Deep Well of Final Revision

Oh, dear. I’ve reached the dreaded center of my novel, the deep well of the middle. While writing the first and second draft, I struggled with chapters ten through thirteen. They are filled with necessary information, but I had a horrid time keeping everything in the present, showing not telling. And now, in final revision, I’m still unhappy with these chapters.

The problem is, I don’t like the plan I made when I was writing out my revision scene cards, and I don’t like my outline. My novel bogs down in the middle. It’s as simple as that. I feel as though I’m pushing a boulder up a hill with a straight pin, and I’m not sure what to do next.

Part of me wants to plunge on ahead, following the scene cards in spite of my reservations. Another part of me wants to combine the chapters, skimming off a bit of each scene, melding what remains into something tight and clear. Yet another side of my whirling mind says go back, do all three chapters over, from scratch.

I won’t do over, but I may combine the scenes into two chapters instead of three. All that’s necessary is a better outline.  After all, three chapters of crossing the universe in an escape boat the size of a school is more than my  stalwart characters can endure.  It’s certainly driving me nuts; I hate to think what it’s doing to them. I don’t even want to think what my beta readers would say about this.

Keeping the story moving, focusing on immediacy and intensity, will get my heroes to their destination with their lives and my sanity in tact.


5 thoughts on “Deep Well of Final Revision”

  1. My advice: Do what you know in your heart that you need to do, no matter how hard or much work. You’ll feel better afterwards, proud of yourself, the most important person you need to impress. Push forward, my Heroine!

  2. *lowers rope down well, then shouts down*
    Tie it round your waist. Then tug if you want to be pulled out! 😀

    You can always do each alternative. Totally blow your middle up and replan (and rewrite if it seems to work); and you can keep going too.

    Faced with alternatives like that I’m increasingly going with both. I choose the one which seems to pull me most, I go with it. It soon becomes apparent if it isn’t working. Then I go back to what I was doing – or stay with the new way.

    Most importantly for me, I’m learning all the time. Go with your heart. If it feels right, do it! 🙂
    Go you!

  3. Hi Dawn. Thanks for reading. I’ve done the middle, and I did all four chapters quickly. I reallized the problem (?) was the chapters take place in one confined location. There is no way to change this since these folks are traveling through space. So, I worked hard to keep it moving. It worked ok. In any case, I’m moving on. Now, I’m over half way through final rev on the novel! How are you doing on your work?

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