It goes to show how out of touch with blogging I've been lately that three favorite literary bloggers are collaborating over at the Literary Lab and I completely failed to notice until now. Truly pathetic.
However, I believe my round of close edits is strengthening the book, and I'm only about a third of the way through. There's still a few extremely hard scenes left to tackle; the very last conversation between my hero and my heroine before the end of the book, for one.
Meanwhile, I am ferreting out all the spandrels in my book. These are scenes which I originally included because I had to. You know, I had to logically explain how Person A arrived at Place B and how it connected to Plotline C, but beyond that, it wasn't much fun. The scene was boring but functional. Beta readers didn't always complain about these dull scenes, because it was obviously necessary to keep the roof from falling down on the plot, but no one danced the jitterbug of Oh-Wow-I-Love-This-Part over these scenes either.
My goal is to change all that. My goal is to make these spandrels included on the Highlights of the Cathedral tour, to turn them into panda's thumbs, or even ballistic missiles. I want to take them from being dull but functional to riveting and critical.
One of the marks of a truly good book, I think, is when as a reader you honestly can't tell the functional from the facinating scenes, the veggies from the dessert. Every scene serves a nutritious plot function, and every scene also delivers delicious plot frosting.