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Flawed – a crater in the plot

Nung, Song, Sam - plot
Nung, Song, Sam

My novel, Dead Man Floating, was beta-read by a good friend who commented on the plot.

Following those comments I made significant changes. I removed a sub plot, losing 26,000 words, and edited the entire novel to remove any references to said plot. So far, so good.

I trialled altering point of view; included the scenes under the MC’s viewpoint; reverted to the original POV’s; erased other scenes but kept to the original plot to fit.  It involved rewriting, cutting and pasting, moving scenes to an earlier or later chapter, and so on. I read, and reread, each draft, tweaking the story to fit the new outline.

It was time to send out chapters to my critique partners on Scribophile. Great feedback, errors and a few inconsistencies noted, and each chapter edited again. Some comments, I didn’t agree with. That’s okay.

I posted chapters 9, 10 and 11. Before I received my first critique, I spotted a glaring error. A major character appeared in a scene before he had been introduced later in the chapter. Uh oh! His role at this point was minor and easy to cut out. So, the chapter continued.

On to chapter 11. A policeman reviewer pointed out that if A happened, then B couldn’t exist. My plot fell into a sinkhole.

What did I do? Panic. Wouldn’t you?

After a few days, leaving the plot and the disaster to ferment in my angst-ridden imagination, I managed to return to my paper and pen. Perhaps it wasn’t the disaster I had visualised.

I used the problem as a header then a sub-title ‘Possible Resolutions’. The subsequent list produced an answer I could use without losing the integrity of the remaining plot. Now, to return to the WIP and rewrite.

Again, I will need to alter story facts by cutting and pasting, and dropping the relevant information into other scenes and chapters. Edit, tweak, edit, tweak.

Fingers crossed, it will work.

Published inWriting

2 Comments

  1. Isn’t it amazing how often we read a piece of our own writing over and over and are blind to what is an obvious error? Well done you on finding some reliable and meticulous beta readers, they’re worth their weight in any precious metal. It all sounds intriguing, I’m looking forward to reading the new novel.

    And then, there’s the power of the subconscious. Trust it, and lo, in the fullness of time it gives up the goods: marvellous.

    • Lynda Kirby Lynda Kirby

      I know. It’s why editors are worth paying. As part of my editing, I have deleted an entire chapter. Although it was a great scene, I decided it didn’t develop the story or
      the characters. Tough.

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