In this case, we are working on a women's fiction piece. This is the second book in a series and we were working to maintain many of the same themes we saw in the first book. As I read through the story, however, there were moments when the story simply didn't have those thematic messages shining through when the messages should have been there.
This is a tough situation. As I looked at the story, I was starting to think we might be gearing up for a full blown revision of the story. We're talking a complete over-haul here. But I kept reading and it wasn't until yesterday that I stumbled across the hidden gem I was looking for. Roughly 40% of the way through the book, the author had an amazingly powerful moment with some character introspective and she tossed in a line that had it all. It was the title of the book, it was the theme, it was the answer!
Now, as I go back and look at the story, we won't be doing a complete over-haul. The theme of the story did indeed go a different direction than we had planned, but this new theme creates a stronger approach for revision. The plan will be simple:
- We cut scenes that were trying too hard to get to the first theme that wasn't work.
- We enhance the existing story with the new theme's message.
- We add some new scenes to A) get that word count back up; and B) to truly showcase the new theme.