Adjusting the Flow
I’m hip deep in editing/revising part three and I found a new challenge: story flow.
To paraphrase Frank Herbert (bastardize really), the story must flow.
No, I haven’t just discovered that magical pace where the story clips along (or doesn’t), but this is the first time the Point of View characters are not all in the same place.
Part 1 is mostly Connor doing his thing, with an occasional other POV thrown in to get into another character’s head. Part 2 is similar, except the other POVs are becoming more equal to Connor, in terms of importance. The character journeys here are similar enough that the rolling climaxes and pauses in action worked to maintain the overall story flow.
Part 3 sends all three POV characters to different parts of the world, so their stories don’t directly intersect and their journeys are very different. One is trying to unravel the mystery, one is trying to survive, and one is going mad. During my revision, I realized that the variances in story caused interruptions in the story flow. When one character is building to a climax, another’s rising action sucked the energy from the story. The funny thing is, each POV reads fine if read on its own.
So, today I set about reshuffling the chapters to improve the pacing of the overall novel. It turned out pulling back one POV’s story to happen sooner solves the issue. Essentially, now one POV’s story arc comes to a head in a lull, instead of all three climaxes overlapping.
This new flow is much better, and hopefully will keep up a breathless pace for the reader.