Revision issues

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Issues I’m thinking through on my revision:

1. I will rewrite the whole thing. My skills have improved and after a trial chapter, I want to rewrite everything and not just try to patch things in.
2. I want to change the set-up. What you set up, you must resolve. The current set-up, though, is a sub-plot and frankly, one that I don’t care about much. Then, it’s the wrong set up. Basically, I want Dad out of the picture for a while, so I’ve had him leaving on a one-year military assignment. Doesn’t work. Dad needs to be gone, but it needs to definitely be a sub-plot.
3. So, what else could open this story?

Openings

Peter Dunne, on the job of the first ten pages: “They must reflect how passionate you are about your idea.”
Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot

Robert McKee on where to start: “The world of the character reacts differently than expected, more powerfully than expected, or both.”
Story

Noah Lukeman: It’s not the first five pages, it’s the first five sentences.
The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile

Sol Stein says: The “engine”. . . is the point at which the reader makes the decision not to put the book down.” And that had better be on page one.

Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

What set-up will match the ending I’ve written? Because, I like that ending and want to keep it! So, I’ve got to match it up.

P.S. Since I wrote the draft of this posting, I tried a totally new approach to my story that involves a strong narrator. And I love it! I’m not 100% committed, yet, but an enthusiastic response from DB has helped. It was, maybe, the fifth or sixth try on an opening. Hurrah! I’m encouraged with this new direction.

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1 Comment
  • Dori Butler
    October 9, 2007

    Well, that’s true. You never cared about that subplot, did you? I never got that…you put it in there, so OF COURSE you had to care about it. And I thought it worked, you just needed to do more with it. But that’s not necessarily true. If you don’t care about it, it’s the wrong subplot. And really, when I think about it, it doesn’t enhance your main plot line. (I just liked it…and I thought it was timely…therefore it “worked.”) You need a subplot that enhances your main story, but won’t take it over. If you had done more with the other subplot, it could have taken over your story.