By Sophia Barnes
I personally find that the most stressful part about being a writer comes after I’ve submitted my manuscript to my editor and have to wait for her feedback. It can be nail-bitingly tense, handing over my innermost thoughts and ideas for cross examination. So much time and effort goes into each book – we’re looking at three to four months of work now resting in the hands of an individual who’s going to comment on all of its flaws. But, the good part is that although I do dread my editor’s feedback, I completely trust her opinion and know that the story is only going to get better from here on out. Naturally, I always try to write that perfect book that doesn’t need a lot of extra work, but over the years I’ve come to realize and accept that doing so simply isn’t possible – at least not for me. For the most part, all of my stories have had scenes added and deleted, they’ve required more character development and sometimes complete plot overhauls.
In fact, the story I’m currently working on is going to get re-written from scratch. I just spoke to my editor two days ago – she was very apologetic and sweet on the phone – but the bottom line was that she didn’t like the plot at all. Now, I could argue with her and try to defend my story, but at the same time I appreciate her skill and can therefore see that she has a valid point. Plus, I would prefer that she finds the issues and points them out to me rather than that reviewers tear me to shreds once the story gets published. So, as depressing as it feels at the moment, I’m tossing an entire book (though I may be able to save the first chapter and a bit from the middle) and starting fresh. I’ve spent the weekend writing a new plot outline which I will present to my editor before I start writing again. During this process, I decided to go back to basics and look at how to create plot structure from an inciting moment to various stages of attempted solutions and complications that eventually lead to the hero’s/heroine’s dark moment and the final climax. This is the simple stuff that ought to come naturally, but sometimes a little refreshing can help clarify issues and help tighten the story.
The point here is that I have always found writing to be an ongoing learning experience.
Sometimes, I get so lost in my ideas and characters and the direction in which I see them moving that I forget the simplest aspects of storytelling. In those moments, it’s good to take a step back and recognize that mistakes have been made.
Now that I see what those mistakes are, it’s time to fix them, because at the end of the day, the most important thing for me is to deliver a wonderful experience to my readers – an experience that fulfills the promise I’ve made to them with all of my previous books – the one that tells them what sort of adventure I’m about to take them on the moment they sit down and read my story.
Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of Design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing. When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast. Social Links: Website FB Twitter - @BarnesSophie Blogger Goodreads Amazon Pinterest