Thursday, October 12, 2017

Small Picture and Large Picture Editing

I know that writers work hard at editing their stories. They want to have the best product out there and often go over those stories time and time again. They make tweaks. The change plots. The re-write scenes. When they go back and re-read what they just did, the writing is AMAZING! As they close down their computers for the day, they head off into their other world really feeling a sense of satisfaction.

And yet, for many, the work they did is not always going to work as well as they think. This comes down to an issue of the small and large picture editing.

Too often, writers make changes on their story and the work they do, really is good. It works great for that scene. But, the work often contradicts issues in other sections of their story. In some cases, although that individual scene rocks, it forces changes that will need to be made in the rest of the story, and sometimes, those changes never get made.

As you make changes in your story on those individual scenes, make sure to constantly think about how those changes work with the rest of your story. I often use the analogy of the thesis for an academic paper. You might add a section to that research paper that seems interesting and you might think, at that point in the paper, the readers would like to see this, but if that work is not something that supports the thesis, the work you do is not going to help you.

We aren't just talking about plots here. We are also talking about adding or changing internal and external conflict elements, or even those nasty GMC's (goals, motivations and conflicts) of the characters. For example, maybe you have written a scene where you wanted to increase the sexual tension of the characters earlier in the book. Although that might increase the heat for that moment, you now have to add the sub-story of the characters having to adjust and work through that sexual encounter. If that line is going to get in the way of the main story line and detract from the story, maybe that change should not be made.

Just something to consider.

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