Ah, that moment when the subject matter experts return the draft, and you stare at the unopened emails, taking a deep breath…
When 3 out of 4 say in different way but with the same meaning “You didn’t show this; you need to tied up that plot thread with a scene to explain”… well, then, I have a missing chapter.
So first I enter all the corrections I agree with, or sit back and think about “It’s not that I’m precisely wrong in what happened, as I failed to foreshadow that the character was mistaken, and then underscore their realization, so how do I do that?”
And then, having fixed everything else, use that to define the shape of the hole that still has to be filled in, and the things that are in there. Sort of outlining the story so far, to figure out structurally what goes there. (See? I do plot! When stuck. But only the things I’ve already written.)
And then, with a half a clue and a lot of winging it, I get stuck in…
Only to realize this is going to be at least two chapters.
Think brain, think! There’s beta readers waiting impatiently! Make with the words!
There’s post beta readers (charlie readers?) waiting to read it too, but no pressure… 🙂
Living this right now.
Ironically the major PoV surgery didn’t turn out to be that bad. The actions were more or less fixed, the issue was having to rewrite the entire section from consistent points of view, and get the key parts of both points of view in without also hopping between heads like a schizophrenic squirrel on crack.
However, adding a pair of events to tell the audience that the prior stuff was intentional? Wow that has been hard.
I think of myself not as Beta (yick), but as a Bravo reader who works vanishingly cheap and fast.
How ’bout a Betta reader? Angry, but glorious!
Hey! I worked with him at the Honolulu Palladium in ’32! Good ol’ Moe Betta!
watch out: or watch your inbox.
I’ve known to haul out the Heroes Journey and see if my complete draft has any resemblance at all. Not that I expect complete or even partial correlation, but as tool to see why a story’s a bit flat, it’s pretty good.
I use a plot skeletons to ensure there’s something in the middle.
Three chapters…minimum… 😉
Working on chapter 4 of the missing chapter now…