I hit a snag on Lesson Thirteen of How To Revise Your Novel.
I knew it was coming, but I put it out of my mind. Now, however, the monsters of conflict and resolution are in my face.
If your plot is not as robust as it should be, it shows up in conflict and resolution tracking. It’s not like I haven’t known this all along. By the time I finished the draft, I knew it, but I gave the novel to my beta readers anyway. And, when they finished reading, they confirmed it for me. They didn’t know what I wanted them to know because I didn’t tell them.
Seems like an obvious error anyone paying attention to their writing would not make, right? As it turns out, it happens frequently. Most of the time, first novels get mangled this way but, according to my research, even experienced professionals trot their plot off into word-land and the plot is rarely seen again.
After discussing my dilemma with writer friends and forum buddies, it comes down to this; I was not clear about the bad guys in the novel. I created a rough outline of their motivations, but I never fleshed it out, so I couldn’t torment my characters with tricky roadblocks and unexpected disasters. Although my characters aren’t always clear about who their enemies are and why they do what they do, I have the omniscient view. I have to know everything.
Someone on the forum suggested I do a brief plot outline for the villains. Duh, why didn’t I think of that?
So, in spite of work, Christmas, and distractions of every type, I continue. I will fix this problem. I will NOT write this novel again.
Besides, I have an idea for another book.