When we were working on Summer Lights, both Daiva and Erica uncovered many, many missing scenes. The ones that Erica requested were all romantic ones. I’m supposed to be writing romantic fantasy. Where the heck were my heart-throbbing romantic scenes? Summer Lights, like Spring Song, has two couples, and Erica insisted that I could not overlook one couple just because I’m focusing on the other one. She even pointed out exactly where those scenes would fit. This was SO helpful. Looking back, those became some of my favourite scenes in Summer Lights.
Daiva, too, has an uncanny knack for uncovering all my missing scenes. Since there were many in Summer Lights, I was hoping I’d learned my lesson and there wouldn’t be as many In Fall Lanterns. Dead wrong. Apparently, I learned nothing. Daiva’s been pointing out where all the missing scenes need to be. SO MANY I lost count. Here’s Daiva telling us what that’s all about.
Daiva: Sometimes I will suggest adding a missing scene,,,
1. If a character suddenly starts to act oddly compared to how they acted in the last scene they were in. Characters need to change bit by bit for their growth (character arc) to be plausible and believable to the reader..
2. when there’s a large time gap between the action. Your story, like everything in real life, cannot have empty time. It’s full of characters and events. Even if we don’t see everything on page, something is happening. When I mention this, asking what this character did all this time, the author will give me a very interesting scene told in one sentence. This helps to set up a scene.
We need to see how your MC comes to this point in time. You can’t make characters jump from one place to another without any explanation - unless you’re writing spec fic where someone can actually teleport, but even then you need to establish this power and how it works, with some rules that make this plausible.
3. when I know the genre/subgenre requirements and the author is not meeting them, I will suggest adding more tension, romantic moments, intense scenes which readers actually would like to read about, and a character’s backstory to allow the reader to understand their motivation
Me: Yes, and sometimes I forget about important side-characters. I don’t know how you keep track…wait, you keep track with that table of chapters/scenes/characters that you build as you are doing the dev ed, no? That’s how you keep an eye on the bigger picture?
D: Not really. They live in my mind palace, but Rebecca asked the same questions when I work on her novel so I simply started to construct this table, so the author also can benefit from this overall view.
Me: Well, thank goodness for that. When you make me move scenes around, I get a bit disoriented. Heck, even when I’m writing, I lose track of days, like what’s happening when. So, it’s been really helpful to have that overall view, and have you point out when something should be happening and point me to exactly where a scene belongs. You’re a life-saver, D!