It’s the first Wednesday of April, and as with every first Wednesday, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
I got feedback on Isto last week. On Tuesday, I had a sit-down with a beta reader who’s been with me since the first terrible draft of Thanmir War. She went over her notes for Isto, including a bit about how the first half of my main character’s chapters didn’t seem as important to the plot as the other POVs. It didn’t surprise me. I’d known he wouldn’t have as much of an impact in this book 5 1/2 years ago.
Then Wednesday’s critique group came and my fellow writers dove into the “Final Battle”. As they read my big fight scene, the feedback was my climax was anti-climatic. They wanted more chaos, more tension, more people getting hurt/dying. This isn’t the first time they’ve said this about one of my fight scenes. Apparently, I don’t put my characters in enough danger. But I trust my critique group, and I’d rewritten that last scene and eventually earned a thumbs-up for my efforts. As my brain mulled over how to improve my final battle, visions of monsters attacking my main character formed in my head. Yeah, I thought. I could do this just like I did last time.
Then I came to a terrible realization.
When I’d rewritten the previous fight scene, I’d changed the rules. To add that danger and tension my critique group wanted, I had to make my main character a target that he wasn’t before. What does this mean?
To avoid plot holes, I have to rewrite the first half of my main character’s chapters.
Considering my beta reader said those chapters felt less important to the plot, maybe doing the rewrite will help that. Still, it’s a major undertaking and this book has already been in the works for six flippin’ years. *sigh*
Perhaps you can see the cause of my insecurity this month?
I don’t have any dreams of becoming a full-time author (I’m a perfectly happy programmer). This series is the only thing I aspire to write. Still, I would like to finish it before I die of old age.
IWSG Question of the Month – If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?
I don’t trust wishes. I’ve read too many stories where things backfire and go horribly wrong. Therefore, I wouldn’t use a wish, because next thing I know, I could be trapped inside my story and I sure as heck don’t want to face the monsters in there! Nor would I want to face my characters because they’d probably figure out that I’m the one who put them through all the crap. So no wishes for this squirrel.
Have you had to face major rewrites for the third time on a story? How many times are you willing to rewrite in order to get a story right? Do you have a story you’ve refused to give up on?