As you know. I have struggled the last few months trying to add emotion to my current MS. The one that I am going to be sending back to the publisher that rejected and asked for revisions.
While I was just adding some internal thought the edits were going well. I got to chapter 17 and began to think that what I had been doing was not enough. I talked to the editor, researched adding emotion, read articles and lectures and blog posts all over the web and tried to wrap my head around the "adding emotion" concept.
The more I read, the more confused I became. The more I tried to insert the ideas and change what I had written, the harder it was to even formulate a coherent thought in regards to the MS. In frustration I closed the laptop and didn't go back for almost TWO WEEKS while my brain tried to decompress.
One thing that frustrated me was I felt that the emotion I had added even if it was in exposition was sufficent for the character.
After the two weeks I went back to the LT and restarted what I had been doing at CH 17 out of desperation and finished that type of edit. When I was done I sat back and felt oddly satisfied. Without hesitation I sent the MS to the editor that is helping me and explained the enormous block that had occured and that I had done as much as I could.
A week later I was sufing some random blogs and ran across a post about not being able to change the manuscript to the specs that the crit group wanted. The reason eventually came out after much contemplation the soul/subconscious rejected the changes because they were not right for the story.
I paused and stared at the screen. Was that why I had so much trouble with what I was trying to do? Were the changes just plain wrong for this story?
Part of the frustration was that the SAME character in the second book has plenty of emotions after changing his life around. And the apparent lack of emotions in the first book seem to fit the current chatracters state of mind and the "feel" of the book. The "new" emotions in the second book seem to reflect the changes that happen to the main character in between books #1 and 2.
As I have thought about it over the last few days I know that this is what the problem was. The lack of emotion in the first book reflects part of the "theme" of the book. The emergence of emotion in the second book also completes the move from lack of, to experincing emotion in the second book.
What frustrates me most is that it wasn't untill after many weeks of self inflicted torture. Then sending off the MS w/o knowing why it had bothered me so much, that I found out why. So in hindsight, whether I knew why or not at least I followed my gut and did what I should have for the better good of the story.