At the end of last month, I met with Alida, my writing coach and editor. She asked if my “rewrites” involved editing or rewriting. Confused, she clarified.
“Are you rewriting chapters?”
“Not really. I’m attempting to improve them by eliminating passive words and avoid telling.”
“Who represents your protagonist (main character) and antagonist (apposing character)?
“Alex, the surfer, is my protagonist and Donna, the marine biologist, is my antagonist.”
“How many chapters are devoted to each one’s point of view (POV)?”
“Oh, about fifty, fifty.”
“That won’t work. Your protagonist needs to represent a majority of the chapters.”
In discussing why, Alida used Moriarty, the criminal mastermind and apposing character in the Sherlock Holmes novels. The reader learns about Moriarty not from his POV, but from Sherlock’s POV.
Absorbing the correctness of her argument, I nodded and stated, “Well, I told you I would finish my rewrite by the end of August, but that’s not going to happen.”
This month, as I rewrote and combined chapters, Alida’s advice resonated. The first book began to come together. In making numerous changes, I believe the narrative flows better.
Before our meeting ended, I had one last question. “Will the next two books in the trilogy take as long as this one?”
Simply smiling, she answered, “No.”
I sensed she knew I had to struggle learning various writing techniques. Once incorporated, the process should proceed faster.