So I have a book that I have been working on for about a year and a half. It just came back from the editor and she made an observaiton that the format might be better for the story if I blended two chapters into one. The problem I am having is that one chapter is from the view point of a war and the other chapter is from the view point of the otherside, I have tried to bounce back and forth between the two but am having trouble. Any suggestions?
What reasons did your editor give for the blend? Also, what specific issues were you having with "bouncing back and forth between the two?"
If they are describing the same events, this would seem to make bouncing back and forth a workable suggestion if you let your bounces be dictated by the shifts in the tension in your plot. For example, whichever side is in the more tense situation should narrate that section of the plot, however this example might misunderstand your question which is why I asked to clarify.
My gut says your editor is asking you to either eliminate redundancy or pick up the pace of the plot. Also ask yourself what is the most important elements of plot and character development in the two chapters and let your mind leave behind the two chapters you've already written. Perhaps stewing on the plot and character development again will help you conceive of a new way to tell this part of your story.
I'll leave off for now since I'm still curious about the answers to the questions I asked you up front.
I am guessing you need to combine the chapters to create a sort of global dialog between the two points of view. Contrast and compare. It is hard to voice too much of an opinion without knowing a little more. Are there personalities involved, or just historical characters? Any family or other personal conflicts you can use to make analogies? Business difficulties that have arised because of the war? Good luck!
The bouncing back and forth is troublsome to me because the two chapters, though completely intertwined, are completely seperate. There is no interaction between the two subjects until the last chapter when everything is blended.
There is some repeating of story but only for the effect of the reader knowing exactly where they are time wise to the the events from the previous chapter.
It might be easier then I am making it out to be. I have a habit of making things harder then they have to be.
Try this: Make one chapter nothing but dialogue between characters. Very little description or narrative at all. This will tighten up the story considerablly. I did this with my very first book when I felt I needed to add more action. You will still end up with two chapters, but one will probably be only a page or two. Terrific for a subplot.
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