Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lots of Plots

I've been doing some pretty heavy revising on a story lately, we'll call it Book A, and I thought I'd share the experience with you. Book A has been done for a while now and we (I co-write with my mom, Canda) thought it was fine but there was always the same feedback from beta readers and critiques. There was a big part of the story missing but we didn't know how to fix it. Everything we thought of was just wrong. Ever had that experience? Where you knew something had to change but you couldn't figure out how to do it? We were stuck there for quite a few month, meanwhile revising another book( B ) but always going back to Book A thinking HOW?
We were working on Book B,  figuring out all the plot points and reworking them and we decided to do that in-depth to Book A. We used all the suggestions from Save the Cat and other writing books, and learned that we were trying to push the WORNG PLOT! How could we have been so blind?
 I know what you are thinking here, you are the writer and you don't know your plot?!? Yea, I know.... *shrugs, hangs head in shame* We are, as writers, pantsers and outliners. But sometimes the story gets away and has a life of it's own and before you know it, it's not a rivalry, it's a romance and you just sit there blinking your eyes going: What? When did that happen? There sure is a lot of kissing in here.
Anyway, the point here is simple. Learn from our mistake. When revising, look to your plot for guidance. There are simple steps in each type you can follow to stay true to the plot of your book, or in our case, find the true plot of your book.
In related news, Book A is a lot better now. Revisions aren't quite over yet, but things are looking brighter each day.
How do you revise?


Donna K. Weaver said...

Over and over and over again, that's how. =D

Alice said...

Yes, that happens to me all the time when my story needs to go a different direction than I intended, even if I plotted it out first.

Cindy M Hogan said...

I lean heavily on my critique groups to guide me and then I wait for full book critiques to fix anything I missed

Christy Monson said...

I have loved Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. It is so helpful in plotting a new manuscript. Thanks for the post. It's nice to find a place where we all share the same problems.