As promised, I read through all 59,000 words of my novel, Romeo and Geekette last night. I was surprised by how engrossed I got into the story all over again. In the last half I barely made notes, but that might have been because I found I needed to add the same things throughout the entire story: setting and body language during dialogue. I have not envisioned my settings as well as I could have and I need to do a lot of thinking and work on listing items in my settings and describing them as fully as possible. Next, I need to work on my dialogue. While the words spoken by my characters feel pretty natural, I do need to add subtle body language to alert the reader to what is going on emotionally with the characters as they speak. Finally, I found that I did a lot of telling and very little showing, so I need to revise for that as well. I marked several places where it was blatantly obvious that I had been in a hurry as a writer and not taken the time to show my readers what was happening in the story. So, those are the three biggest things I need to work on.
As for arcs, the story has an arc and my heroine has a definite arc, but my hero really doesn’t. I think this is due in part to the fact that he is perfect in every way. I have not given him a real flaw to grow from, so I need to do some thinking on that. I haven’t figured out exactly what that is going to be yet, but he definitely needs to have some kind of character flaw in her eyes especially. I do characterizations of each character before I start writing, so I need to go back to his and see if I even wrote one. He is too superheroish and is thereby two-dimensional. I am wondering if having an impulsive nature would be seen as a flaw by my heroine because there are a couple of things he does that are rather impulsive. I need to work on that.
The tone of the book is light. There is not a lot of heaviness in my characters, even though my characters both have pasts. When they interact with each other it is usually fun and playful. I found that the sex scenes felt really natural. I feel I wrote those quite well and I hope any beta readers I employ agree. I might have to find a different way for my heroine to react to intense past emotions. She cries a lot and it seems she is weeping in every other scene. I don’t want her to come across as particularly weak, so I need to have a second way for her to express her sadness and the fact that the hero brought it out of her in the first place.
The climax of the book needs to be drawn out. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the characters experience a traumatic event. I didn’t fully explore this trauma and led them out of it rather quickly and easily. It won’t be hard to make this part of the book more dramatic and intense. I just need to build on what I already have.
These are the main things I need to work on. Overall, I was happy with the book. I still love the story, which is important to me as an author as I start going through and revising it. If I didn’t still love it, the work would feel like more of a slog than fun. Today’s agenda is to revise Chapter 1. I found this part of the book to be dry and uninteresting. This the hardest part of the book to write for me. I want to hook the reader, yet I need to explain my setting, characters and situation. Reading a book about writing the first 5-50 pages (I think I have one on the first 50 pages published by Writer’s Digest) might help me with this task. I will let you know tomorrow how my revision process went today! Have a great day!