Time to Re-Plot my Novel
I’ve been chugging along on my novel revision, enjoying how the scenes are coming together. But it’s time to stop and take a wider look at the structure of the novel. Sigh. I’m not pleased. I was enjoying the pace of revisions and starting to enjoy the rhythm I had established of reading and marking up a scene at night and re-writing it the next day. But the scene I was reading last night has that major plot point that I’ve got to solve before moving on.
It’s time to pull out Novel Metamorphosis and go back to the basics: Write down the basic plot points for this subplot, pinpoint where it changes from the last draft and re-plot. It must be done now, before the plot begins to spaghetti out of control–if it hasn’t already.
Placeholders in a First Draft
My plot problems are caused by a complication which my readers found unbelievable. Even when writing that first draft of the novel, I probably knew I’d face this in the revision. But I didn’t know what else to put there. I like the idea of placeholders, ideas or chunks of writing or simply a phrase which hold a place in the story until I can come back and spend time replacing it
When I come back to re-evaluate the place holder, here’s my criteria:
Unique, fresh, unusual. I’m looking for something to “stand out in today’s crowded marketplace.” I’m thinking about how to push in some direction that is unexpected, different. (How many ways can you even say, unique, fresh, unusual, different? Even THAT expression is tired.)
Appropriate and fits story. I’m lazy, too. I want something that fits the current story with the least amount of change involved. I go for unique first and do huge revisions if necessary. But really, why would I wish extra work on myself? Sometimes, just a bit more brainstorming will unearth an alternative that works and involves the least revising.
So, that’s my plan for today: fire up the ol’ brain cells and try to find my way out of the maze of novel plotting.