRYN classes!

    I’ve gotten pretty intimate with my villian. I know his past and what makes him tick. One thing that helped me was doing an interview with him! See http://thewritesoil.blogspot.com/2011/05/interview-your-antagonist.html.

    I look forward to reading more about your process through your revision!

  4. Nancy, Yes! I got your comment on my blog post! Did you get a chance to interview your villain yet?

    • All of a sudden I’m determined to finish lesson 14in the next few days. So, not yet! Also, since my villain is more of an evil entity (a political party/corporation) I have to decide who is going to speak for the bad guys.This person won’t appear as a character, he will only explain motives.

      Sent from my iPod

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