Let me outline the problem for you. There’s a rhythm to writing, especially writing dialog. It goes: dialog, reaction, dialog, business beat. Or something like that, it varies, of course. When I’m writing dialog or just scenes in general, everything flows. Everything is organic and natural, because I’m inside each character’s head and what they’re saying or doing is what they’re really saying or doing. If that makes any sense.
Now, I go back to the scene later, during an editing pass. I am told I have to put in some lines of dialog to expand the character or to just insert a plot point or seed for later development. So I get in character, I write the new dialog and drop it in and…it feels like I dropped a stone in the pond. Not a small stone and not in a good way. The flow of: dialog, reaction, dialog, physical business (or whatever) is broken by this lump of new dialog. It throws the rythum off.
So, I try to rewrite the scene from scratch, incorporating all the changes I want/need as well as what was there the first time. It doesn’t work. The scene changes, the characters react differently and what I had before, that worked, is gone. What I end up with feels like a muddled mess, artificial and glaring. Now the scenes before and after the new scene don’t blend in together.
I try to stich those bookend scenes into the newly-written scene. Which goes right back to the problem I outlined in the second paragraph above: the newly-inserted content sticks out.
Grr. THIS is one of the things I hate most about editing. This is what frelled Angel Odyssey, re-writing and stitching and finally the beast at the end has a body but no heart anymore. I loved that story and I edited it to death. Can’t even look at it anymore.
I sure hope the editing class has a way of dealing with this. Because I’m tired of killing my books on the operating table.