Monday, May 25, 2015

Writing and Re-Writing

Memorial Day. No school. No work. So naturally, a sinus infection decided to grace me with its presence. With the family at Universal, I decided to use my free day to get some writing done. I wrote all of one page and thought, Well, this sucks. Every single word was boring. Tedious.

I gave up on writing for the afternoon. Maybe I just needed to rest. But then I came across this while scrolling through Twitter.

I've read it before. It made sense then. It made even more sense today. Readers don't need a list of what's happening. They need to feel what's happening. With that in mind, I went back to my manuscript. My MC, Ellie, is flying through space on her way to a distant moon.

This -

She didn't care much for the stars anyway. There was too much blackness out there. The pinpoints of light made it worse.

Became this -

Ellie's skin itched every time she looked at the stars. The sharp pinpricks of light stretched through the blackness, ready to scratch those daring enough to gaze upon them. 

And as much as she hated the stars, she longed for the trees that would soon come into view. The words needed to illustrate her relief. So this -

Ginormous trees raced beneath them, a forest fifteen stories tall and strong enough to support an entire city in its branches. 

Became this -

Just when Ellie couldn't stand it any longer, the shuttle broke through the moon's atmosphere and the trees came into view. Roofs, walkways, and pipes jutted from the treetops, where the city lay nestled fifteen stories in the air. The emerald leaves were the size of blankets, and Ellie wanted to wrap herself in one. She smiled because she knew it was possible.

It's not perfect yet. It's only a rough draft after all. But if I can remember to delve more into the feeling of the scene, I'll know I'm moving in the right direction.


mshatch said...

Ooh, I like the changes! I think I'll go read that article!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I absolutely love the paragraph that describes Ellie's first glimpse of the trees! It is a great improvement over the original description. Very vivid!

But I also prefer your original: "She didn't care much for the stars anyway. There was too much blackness out there. The pinpoints of light made it worse." It lets me into her head more than the replacement. It's about her, whereas the replacement is about the stars. Just my two cents ...

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