My WIP’s Third Revision
Preparing for Beta Readers (2)
And I’ve kind of lost a little momentum on getting ready for Beta Readers. I’m not sure I will have my WIP where I want it by Thanksgiving.
My Trusted Reader asked me to print my WIP out for her because she didn’t take very many notes while she was reading it. I’m hoping to hear from her soon.
What Have I Been Doing?
I reworked the openings to each of my 96 scenes. Early on, as writers, we establish a contract with readers. And one of those clauses is a promise to help them when we first start a scene. So, what are those things? Tell them who the POV is, where they are, how much time has passed, and what they want.
I’ve been on Scribophile for over a year and a half, and I’ve seen so many writers fight this idea. Somehow, they think they are writing to a formula, or giving everything away. They think they are being clever, but, what they are, is lazy. If they can’t do any better than making people guess who the POV is, the rest of their story will fail.
And, maybe the most important of those four things is what the POV’s scene goal is. If we are clear on that, then the reader will be able to tell when the POV is getting into trouble, and sympathize with them as they struggle, and ultimately fail.
After all, isn’t the entire story a series of failures leading up to the Climax?
So, What’s Next?
I will keep chipping away until my Trusted Reader gets back to me. But I’m afraid to go too far, for fear she will come back and tell me I need to change things I’ve already fixed.
My next trick will be to look at my chapters, and figure out the flow in chapters with multiple scenes. I’m not talking about grouping by POV, subject, or time span, because I’ve already done that.
What I’m interested in, now, is the pacing. All of my scenes had a tipping point. Sometimes, immediately after the tipping point, I cut the scene off and went into the next one. Other times, I lowered the tension and energy levels before going on. But…I didn’t look to see what that did to the story. So, it’s time to fix that.
If my Trusted Reader still hasn’t gotten back to me, then I will go into each scene and braid each character’s words and actions back together.