It’s kind of amazing how a couple of editorial sentences can make you look at an ms and suddenly you see exactly what isn’t working. The email I just got from M&B was just like that. In fact, in terms of revisions, it was one of the best ones I’ve ever received in that it was very clear what wasn’t working and had suggestions about what could make it stronger.
Admittedly, the things the editor pointed out were things I had wondered after I’d completed the ms and sent the partial away. The heroine’s conflict wasn’t enough for example. The hero, hey, he was fine – joy! – but she needed work. I think I’d got to the point where I just wasn’t sure of the balance. The hero’s conflict was very dark and I thought giving her too much heavy stuff would be over-egging the pudding. Apparently not. 🙂
But, happy days, I had an idea to make her conflict much stronger and more intense, and also tied in to the other thing I’d forgotted – external goal. Bah. I’ve even done a blog post on it and yet I STILL forgot in this ms. I got so focussed on creating tension between the hero and heroine that I forgot the external goal could create the tension, not the other little things I’d put in there. It’s like I’d given the hero and heroine bicycles, their conflict driving the pedals and making them move forward, but instead of putting them on the road and letting them pedal to the finish line, they were on a circular track going around and around, and going nowhere. Doh.
In fact, it’s quite amazing how the interaction of conflict, motivation, and goal intersect! Yes, I know, I should have realised this YEARS ago but I haven’t seen it quite as clearly as I have this time.
I guess you learn something new every day. Anyone learn anything else new today?