Monday, April 21, 2008

Reading our old stuff

Happy Monday,

This last weekend I was working on revisions for a Novel manuscript I wrote two years ago. I have someone who wants to see it when I have it reworked so I have spent a good deal of my down time working on that project. I am working in a new subplot which means mapping all the scenes and rebuilding the new subplot around the story line that already exists.

As I read through this work I realized how much I'd grown as a writer in the last two years. The scenes that I'd felt were full of heart stopping emotion...now fell flat. The places where the characters reveal little bits about themselves...well, I was embarrassed that anyone had ever seen this before.

BUT the encouraging part was that I was now recognizing these problems in my writing and I'd learned enough to correct them. I'd like to encourage you to pull one of your old manuscripts off your shelf and look at it. See if you see any sentences like this:

“Dreama, you are such an incredible woman. I am the happiest when I am with you.” ...He spoke in to the flames again feeling confident enough to speak full volume. “You make me want to be more than I am. I want to be someone you could be proud of.”

YUCK!!!

I wrote that in a suspense novel. Even I rolled my eyes at this horrible bit of TELLING in my own book.

So do any of you have funny lines that you've found in edits? [Your own work only, please. I want us to embarrass no one but ourselves.]

And if you read this, how would you edit it using showing verses telling?

Just so you all know I am editing this scene. In fact, it is likely I'm going to slice this whole overly sentimental bit out of the manuscript all together.

So lets start this week with a laugh and a look at craft. Post some of your funny lines in the comments, or share how you'd edit the one above.

I have to go now, obviously I have some editing to do.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter



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Pammer said...

Hey girl, that is sparkling prose compared to the "thing" I sent in to an editor the first time (blush). Everthing was told, head-hopping galore. I mean I went from the heroine's head to the hero's and anyone else's that might be passing by. Sigh.

In a recent bumble, I was on a roll and couldn't remember the last name of a secondary character. I didn't want to lose momentum by stopping to look for it, so I typed Cantremeberthename as the last name, fully intending to edit it before I sent it out. . .only I forgot. I sent it in like that!!! I got a rejection but not because of that. The writing still needed work.
I was keeping my first draft ever sent in to a publisher for posterity, but you know, tonight I think I will take down to the brush fire and toss it in. :) Let go of the past, right? I've already rewritten the story and added suspense and took ou the headhopping.

For your paragraph: "Dreama, you're incredible." He stared into the fire not daring to look at her face until this was said. "You make me strive to be a person you can be proud of."

Hmmm. I think that one might need more help than the one you started with, lol. :)

Great post.

Pammer