Thursday, June 23, 2016

Y is for New YEAR'S Eve Revisions

Debra is working on edits and revisions.

Well, I'm supposed to be working on edits and revisions. Over a month ago I received my first edit for New Year's Eve at The Corral back from my editor. It was accompanied by this note:

I enjoyed this but didn't get the satisfaction I get from your others. In such a short space you weren't able to fully develop the characters. Ideas: More physical contact while decorating in that opening. Maybe everyone sits to eat before the crowd starts arriving--even if it's lunch instead of dinner. Not sure what to suggest. Did you have a beta? Was he/she happy with it as-is?

I did not use a beta reader...I rarely do which is probably something I need to reevaluate and perhaps do more of in the future. It is shorter than my other stories - on purpose - but maybe it's a bit too short. And while it's good to know she really liked my past work, obviously this particular one needs a bit more...something. So I told her I would see what I could do. I also told her I was busy with other things and wanted to do it right and that it would take more than a weekend or a week to figure something out. She said that was fine.

To be honest, I haven't done much with it aside from taking a passing moment or two and asking myself how I'm going to add some oomph and character development to this story. Between the end of the school year and some other projects I've been working on, writing has taken a back seat. (In fact I totally forgot about the release date for Fourth of July at The Corral until it was literally a day away.) This isn't unusual, I feel that my writing career goes in phases of spurts and stops from time to time. And to be honest, I'm okay with that. I always seems to have ideas in my head for stories, but I don't always have the drive to get them down in written format. When I do have the drive, I go full steam ahead.

Yesterday, however, I got a 'checking in' e-mail from my editor asking how it was going. It had been over a month since I'd been in contact with her, so she probably was wondering if I'd dropped off the face of the earth. I told her it was coming slowly (if a standstill can be considered 'slow') but now that summer vacation had officially started I had time to dedicate to the project.

So...today I'm doing a read-through. It's been a while since I've read the story, so hopefully coming at it with fresh eyes will help me to see opportunities to strengthen the story, more fully develop the characters, and really make it pop. I feel like I know my characters pretty well, since they've been appearing in the other books in the series for a few years now, but obviously a reader picking up this story for a read-alone is going to need a bit more to go on.

And so there's Goal Number One for summer writing.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com

9 comments:

  1. So it's a shorter story issue: compacting the emotional story arc. This should be fixable with strategic layering of physical attraction. Your other stories are so well-crafted, you'll fix this. The editor is just holding you to your usual high standard.
    Happy fixing!

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    1. Thanks, Ana. I've been working on it all morning, and I'm making some progress. I appreciate the vote of confidence. :)

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  2. Rather than expanding one of your already written scenes, can you insert a short scene that serves to intensify the attraction between them e.g. going together to buy something they have forgotten? Not knowing the story, it's difficult to know what to suggest.

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    1. Oh I love that idea! Thank you! I've added a scene at the beginning, per my editor's suggestion, to give a bit more 'background', but a shopping spree would be really fun. Maybe the'll accidentally wander through the lingerie section of the department store.

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    2. Sounds great! Why is it always easier to solve someone else's plot gap than sort out one's own? LOL!

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    3. So true.

      I actually just finished adding the department store scene and now I'm making sure it gels with the rest of the story. Thanks again!

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    4. So glad it worked for you :-)

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  3. I laughed when your editor suggesting a food scene, as I always end up with too many of those (apparently, all my characters do is eat). Not knowing anything about your story, can you do something with a countdown?

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    1. Nothing wrong with eating! I did actually add a scene having them sitting down to a late lunch to start the story. We'll see if my editor like that addition or not.

      I do in fact, have a countdown as part of the story. Not only does it count down to the New Year, but to their first kiss as well. :)

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