Plot Problems

Finished editing Sugar Shack yesterday. Read it through and made those minor changes. It took about eight hours but was worth it. As my own editor on this project, I have got to see both the small details (which is what I worked on yesterday) and the big picture. The only way for me to get the big picture is to read my ms. in one sitting.

There are so many things I love about this book. But there are big picture problems I need to fix. Most of the plot is fine but the sisters’ relationship goes up and down so much I kind of get lost in it. I have to fix it but I’m not sure how. Also, it seems like there’s soooo much going on. Yes, it’s a single title with three povs and three story threads but even so, it feels cluttered.

So what I would like to do is sharpen the conflict between the sisters and have it escalate to a point where the reader wonders how the relationship will ever be repaired. Right now they just bicker then call yet another truce. As for the clutter, I’m not sure what to do. It would require scraping a plot point or two…what can I get rid of and still keep the essence of the story? Should I pare it down to two povs? Also, when there’s a lot of action cluttering the scenes, it usually means I don’t go deep enough into character.

So I need to cut some non-essential plot turns and maybe a pov while also deepening pov where necessary. And finally, I’m sorry to say, this bums me out more than anything else, the ending is a let down. It’s really quiet and lovely but it’s not enough. It doesn’t wholly satisfy the way a great ending should. The only way I can figure out to fix that is to change the story from women’s fiction to romance or swap out the primary pov. Or– thinking as I type here–maybe taking the story down to two povs is the answer to all these problems.    

I still need to type in the edits so as I go I will just work on the plot problems at the same time. I am determined to get this story where I want it. Some parts are so good. I just need to make all of it good.

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