Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Plot issues never take a holiday

At least in my head.

My characters don't really care what's going on in my life or the "real world" around them, so lately, wading into the deep waters of the mucky middle of my revise, I'm stressed. I sat for two hours last night listening to my computer read my ms to me, on high alert for tension and sufficient foreshadowing, all the while worrying—Does anyone care? Is there enough romance? Enough spookiness? Or too much? Is my MC proactive enough?

Argghhh. I'm probably due for some intensive crits, but I want to untangle all the threads as best I can first.

Elana Johnson had a fabulous post on the Querytracker blog once about how to approach the daunting revise, which helped me loads.

I just stumbled across another post from Janice Hardy about how to push your characters to make hard choices. Thanks to Deb Salisbury for that cool link! This sparked an idea for me, so let's see how it goes...

Anyway, I'd love to hear from people. Any advice you have for working out plot kinks; either links to other blogs or your own thoughts are welcome. Thanks!

In other news:
Christine Fonseca is holding a comment contest on her blog in honor of the one year anniversary of her blog! (and pssstt...she has another one as well). Christine is an energizer bunny of a woman, writing, working, parenting and I often find myself wondering if she is a cyborg. Anyway, visit her and join the fun!


  1. Thanks for the shout out -- again.

    And Angela on the The Bookshelf Muse blog just had a great post about throwing your characters under the bus. I think it was on tension and stakes and stuff. It was great.

  2. Thanks, E. I'll check that out. I love that blog!

  3. I was going to suggest checking out Angela's blog, too - she's brilliant. Also, I would check out Roni at Fiction Groupie. Both are truly informative and helpful sites for writer's craft issues.

    Thanks for all the great links! :)

  4. Hey LIsa...Thanks so much for the shout out!!! And yeah, I have a lot on my plate at all times...It's just how I roll :D

  5. Thanks, Shannon. I love Roni's blog!

    You're welcome, Christine. You rock!

  6. Great post. I have to talk it out with someone sometimes and hearing myself say things out loud seems to help a lot!

  7. Thanks, Nisa. Listening to the "speech" command on my computer helps, but it drives me nuts when the voice pronounces "hmmmm" like H M M!!! :)

  8. I once read that an author had his friends read his book out loud like a play. They sat around and each acted a part. One was the narrator, another the MC and so on. The author sat aside taking notes. When the group stumbled on a scene he knew he had to fix it. How cool would that be? If only I could get my friends to stop their busy schedules and do it. I could hold them at gun point. Is that illegal? LOL

  9. Thanks, Cole.

    Thanks for that Brenda! I love that idea. Yeah..finding victims—I mean helpers—for that could be tough. But what I have been doing is having my the speech function on Word read to me. I wish it had a more natural voice! Lately I find myself talking like "Vicki" (that's the voice I chose). She says "please" like "pleece?".

    Live humans would rock. Maybe I should hire some out of work actors? Any volunteers in the New York area? I'll buy you a bottle of wine?

  10. Great links here to inspiring help from others who have been there.

    Me? I'm still such a newbie green writer, I wish I could offer you some pearls of wisdom about plot points. "Keep trying" and "You can do it!"'s that? :) And in trying, you will find you most definitely can.