As I’ve worked my way through the first round of revisions with my editor at Cedar Fort Publishing, I’ve gained a deeper understanding about editing that I’m excited to share about today!
Even though I had traded my Middle Grade adventure manuscript, TREASURE AT LURE LAKE, with dozens of critique partners previously (whom I adore and am forever grateful to), I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of many of the edits from my editor. I’ll call them thematic revisions.
While she suggested smaller changes such as wording or expounding on internal thoughts and motivation etc… the thematic revisions she suggested have taken me to a whole new level as a writer. I liken these thematic revisions to a piece of thread that needs to be pulled all the way through a tapestry, winding and weaving it from the beginning to the end of the story so that the thread is a meaningful part of the whole.
For example, halfway through my manuscript, a small scene about the mother of the boys in my story prompted my editor to make a note that I could develop her more by enhancing her tendency to be overprotective. This might seem like a simple suggestion, but it was one that forced me to go back to the beginning of my manuscript to see where I could weave this thread in. Adding it throughout not only strengthened her character, but made the climax more powerful.
Another thread had to do with the treasure map that Bryce finds in the very first scene of the book. The map needed to have more significance—a stronger hook—that would draw the reader through the story.
When you’re revising your own manuscript, look for characters, themes or maybe even an object that you can wind through in significant ways to add more colorful threads and strengthen your book. Often, one hook to a story is not enough. Sometimes the setting can be a hook, or a character, or a unique problem, etc… but the more threads you add, the more irresistible your book will be.
I’ve also heard it said that you don’t know what your book is about until you’ve gotten to the end of it. When you do, take a look at the themes you’ve ended with. Then, go back to the beginning to weave those threads in whether it is through foreshadowing, characterization, deepening internalization or other techniques.
I hope these ideas offer you some guidance and help as you go through your revisions!
Thank you for reading, and thank you, Tanya, for inviting me today!
Happy Writing and feel free to visit me on my blog at http://sharischwarz.com or on Twitter @csschwarz
Shari Schwarz is a mom of four boys and the author of the upcoming, TREASURE AT LURE LAKE, out April 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing.