What was missing?
Plot is the essence of any story. Essential to a substantive plot is quality characters set in a place where conflict lurks. They should reach out and yank readers into the pages of their journey from the first word to the last.
A good plot begs readers to cheer, offer advice, weep, or complain out loud about the decision making process of the characters.
"Why didn't you ________ .
Couldn't you see __________ coming?
Now look at the mess you're in!"
The result? Readers stay up way past their bedtime turning one page ofter another.
Perhaps this will help:
This summer, my husband set piles of weathered treated wood, tools, cement mix, wheelbarrow, screws, and etc. in our backyard. While he had everything he needed to build the deck sorted, it wasn't the final product. Quality products and their needed tools are like great characters and their lines, the former is not a deck, and the later is not a story.
While assembling the deck, my husband had problems with pieces not coming together properly and other hair raising issues. Once he worked out the problems, the deck came together. So also our characters must face difficulties presented in a logical, sequential order which build to a major climax and calms to some resolution.
To add essence to your plot, check to make sure your story continually moves forward.
Things to watch for:
1. Has any sub plot taken over the story?
2. Do exciting distractions prevent your character from returning to the main journey?
3. Does the climax build like a rolling thunder storm in the distance looming
close until it crashes down?
4. Should anything be modified to enhance the plot:
a. first person instead of third person, etc.
b. story told from a different character's point of view
c. starting the story later or earlier.
Review your plot.
How could you enhance the essence of your plot to cause
an editor to want your current manuscript?