Thursday, April 20, 2017
Editing: From Suspect to Snitch
I'm still editing away and am able to breath a little easier now. Last week, I was in the middle of my developmental edit and was stuck in a particular place. I wrote words. Deleted words. Outline a change. Added it. Then took it out. Nothing was working but I knew this part of the story had to be changed. The problem was every choice either complicated the plot or gave away the ending. What was I to do? Nothing was working and I didn't want to edit myself into a place where I needed to rewrite the whole beginning. I was at a loss. I was frustrated. So, I made a decision that might not have been wise, due to deadline approaching, an event looming on the horizon, and the restarting of my part-time job at the golf course, but I took the morning off anyway.
There were some items I wanted to get before my next crop event, and the nearest craft store was thirty-five minutes away so I knew it would be a huge time commitment. But as I was at the point of wanting to scream "I quit" or bang my head on the keyboard, a few hours away would be a good thing for me. So, I grabbed my Joann's coupons and keys and went on my trip.
As I drove away from my house, my computer, and the book, my mind started to clear and the task I left behind didn't seem so daunting. The farther away I got, the more my mind clearer and ideas started to come into my head, including two answers to my dilemma: change of ownership and make him a snitch. When I reached my destination, I sat in the car and emailed myself the hopefully brilliant solutions to the issues I was facing.
When I returned home, I went downstairs and took a look at my developmental report and the outline of changes I had intended to write. What do you know...the few issues I was still having would be solved or smoothed out with these two changes. One of the changes would mean reworking a few scenes and removing another but as it required a new one, no worries on the word count ending up too low.
The biggest problem I was having was with one suspect. I had tried to find a way to make him more solid without giving away the ending or over complicated the plot with so many twists (or even worse coincidences) that it was not believable. I read back over his scene and discovered the idea I had on my drive was the right answer. The man wasn't a necessary suspect as I had others, stronger ones, and what was needed was a catalyst to narrow down the who could've done it--a snitch. He was no longer a character who didn't have a strong enough motive, and seemed like an add on. He was now necessary and helped move the plot forward rather than bog it down.