Okay, so I've been working on edits for SURRENDER (a Possession novel, coming next summer. Did you like that seamless plug? Ha!), and I've been learning more about writing in the process.
First, let me just say that every book has it's own process for drafting, revising, and editing. I didn't draft Surrender the same way I drafted Possession. I didn't revise it the same, and I'm learning that I'm not editing it the same either.
This whole writing thing is an interesting beast.
Second, I've learned some things about editing (and my process) during this round of work on Surrender that I thought I'd share. There are three areas, and because I'm a huge fan of the short blog post, I'm going to break this up into three posts.
Up today: the relationships in your manuscript.
Relationships between teenagers can be volatile, fiercely loyal, and very intense. I seem to be able to do this with people who like each other but aren't supposed to. Everything else, uhhhh, needs some work.
So during this round of edits, I'm really exploring the relationships between my characters. Are they friends? Good friends? Best friends? Do they like each other at all? Why or why not?
I've realized that the relationship between people shapes and dictates everything in the novel. The thoughts the MC has. The conversations people have with each other. Another's perspective of a relationship.
It's been eye-opening. Maybe you already know this. I think, way down deep in the recesses of my head, I knew it. But it hadn't translated onto the pages of my manuscript.
So I'm working on strengthening and further defining the relationships in my novel, and then using them to guide the dialogue and action.
It's a lot of work, as anyone who's revised a novel knows. If I changed one aspect of the relationship on page 6, everything beyond that changes. How the MC feels, what they might say, what they might think/not think, etc.
But I shall prevail! And my book will be better for it.
Have you realized how important the relationships are in your novels? Do they shape everything else?