Tag Archives: middle

Wish for The End

Make a Wish
Ideals, dreams, and wishes are not just for children

It’s been almost four months since I started writing my next novel, an anti-romance.

During this time, I’ve spent almost a month in the middle slogging through the difficult challenges and complications that culminate in the story’s climax.

I’m moving through the last 100 pages, eager to reach the denouncement, yet intuitively knowing there must be one last plot twist before the story wraps up and everyone lives unhappily ever after (since it’s an anti-romance).

What I’ve discovered so far is that dreams and wishes plague our psyche, both individually and as a culture. Those dreams and wishes, once thwarted, lead us to make decisions out of desperation to save what we cannot bear to lose — our illusions of whatever it is that will make us happy and fulfilled human beings.

Writing an anti-romance, while wonderfully pragmatic, challenges me to uncover the ways in which we unconsciously live out our desires to the detriment of ourselves and the ones we love the most.

I’m looking forward to that final plot twist and that unhappy ending, which may not be as unhappy as I originally envisioned. Only 25,000 more words will tell.

And the Verdict Is. . .

Gavel

I’ve been receiving a lot of e-mails wondering what the beta-readers of my crime novel thought and what I did to address their concerns before starting the quest to find an agent.

The preliminary screening was eye-opening. Things I thought were problems were rated as “brilliant” and other areas I thought were perfect came back with “confusing.”

Overall, here’s the run down:

1. Setting – Full of rich and accurate detail. At times this detail is too much. A lot of it can be shorted in some places to make the 80,000 word count.

2. Characters – Well developed and interesting. The Little Indian Girl, in particular, is especially intriguing. Not sure if anti-hero is the right word, but it was a lot like reading about someone you should hate but end up deeply caring about, which was delightfully surprising.

3. Plot – Moves along quite nicely with excellent twists; complicated without being convoluted.

4. Point of View – Too much head hopping at first. Couldn’t tell who was speaking. After Chapter 5, the rotating point of view within each chapter makes sense. Need to clarify the transitions earlier so the reader doesn’t get so lost, he puts the book down.

5. Dialogue – Adding tag words or key phrases to each character might help differentiate who is speaking. Suggest hiring an actor who will read just the dialogue aloud. Listen to see what you can do to tweak each person’s lines so each voice is unique. *This is why I ended up reading the entire book aloud. The final edit required a third party dialogue only reading, which provided the fine-tuning needed.

6. Scenes – Very well constructed. Sometimes too much detail (see #1).

7. Voice – Narrator does a good job of allowing the characters to tell their own story.

8. Beginning – Very confusing. So much is going on with too many people (see #4).

9. Middle – Steadily builds while increasing tension.

10. Ending – Unexpected but completely makes sense. Ties up all the loose ends while leaving a window open for something more.

Rewriting with this feedback helped shape the final product.


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