Distance, Time, and the Much Needed Perspective They Bring


Many of my followers are writers, and this post is mostly for you, though the advice enclosed within can be used for life in general.

I had once thought that my first book The Sword and Shield was complete.  That I could go no further with it, without the help of a professional editor.  It turns out, what I really needed was time away from the Work in Progress to gain some much-needed perspective.

An editor at Tor so graciously spent some time giving advice about ways that I could improve my book.  One of her comments was that it was too top-heavy.  By that, she meant that I had spent considerable time describing characters and places that were not mentioned again later in the book.  She said it messed with the pace of the book.

For the longest time, I had no idea how to resolve this issue.  The characters I had illustrated early in the book were more a reflection of who Ezra, the main character, was as a person rather than their own entities.  They were an important insight into the kind of man he was, and I could not bear to be parted with them.

I know the advice to ‘Kill Your Darlings’ (deleting scenes/characters you love) is important but in this case, the ‘darlings’ in question are vital for character development.

At least a month after that distressing advice I found my answer.  I am in the process of adding a scene, spanning at least two chapters which will tie in the characters presented in the beginning.  I’m hoping this helps, not just with the flow, but also with making the characters feel like they’re more relevant to the storyline.

For everyone who isn’t a writer and is wondering how this applies to them: if you have a problem, take a step back from it.  Ignore it.  Go so far as to forget about it.  More often than not, the solution will come to you when you’re not even trying.  At least, it did for me.  Thank God.

Bye for now!

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