A lot of you have heard many editors and agents talk about adding depth to your stories and your characters, but for too many authors, this is a concept that is really difficult to comprehend. What I often hear from authors, after I pass on a project due to depth issues, is that the author will go and add a few more scenes. "There is still room in the word count area to make those changes."
This author doesn't get it.
Just adding more stuff often creates a mess. It's like those darn packing peanuts some wonderful person created. I get that playing in this stuff may be fun at the time, cleaning it up is not something any of us enjoy. In fact, you often spend the next several month cleaning the darn things up.
Adding depth is not just about adding more stuff to your story. It is not about adding more scenes, or more to your word count. While adding depth may increase your word count, this is really an issue of creating a more three dimensional experience for the reader. You want to immerse the reader in the world of the characters and the lives they are living.
When we think about your characters, a lot of this depth comes from the concept of Goal Motivation and Conflict that we first heard about from Debra Dixon. What is really driving these characters? What makes them tick? How do they react in given situations? When the heroine in a story finds out that the hero has been playing her for the whole time, and yet she has really fallen for him, how is it that she is going to react? What emotions will she experience and see?
Think of the movie, CAN'T BUY ME LOVE... Remember this scene?