Go Back to Your Perfect Book

Don’t forget your list of criteria from Lesson 1! It’s very possible you will see right away where the gaps in “translation” are, but if not, then your Perfect Book list will help you remember what you’re aiming for. In turn, that will help you come up with solutions for how to fix things.

Think of your Perfect Book as a compass throughout revisions.

Remember my example from Screechers in Lesson 1? I recently reread that book, and I could immediately see where things broke down. In that newsletter (which is for paid subscribers; I apologize), I described both what was broken—my big plot, character, setting, and beyond problems—as well as offer some solutions to fix.

Here’s one example:

  • I know I don’t like some of the world building. It has some dystopian elements that no longer jibe with the sweeping, moving epic fantasy I see in my Perfect Book. Worse, some of those elements end feeling colonialist, which is definitely not my story to tell!
  • So how did I decide to fix that? I came up with a new arrangement in the world that had nothing to do with “outlanders arriving to help and then never leaving” and instead with a complex cultural and political arrangement across several cities in the same nation.
  • That change also took the book from skewing more YA in tone and content to more adult epic fantasy.