Monday, February 09, 2009

Bridge to Nowhere

Book: The Shifting Tide by Anne Perry
Song: Something to be Proud Of by Montgomery Gentry

This last week I got crits back from my crit girls on Engineered Engagement. And you know what? They don't let me get away with ANYTHING!

A major logic flaw was uncovered. How did he KNOW she had the plans? How did he KNOW she was hiding her identity? Hmmm...

Thanks to the crit girls, I realized I needed to add an entire scene, a plausible scene, to explain how the villain knew the stuff he knew later in the book.

But, alas, I was up against the word count...AGAIN! Heartsong Presents Romance has a tight word count of no more than 50K words. I had 49, 884. Can't write an entire scene in only 116 words. Something would have to go.

Because I've been reading Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham (Highly recommend) I decided to have a look at the individual scenes in Engineered Engagement to see which ones were vital to the story, and which one I could cut. I had a gut feeling which one was going to have to go, but figured I'd make sure.

I was right. There was one scene, smack in the middle of the story, that was a bridge to nowhere. It neither advanced the plot, nor gave the reader any new information. It was just in there because...well, because I liked it. :) Nothing wrong with liking a scene. In fact, I would suggest if you don't like a scene it needs some work or it should go, but if the only merit you can find for a scene's existence is that you like it, then it needs to be x'd out.

I removed the scene (saved it to its own document in case I can use it in another work somewhere) and voila! I had 1600 new words to play with.

That's the task for today. Write the new scene with the right people in the right place for the right purpose. No more building bridges to nowhere. :)


  1. Now I'm curious which scene got the ol' heave-ho.

  2. Awesome post, Erica. Well done.

  3. I am amazed at how much you fine tune and tweak your stories. Can't wait to see this book in print (-:

  4. G, it was the scene where E and J are at the boatyard together and E doesn't know it's J.