An observation about world building…

I know I haven’t been around for a while and there are lots of reasons for that:  kids, vacations, cleaning, and yes, rewriting.  I sent my book out to three beta readers and they gave me great feedback.  As with any criticism, I really look hard at all of it, even the stuff where my first instinct is to say “NO!!!”  I’ve found, however, that sometimes the criticism I hate hearing the most has merit.  That’s not to say I change things exactly how someone might suggest, but I might change them in a different way that still addresses the problem at the root of the critique.  And that is what I’ve been doing for the past month or so.  It took a lot of time just thinking about what to change and what not to change — which is how I approach rewriting.  I might spend weeks, or even a month, just thinking about possibilities.  I run them through my head and examine all the consequences.  I’ve found that if I do it this way, it actually takes less time to rewrite in the end.

One thing that has particularly stood out to me in this round of revisions is how much more depth gets added to my story every time I do a rewrite.  The characters evolve, more emotion comes out, and descriptions get more visual.  But perhaps the biggest thing I’ve noticed this time is that the world I’ve created has gotten so much more three-dimensional.  Every little detail adds so much.  And most of the time they’re not even big things.  A sentence here or a comment there can add enough to indicate an entirely untold aspect of the world.  When I go back and read through some of these I get so excited because the world feels so real. 

My plan is to fininsh up the big parts of the rewrite today.  Then I’m going to send the biggest part back to a few of the betas and see what they think.  During that time I’ll work on some of the little things I need to polish up.  Then it’s time to polish the query and start sending it out again.  I’ll keep you updated, but wish me luck.

3 thoughts on “An observation about world building…

  1. DITTO DITTO DITTO!!! Everything thing you said. That first instinct of “What??? Change this? Take this out? What??? No friggin way that scene is brilliant!” and then you think long and hard about it, give it a try re-read and realize, “Holy crap. It’s soooo much better!” I swear, I owe so much to my BETA readers. Their advice has been so solid and right on (with ALMOST everything).

    Anyway, glad to hear you are doing okay and I hope revisions continue to prove successful for you!


  2. Love what you said about the little things. I’m reminded of a story (don’t remember where I heard this) where a writer was told by her editor or agent that a particular character just wasn’t working for her and she should try to write something else. The writer thought about this, then changed one word that MC said – one word!- and the agent came back saying that she loved the story now!!

    And yes, I have that happen to me often where a beta will suggest something and I’ll go WHAT??? the good thing, once you’ve done revisions like 3-4 times, you get fewer of those responses. 🙂

    Good luck with the revisions.


  3. Good luck with your work!

    I know what you mean. I’m on the 1st draft of my novel, but I’ve learned that too. If you add just the right detail in the right places its magical how certain characters and certain places really come to life. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! 🙂


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