Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Smoothing out the bumps

Not only can a plot have a few bumps along the way,
but at times there are huge potholes that swallow important
details that fit all the pieces together.
As the writer you can be mildly blind to some of these - after
all the story makes perfect sense inside you head and as you
do some proofing and read-through the work in progress
the flaws are still hidden to you.  

The easiest way to have these little blunders brought to your
attention is having a critique partner or partners to bring them
to you attention. I use CP's on a chapter by chapter basis.  I read
theirs and they read mine.  I switched to doing it this way because
I found it is much easier to go back and correct the little and not
so little things as you're still writing - and only a few chapters ahead.
Going back to chapter one when you're working on chapter
twenty-six is much harder to do.

I also have more than one CP.  It's amazing how the same pages
can be interpreted and read differently by different individuals.  It's
made it easier for me to get the scenes to come out the way I want
them to.  Opinions vary and the more you have the easier it is to
direct things in the direction you want them to go.

When I've proofed, edited and re-written it's time to pass it along
to a few beta readers.  Friends and relatives are great for this - IF
they are going to come back with more than "It's great!"  While the
ego loves those words the artist wants more.  Why is it great?
Feedback is very important - even if it's bad.  So finding a few to read
the final draft is always a good thing.

After all of this you will have a much better manuscript to submit.


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