I have to admit that I dreaded grappling with the revisions of this story. Normally, when I do revisions, I go through a manuscript page by page and insert stuff as I go along. I tried this with THE BRIDE PRIZE this morning, then gave up and did some other work because it was all so very depressing.
By early afternoon, I knew I had to do a mind map in order to get a grip of the story, but abandoned that shortly after posting the entry before this one (because it was all so very depressing *sob*).
About an hour ago, I finally put on my big-girl-pants and sat down and just did it: mind-mapping the story as it is. Afterwards, I put off the inevitable (i.e., reading my editor’s suggestions very, very carefully) (this bit is always such a torment – at least for me – because you have to face up to the fact that parts of your story are less than splendid and you have to be brutally honest to yourself in order to get rid of these parts) and added the first layer of colour: some blue and red bubbles to indicate hero/heroine’s POV. And finally, I tackled the problem areas (I used a pretty purple pen* to make this bit slightly less painful) (* a promo pen from Valerie Bowman): I worked with my editor’s suggestions and noted down on the mind map where improvements are needed. Luckily, Bev gave me some really brilliant suggestions, so it really wasn’t as painful as I had feared.
One of the main problems with this story is that it lacks conflict. I knew that while I was still writing it and I worried that it bit be just a bit bland because the romance runs so very smoothly, but I just couldn’t figure out a way out to change that. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to have a content editor whom you trust and who understands your stories: you need that second pair of eyes. You need somebody whom you trust to be honest about the strength and weaknesses of your story; somebody who understands your way of telling a story enough to make suggestions that will really improve your story, while still being true to yourself and your storytelling.
In this respect, I have been very, very lucky indeed: I had this with Chris Keeslar, my editor at Dorchester, and I have it now with Bev Katz Rosenbaum, my editor of my indie books. She was actually the first content editor I picked, and I feel so very blessed to have found her!