I took the week off from blogging last week because there was the holiday and then I went to visit my parents. Now I’m back to a “normal” work schedule, trying to get back to a regular routine after deadlines and travel.
It’s been more than a month since I even looked at the book I was working on before I had to switch gears and work on revisions. That made it pretty obvious the parts I needed to fix. I already had a feeling what the problem would be when I listened to my playlist/soundtrack for this book as I drove back from my parents’ house and realized that the first half of it was songs relating to the opening of the book. It’s nearly a two-hour drive, and I’d barely reached anything representing the main action by the time I got home.
Sure enough, when I was re-reading it this morning I saw that the story didn’t really kick in until about chapter five or six (aside from the inciting incident at the end of chapter one — there was way too much transition from there to the main action). At first, the scenes that seemed unnecessary didn’t look that long, just a few paragraphs, and those also worked for worldbuilding. Then I did a word count and realized that we were talking about a couple of pages each time (for my first draft, I don’t have it set up to show me pages). And the worldbuilding was for the part of the world the heroine’s leaving, so it was all unnecessary for the reader understanding the story.
So, the first thing to do on this round is cut all that stuff. Then I need to figure out what really needs to be happening to move the story forward. I love the part of the world the heroine’s from and I wouldn’t mind living there, but that’s not what the story’s about. It’s about her leaving that comfort zone and going to a place that’s more challenging to her. I can always write short pieces set in her home area later, but that’s not what this book is about.