I'm a day late on this... erm... sorry about that.
I am facing an edit on something that has been edited too many times already... there are things I wish I'd never done than need undoing, but also things I did that desperately NEED doing, so going through side by side copies is a little rough. Not only that, but there are a few NEW things I really feel like I need to work in (query sent last Friday notwithstanding).
So what are the BIG things?
I wrote this originally in 3rd person (3 points of view) then for the ABNA changed ONE of those to first person (my main character, the ghost, Helen). Then my agent thought I should just stick to ONE PoV.
On rereading... I don't like it in first person. This rose out of a debate I ran into on a NaNoWriMo discussion thread on Facebook... and my OWN freaking answer of all the dumb things:
“Depends: is this a character who would narrate their own story?”
Look at that. Aren't I smart?
The trouble is HELEN IS NOT. She is timid like crazy—disoriented when she has to face the world as it is in 2012 compared to the one she died in in1962... She would not be TELLING her story in so direct away. Never mind that most YA is first person. It doesn't work for Helen.
|Everyone has a different part of the story|
Allan is a teacher. I GET why I was advised to drop him, though I am going to have to read carefully because I think there is a lot of information that is much clunkier, but no less necessary to the story, if HE isn't there to learn stuff.
Serena on the other hand... she is arguable the best part of my ABNA version... dropping her was a mistake. I am NOT going to stick to one PoV. So there. I will have to think about Allan. But Serena is in... and I'm thinking I may add the PoV of one of the bad guys. A lot of work, but I think getting some scenes from a bully would be interesting. Also... when Serena was in the first time, she could SEE Helen... later versions she could NOT... I think THIS change was good, so I can't just add her scenes back in. I will need to rewrite.
Big Subplot Clarity
I have some illegal clinical trials going on here... but I think the book needs another iteration of me clarifying this for YA language, rather than “works in research” language. I think it may go over some heads. Though this was on an earlier list, so maybe I got it... I haven't faced this book since 2012.
My BIGGEST Thing though...
I really need to give Helen a bit more spark, and unlike MOST of my MCs, humor is a pretty small part of it. She is dead, timid, and living in a home for juvenile delinquents... The humor a tougher or more cynical character might find in the situation is not hers. But timid, on its own, isn't all that compelling. I need to find her point of connection. I think maybe it's her humanity, in spite of being dead and all... but how do I make the reader feel that?
How about you guys? You ever face a book after YEARS? One that had had MANY iterations? (the latest on this says 12). Any tricks you want to share? Successes? Lessons learned?