Wrestling With Revisions

Wrestling with Revisions

Sometimes when revising with an editor, you can run into conflicts.

I’ve been almost stalling on my current section of revisions: my editor suggested that I turn a background romance into a full-blown subplot. I’ve been fighting it and I don’t know why: I like the character, I like the concept.

Why Am I Pushing Back?

  • Maybe it’s too much work.
    • My internal editor is just being lazy on how to integrate this new plot point.
  • Maybe it’s just not the story I’m trying to tell.
    • I could be struggling with integrating it because it’s the wrong story and the romance features should stay in the background or get cut entirely.
  • Maybe it isn’t the story I’m trying to tell – but maybe it’s a BETTER ONE!

Asking For Help

I couldn’t figure it out, so I asked for help. I asked my YA support group and my alpha reader if they had any ideas.

That’s when J. in my support group reminded me, “a subplot that can be cut or ignored without affecting the main plot shouldn’t be there.”

It hit me like a brick in the face.

My editor was trying to make the elements I’d presented her with WORK-she wasn’t trying to make it a different story.

Subplot Uses

I need to make sure that the romance element is doing something. It needs to forward the plot, it needs to forward my main character’s internal growth.

Ways to use a subplot:

  • Forward the external plot
    • The love interest character(s) always forwarded the external plot, but the romance itself didn’t effect much
  • Forward the main character’s emotional growth
    • She opens up, but there should be more. It should help her overcome something in her head, some hang up of hers.
  • Provide motivation for the secondary character

Now What?

  • Follow the suggestion
    • Do I bring the character back?
  • Fix the weak point, but do it a different way
    • Do I make my main character angst over the love interest more?
  • Ignore the suggestion
    • That doesn’t matter, because I’ve made the scene work for me in other ways
  • Something else?

I’ll be over here staring at my revision draft.


What revision suggestions have you struggled with? Did you end up going with the suggestions?


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