Monday, December 22, 2014

The Shortest Distance Between 2 Points Is A Straight Line - Thoughts On Revisions

I just finished working with a client on some revisions for her latest project. This was a tough go, but in the end, the book is AWESOME. What she was facing was an issue that I believe far too many authors face when it comes to revisions. She was making it too hard on herself.

Some of the changes the editor wanted extended throughout the whole book. This isn't that major of an issue since it was more of strengthening some tension between the characters and the villain. But here is the twist. As she worked through it, she started making things difficult. She started thinking about adding a scene to create a bridge between two points. This is fine, and it certainly would have worked, but, to make that happen, she had to move an entire scene to some other location, rework the transitions and then potentially add a couple more scenes to a later portion of the story.

Yes, all of this would have worked. But when you are getting through the revisions right before the holidays, you don't want to go through all of this.

As we talked through it all, I realized that I too was getting sucked into the complex web of these revisions and we needed to just stop.

The solution was right in front of our eyes and we were missing it. The scene she was working with, although well written, didn't really do much to enhance the plot. By eliminating the scene, the story line fell right together with just one minor tweak of a transition.

The point of this is pretty simple. As you revise your stories, stop and think it through first. The goal is to shoot for the easiest solution.  Think of those tangled Christmas lights as an example. We all used to sit on the floor every holiday season, untangling the lights and then, even worse, checking each and every bulb to find the broken one. The odds are now, we just run up to the hardware store and pick up a new strand for $1.99 and call it quits. As the title of this post suggests, the shortest distance between 2 points in indeed a straight line. Although the wandering and winding road is fine in some cases, finding those solutions doesn't have to be as complicated as those Christmas lights

1 comment:

  1. This is a timely post for me to read: I'm starting a revision next week. Thanks for a good reminder to keep it simple and get it done. :-)