Thursday, September 13, 2012

Massaging a Storyline

What replotting looks like inside my head.

I finished the second round of edits on Eva last night. I celebrated for a few minutes, then got to work on the scientist storyline problem. I needed to create some major proof to satisfy some very demanding scientific research companies, and the story as it stood didn't come close to making those companies happy.

But that was okay. I had a solution. It was typed out in outline form over a month ago after the first read, when I recognized the flaw in the story's logic. It was a great solution. In fact, it was so amazing that modern science hasn't even caught up with it. Which meant, sadly, it was no good for this novel. I'm not writing a futuristic sci-fi. My character has already performed a spectacular scientific feat. To have her make two amazing scientific leaps in one novel was one too many.

Back to the drawing board. The outline was cast aside. I was back to bullet points, each bullet representing a possible way to make the story work. My goal was ten plot possibilities that could get me out of my current trap. I made it to #9 before I hit upon my new strategy. It took an hour, and I felt physically drained from the mental strain.

This morning, I translated my new idea back into outline form. That took another hour of massaging the new plot points to work with the current story. The end result:
  • one new scene will have to be written
  • two to five original scenes will need to be edited and rewritten to incorporate this idea
  • the epilog will need a few more paragraphs of explanation to help the read draw all the twists together
But, the best news: I'm happy with it. The scientific research companies are happy. A few secondary characters get a little more page time, and the story doesn't require the reader to make the extraordinary suspension of belief the previous faulty plot line did. Now to implement those changes. Wish me luck!


Cody said...

You don't need luck!

Rebecca Chastain said...

True. I need a lot of patience. :)