This December, I’m stepping back for a while from actively editing my novel, Dreams of a Shaper. I’ve been revamping a section of the book, ripping out and rewriting about five chapters worth to try and fix some plot issues. However, having brought the new chapters to my critique group, it was apparent that I’d missed the mark. I thought I knew how to fix the section, but it seems like the changes slipped back into similar problems.
For a couple days I was pretty glum about it, but with some motivation from my lovely wife I’m getting excited again. I’ve realized that I’ve got more development work to do–both on the characters and the world they inhabit. Some things I know in my head haven’t translated onto the page, and the critique group’s “gentle” prodding has revealed areas that are hazy even to me. I thought I had the whole thing wrapped up neat as a bow in my mind, but apparently that wasn’t the case.
I’m don’t know the extent of the plot changes I’ll be making, but I do know that the book will be richer, stronger and more fulfilling (to me and to my readers) because of the time I’m taking to back up, rethink and clarify.