Today's To-do List

Saturday, May 29, 2010





Bane of my existence manuscript printed out?

Check and check.

Will be editing today. Then off to beta-readers/crit partners for read-thru and finally (FINALLY!!) re-submission.

I've been thinking of my next couple. Just the individual characters, not the story yet. That will come, but I think Hunter of the Heart has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that starting and running with the plot without sufficient depth given to the H/h is an approach to writing that is fraught with frustration for *me*. :-P

Will check in later.

Oh wait! I've been meaning to do this for awhile. I had the original ms on my laptop, but was working on my revisions on the netbook and could just never be arsed enough to take the necessary steps to post the following examples.

One of the many (many, many) things *I wanted* to tackle with this revision was word craft. The first rough (half finished) draft of this ms was written back in 2002, after which I put it aside and it languished on the hard drive. Fast forward 6-7 years and my writing has changed/improved.

Now i did clean up the writing when I first submitted it to my (then) editor last year, but when she passed on it with a list of reasons why--none of which were the writing, btw--and the invitation to resubmit if I decided to do the revisions, well, I took the opportunity to further reworked/polish the wordage as well.

To wit, let's compare the first paragraphs. The 2002 original:

Death, piercing and sharp ripped through the night. Frenzied howls that called to the blood.
He raced deeper into the dark embrace of the forest, his passage sending the other creatures of the natural world and of the night, scurrying for safety. The lover scrabbled down the steep gully wall, claws scratching through the debris of life that carpeted the ground. Paws sliding over the decaying leaves that covered, in a final lullaby, the bones of the forgotten and the weak.
Cal! Where are you? Again the agonized howl of his beloved rent the air.
Belinda, I am here. His mind reach out to hers, entwined her pain in his love and strength, shielding her from his desperation. He should have never left her alone.
With muscles coiled he bounded over the rotting cadaver of a fallen oak, and powered his way up the opposite slope.

Ugh. (I picked purple font for a reason... )

That was not the version I sent to my editor!! Neither is the one that follows, but what I sent her was closer to this current version:

The wolf paused on his way back to camp, ears pricked, snout raised. A solitary owl repeated its query, while small rodent rustled through the undergrowth in quick darts and stops.

At first he parsed out the usual forest scents, the various prey and their spore, the sweet damp musk of rotting vegetation and the bitter green tang of the new, but there was something else here… something faint and unfamiliar that almost blended with the rest—

A sudden string of howls destroyed his musing.

Nate sprang forward, racing deeper into the forest. He scrabbled down a steep ravine, claws gouging the earth, paws sliding over the bones of the weak and forgotten.

Again the agonized howls tore through the air, each one more frantic till the sudden break-ending of the last ratcheted the terror strumming though his veins. He reached out telepathically—

‘Beth, hold on! I’m coming.’

Still needs some work but miles better. There's 147 words in the first version excerpt and 148 words in the current excerpted version, but the current feels less dense/easier to read than the first version. Now multiply what I did with those few paragraphs by 140 pages, nevermind the editor suggested revisions, etc. Fun times.

I'm off to edit. Will check in later with my progress.
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vanessa jaye said...

Said I'd check in, didn't I? I'm not finished the edits. I still had to deal with the usual weekend stuff (groceries, housework,etc) plus had a nasty bout with a migraine this morning.

I thought I would just be looking mainly for typos, but surprisingly there's still a bit of cutting/deleting, fleshing-out going on. :-P I've gone through about 70 pages on the hard copy and inputted approximately 40 pages worth of changes into the computer copy.

Another surprising thing, so far, the story isn't as lacking as I'd feared. I like it. This week is going to be a nightmare at work. I don't even want to think about it or it'll probably trigger another migraine/stress headache. So not sure how much editing I'll get done during the week. I'll check in again.

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