Thursday, June 21, 2007

Subplots a-go-go: Revisions, Part 3

Yesterday I mentioned having to add four new secondary characters to KNAVE'S HONOR (sequel to MY LORD'S DESIRE and THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT -- officially out next week!), and that my Esteemed Editor wanted to see more of two of them (Garreth and Keldra).

There were also two more subplot characters she wanted to see a bit more of, in part, I suspect, because while Garreth and Keldra aren't with the hero and heroine for the middle of the book, they are with these two characters, Lord Gilbert and Lady Helewyse. Easy enough to do, because as I said, it's not too difficult to write and insert new scenes that are independent of the main romance plot.

In fact, this morning I wrote two scenes and a scenette, including a long one with Garreth, Keldra, Gilbert and Helewyse.

However, those weren't the only subplot points that Esteemed Editor had suggestions/questions about, so one scene written this morning concerns the villain, to deal with another of EE's quibbles, and the other scenette comes after a revised scene, to deal with another quibble.

Also today, I temporarily excised a scene between two "old" secondary characters, one who's in MY LORD'S DESIRE and another from THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT. It seems this particular subplot didn't tickle my EE's fancy quite so much. But I like 'em, and they have an important part to play at the end, so I wasn't willing to delete their subplot entirely. What I am willing to do is combine two of their scenes, which were somewhat similar in terms of setting, into one, and move it farther into the book. This is what you call coming up with a compromise.

Another problem EE had was that for a book involving a rescue, there wasn't a whole lot of talk/discussion/planning before the actual rescue.

Oops, my bad -- and frankly, I was thinking this myself, but again, I was concerned about a secondary plot impinging on the romance. I should have listened to my inner editor! So I'll be adding to existing scenes and changing the setting of one to address that. That should also help with another problem, which was a certain repetitive feeling about some of the settings/endings of scenes. I can see that now, so of course I'll fix it.

The other problem with the subplots that EE had came at the end, where they all seemed to collide and wrap up very quickly.

So one of my other jobs with the subplots is to look at where I had them come back into play and find new places for that. I've gotten it figured out, and agree it's a much better way to end the book.

In case you're thinking I had all these realizations and came up with my solutions in an hour or two, it took me three days of rereading and going through the manuscript and making lots of notes, both in the margins and on lined paper. It will take me many more days to actually write the news scenes, revise old ones and ensure that everything looks "seamless" -- like I just sat down one day, decided to write a book and finished it that day.

Oh, and in case you think my main characters escaped the note-taking? I'll be talking about Lizette tomorrow.

1 comment:

Leah Braemel said...

This week's blog has been so interesting to read, Margaret. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post.