Getting the Groove Back

Okay, so plenty of you figured I probably went too far when I did the last round of edits on my manuscript, and that’s how I took a lot of the humor and vitality out of it. At the same time, the story can’t be bogged down in character development and witty banter about nothing, so I have a lot to consider here in fixing this up.

First, how do you go about putting the pizzazz back IN to a piece? I’m something of an expert at cutting right now; I can remove and minimize stuff in nothing flat. But I have a harder time figuring out what to put back. And more importantly, HOW to put it back in.

Not that I have time for this right now. I still, as of this writing, have not been green-lighted for the new round of non-fiction work. I think I’m in, but don’t know for sure. My agent will hopefully tell me.

But until I do have firm, concrete stuff to work on, I want to figure out how to bring this, my first full-fledged novel from scratch, back to life. I have my story map, and know what needs to happen when, but I don’t know how to put the vitality and vigor back in my characters.

The story itself is pretty straightforward; I’m not sure I’m settled on the difference between “plot” and “story” but that’s another discussion.

For now, what do you recommend? How should I go about bring this back from the dead? IS it dead?

Sound off, y’all, both writers AND readers. I want to hear your thoughts.


Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved


5 thoughts on “Getting the Groove Back

  1. Here’s one idea: If you’ve got the plot nailed down you may want to scratch out a separate “character” sheet for each of the three main characters. First put down stuff you’d like the reader to know about the character and then stuff you’d like the character to learn. Then order those points and look at your main plot stuff and see where you can fit in each discovery about the character. Then sit down and say to yourself “I have a scene where X needs to happen (Plot). How can I write dialog or actions such that the reader learns Y about JD, too?”

    Oooh, now THERE’S an idea. Thanks, Bryce! I like points and stuff. 🙂

  2. I would start re-writing some bits from scratch. I can’t think of an easy way to re-introduce atmospheric elements into the text while maintaining a good flow, except for starting over. But that’s just me.

    Interesting choice, Spark. I don’t know without having it open in front of me what needs to be done again. So it looks like the thing to do is open it up and just… start reading it. Then, re-writing places that still suck, but I think I dogged most of them.

    • That’s what I was going to suggest, Red. I find it fairly easy to re-write once the scene is laid out, but very difficult to fix the flow after some hard editing.

  3. Yes, I too would suggest reading it, setting it aside and then writing. Or can you rewrite a scene from another angle? Or continue the scene a few more beats? Or put a scene in a different location?

    Read it have a notepad nearby to jot down any ideas. Or have Darcs read it and give you ideas.

    Don’t give up!

    🙂 Thank you! Just what I needed to hear. I can do it!

  4. I like Bryce’s idea. I like lists, and maps, and guides. It’s nice to see “this is what I want to accomplish” and then “this is how I want to execute the idea” all clearly laid out.

    Yeah, it is. It was a really good idea, actually. 🙂

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