Monday, September 19, 2016

Plot Holes? Just dig around.

Dear Kim,

Another great session with agent-extraordinaire, Carrie Howland is in the books! (Literally.)
Did you love the radial plotting exercise as much as I did?

Mapping out Killer: A Love Story from the explosive climax outward gave me so much to think about. Adding to all of the AH-HAHs from my trusty plot map, I had an equally jaw dropping moment recently when Meg dug around my story and uncovered a major hole.

That's me.
And Ernesto.
And Meg.
We spent some time digging in the sand, but way more muscle was given to digging around our stories.

Meg was on residency at the Foundation. (I talk about the honor here.) Our group met daily to share pages we'd worked on during the retreat. Meg took home (well, to her cabin) several pages a night to review for us. One night she discovered the biggest hole in my manuscript. Like GRAND CANYON hole. Like, HOW-IN-THE-WORLD-COULD-I-MISS-THIS-HOLE, hole.

Since the retreat I've been working on filling in and smoothing out my story. I can't thank Meg enough for her help. The rewrite makes me love Addi and Miles and Brandon even more.

(It should be noted that Addi and Miles and Brandon are not real people, like those in the picture above. Addi, Miles, and Brandon are imaginary people that take up residence in my brain and occupy my latest story. Which would sound insane to most, but I know you get me.)

Kim, Sometimes we are so close to our own stories. Those imaginary people become our very real work each day. We fill each page with sentences and each sentence with carefully sifted out words. We sift the sand. We build the book, grain by grain. It is up close and personal work.

Thankfully I had someone from a distance take a look. Meg helped me dig in and find the missing pieces. Now the story is stronger. It is what I meant to write all along.

I've included the new opening here. Can't wait for you to read the entire rewrite.

Onward with our shovels.
Keep digging.