Monday, February 2, 2015
Preparing for Revision: Checking a Novel’s Emotional Arc
Last week, I finished the first draft of book 2 in the MOONHILL series. I fast wrote it and it’s a crappy as heck. Fortunately, I love revising and am dying to dive in. But the general notes I’d made as I drafted led me to believe that the emotional arc of the story was most likely off. Namely, I didn’t think there was enough kissing and sex, and I wasn’t sure if the flow of the main character’s emotions worked or not.
Below are the revision notes I took while drafting.
So, I first updated my barebones chapter-by-chapter outline. Then I took that outline and listed the emotions experienced by the main character and her love interest as they happened. I highlighted specific emotions I was concerned about so I could see how they flowed and where gaps were. I also highlighted where romantic scenes happened. The truth is, once I pushed all the other elements of the novel out of my mind and focused only on the emotions, it quickly became easier to spot where things were off and think up solutions. So the yellow highlights are changes I noted as I outlined the story’s emotional arc.
Here’s what the emotion outline looks like:
Now it’s time to light my new jasmine candle and start revising!