Revise or Redo?

I read a couple of chapters in On Writing Romance yesterday and I learned more about the types of conflicts found in the Romance Genre. Michaels mentions a simple conflict that brings my two characters together. My situation for my characters is just that–a situation. It isn’t really a conflict, so I need to either find a way to make it one or come up with a different situation that is more of a conflict.

This simple conflict is supposed to tie into the larger conflict, which is the internal conflict. I think I have the internal conflict worked out pretty well. My heroine is afraid of relationships. However, I need to work on my hero’s reaction to that as well as the timing through which my readers find out about this conflict. Michaels recommends a reveal toward the end of the novel. However, my reveal is within the first several chapters.

I also read a chapter entitled “Relationships and Resolutions,” which details lust, attraction, once in a lifetime love, ruining relationships, and making relationships that work. I was pleased to note that the relationship I have developed between my characters didn’t fall into as many pitfalls as in the conflicts chapter. However, there are some things I could improve on.

I basically have a lot of revising to do and am starting to wonder if I am going to need to start over with a basic outline. I didn’t write an outline last time because I had written pretty detailed character sketches and I had no idea where my story was going. That is evident when I read the story. I like for my characters to surprise me when I write and they truly did. I even had a character pop up I didn’t plan on but whom I really enjoyed writing. She is a minor character in one of the earlier chapters, but I feel she is important as she reveals information about the hero to the heroine.

I don’t want to plan my novel down to the last degree before I start writing because I feel I will lose some of the spontaneity. However, I should do a bit of planning in order to maintain some kind of structure and develop my conflict. I am mostly a pantser, but I should do a little planning so I don’t have to do as much revision. Right now I am feeling overwhelmed by the amount of revision I must do to my book, which is why I am thinking that rather than save what I have I will just start over.

I am still arguing that out in my head: revise or redo. I want to finish Michaels’s book first and then decide. I promise to keep you posted. Happy writing!

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