As I was sitting on the sofa reading about the kick ass nuns a thought bubbled to the mental surface: You know? You really need to add that scene you’ve been toying with. You won’t get any sleep until you do.
I wasn’t too surprised. Edits are never final.
Not even when the thing goes to press.
Ask any author.
With a sigh I shot myself a text I would see in the morning telling me to add the scene – along with the part of the story I felt made the most sense.
Then I finished reading the article.
This morning as I sat drinking my second doppio I decided to finish Mirror,. An interesting thing happened.
As I went about adding the scene, which I figured would take a paragraph at most, I found that I felt connected to my characters in a way that had been eluding me.
Every book is different and I empathize with characters to a different degree.
I’d known something was missing – the way you taste a sauce and ponder which spice might need to be added. Hint – and this comes from my doctoral side – it’s probably SALT!!!!!!
Salt makes spicy food absorb heat spices – like cayenne pepper – better. It’s also crucial to human health – an electrolyte critical to muscle function and cellular communication. Ahhh, but I digress.
The response was so positive I decided to add another scene I’d been toying with. Another interesting thing happened.
As I considered how to connect the scenes – which come toward the end of the book – I continued moving forward – tweaking as I went.
The more I tweaked, the more I connected with my characters.
I realized there was a familiarity to the whole process. I’d been in that spot before, though not often. A quick rifle through the hippocampus gave me the answer.
I well remember being stuck at the window, a scene where I saw the characters but had no idea what they were doing there. Oh, the awkwardness between the two I got – I just didn’t know how to express what they were thinking or feeling – yet.
Because I hadn’t truly connected to my characters beyond surface depth!
A sense of peace came over me because not only did I understand the situation, I knew what I had to do next.
If I released the book today, I would be proud of my work. However, armed with the knowledge if not the understanding I now have, I believe I can improve the story that much more.
Because I understand my characters in a way I hadn’t.
So, after a short music break, I will have another go at the story – from the beginning.
And as there is no tension, it will be not work so much as joy as I experience the book through characters I now have a better understanding of.
There is a secondary benefit to this. By going back through the story from beginning to end I can identify any typos like single quotes that should be double quotes before handing it off to the beta reader.
I can also allow the other stories in the queue to brew on the back burner of the muse’s stove.