I got notes on my manuscript from my insightful agent recently. As usual, she’s right on and I wind up wondering why I didn’t see the things she mentions in the first place.
One sticky part, where a character I love makes a choice I hate. The agent also thought it was a section that needed work – but not for the same reasons I had.
Which left me trying to answer a really good question about the character’s motivations.
I cogitated. I drafted. I daydreamed. Nothing felt right. I couldn’t see it the way I could see the end of the book – and that meant that the writing wouldn’t be as good.
So I took a small turn into crazyland and asked the character the burning question. Just to see what she had to say about it.
Me: “Okay, so why did you do this?”
Character: “I didn’t.”
Me: “No, but you did. See? It’s right here, on this page. You did.”
Her: “You must think I’m an idiot.”
Me: “Of course n…”
Her: “I’d never do that.”
Me (slightly frantic): “But you have to.”
Me (glad to plead my case): “Well, otherwise this huge section of the book doesn’t work. See? It’s a really long section. It’s all depending on you.”
Her: “Huh. Then I guess you have a lot of rewriting to do.”
Yep. Guess I do at that.