Today I am procrastinating (and hoping that writing this will stir me to get out there and write. Fear. That every time I sit down, nothing will happen. Or that what does happen won't work and I won't know how to fix it.
I can never seem to see what or why something is wrong. And I guess I mean 'wrong' in terms of an editor reading it, being highly critical and judgemental which is their job. It doesn't seem enough to connect directly with kids. You have to second guess editors first.
I do know my main fault - I am always way too nice to my characters. I never raise the stakes enough. Kristi Holl's notes on tension have been so useful, but ultimately I have to tackle this one, step by step. Today I plan to start outlining. I have done my 15 scenes that EG recommends - in fact I think I have 18 or 19, so no lack of story. The outline needs to explore the story in more depth, but also to explore the characters and their relationships and how and why they do things. Motivation is not strong enough in many cases, and credibility and engagement lose impact.
I find it so hard to specify where a scene starts and ends. I know it's because I don't write in that way, especially in first person, yet maybe that is what I have to do - delineate what is a scene and what isn't. It might fix pacing problems for a start, stop me from dribbling on and on.
OK, now I feel sufficiently guilty for sitting here instead of being at my writing table, so I will go and try to get started.