The storyline that I'm currently revising (which, yes, is the third and final one, meaning that someday I'll actually be done with this revision pass) had some problems in the previous draft, obviously. I had planned out the changes I wanted to make, and I'm working on executing that plan.
What's amazed me since starting this storyline is just how many small and yet hugely significant improvements to the plan have surfaced in the process of writing. I've been injecting a lot of extra conflict into scenes, for example, and that seems to be working, because it's pretty much always more interesting when a story has more conflict, right?
The narrator of this storyline is the one I understood the least well, and readers of the previous draft had the most issues with him. I was intending to make him more likable, though I wasn't sure I could succeed. Instead, I think I'm making him less likable, but more interesting, and I hope that means readers will be eager to read about him even if they can't sympathize with the things he does. And I'm getting a much better handle on what makes him tick.
I could attribute this flood of brilliant ideas to various factors, but an important one is that I've now been writing for longer than I had when I started the previous storyline. Or the one before. The further I get through this revision, the more experienced I become as a writer. That's pretty cool.
That also creates a bit of an issue, which attentive readers may have already spotted. The chapters I revised at the beginning of this process are inevitably not going to be anywhere near as good as the last ones I work on. Yeah, I know. I've always known that problem would exist, and there's no real way around it.
I'll deal with that later. For now, I'm going to continue being pleased by how good this novel is getting.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ At The Millions, Edan Lepucki offers advice on handling transitions in a story: "It's often these micro-level mechanics that slow a writer down, make her feel like she's oiling the rusty joints of robots rather than conjuring and exploring the lives of real people with meaningful problems."