Thursday, November 19, 2009

Final Edit

I wrote this in my last revision and boy, I really like it.

As I sat in that little room watching her, listening to her, I felt an overwhelming urge to yell at her, to shake some sense into her, to hurt her for having put me through the last two years for her own uncertainty. The anger subsided and instead I sat and listened to her talk on about the problems that her mother’s decision had created in her life. At the time she left I knew she was suffering, but now, listening to her talk about her feelings over the last two years, I realized that the emotional storm that I saw when we first broke up had not been a tsunami that washed gently away. Madison’s anger had been like a Seattle rain, slow, ever-present, rarely gone for long. Eventually she did cry, but just a single tear, and that she wiped away quickly before she stiffened again; typical Madison.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Description of Wheeler

Though the reader never meets Wheeler while alive, I like the way I've tried to make him a fully fleshed out character. This is the first description of Wheeler's style that the reader gets.

Physically, Wheeler was one of the least gifted athletes I knew. The first time I saw him run I was astounded that someone with hips so wide and soft could possibly be a competitive athlete, he looked like a duck trying to waddle faster than nature intended. Though he might run like a bowling ball, that inelegance gave him momentum and kinetic energy that could beat racers with more athletic potential. He eschewed training and instead he treated everyday as if he was in his last race, as if death was following close behind him.

Opening Paragraph

Since I am not presently mailing the manuscript out, I'm going to post some lines from Toe the Line and my thoughts on them.


The line at the airport snack stand was too long and slow in moving so I turned around without getting the drink I wanted. Although I had plenty of time before the flight, waiting in an inhospitable line is not a way I like to spend my afternoon, or even thirty minutes of that afternoon. I walked with little purpose back toward my gate and looked up and saw Wheeler as he lay on the cheap, grey carpet, his head resting on his backpack. A small group of people looked down at him, their expressions worried expressions and confused. I thought absently of meerkats in Africa sticking their heads up above their burrows in search of predators.

I am still not thrilled with this opening. I think there is a chance of immediately losing the reader...but isn't that a chance that you face with anything? I hope at least that what I'm describing is something most people can relate to and read with a feeling of empathy. I wanted to be more descriptive, but felt being too descriptive bogged down the action of the first bit, and that would have been even worse. Strangely, I've always felt the meerkats analogy was silly, but when I read it as a part of the edit I liked it, so there it stays.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another Edit

Well, I'm re-editing my novel, Toe the Line. After the agent from Atlanta sent back and edited version of my first three chapters, and the other agent from ICM passed on it, I've decided to go ahead and completely re-edit the entire work, reading it this time as I would a mass market mystery. I'm on chapter 4 right now and I have some thoughts.

First, the edit with Roger took out too much. The text moves to quickly. I find that I need to slow down and explain a bit more to the reader. So I'm trying to take my time a bit more.

Secondly, too much dialogue. I'm an advocate of show don't tell, but I think I've taken it too far. I show way too much. I'm finding that I am writing more telling in an effort to keep the readers mind in the story. I think it's better.

Lastly, and this is truly disapointing, I'm finding I am not impressed at all. If I was an agent that got this, I wouldn't buy it. So, note for future edits, PRINT THE WHOLE DAMN THING OUT AND READ IT AS A WHOLE. I've read that countless times, and I tried to do it, but in the future, it simply must be done. My edits and the corrections I am making are ten times better when I read it as if I was sitting down to read a mystery, and just make the corrections as they come.

More later.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Been a While

Been quite a while since the last post, but that is due primarily to the fact that very little has happened regarding my being published. Been on hiatus as bit while Kate Lee reviewed my manuscript. Sadly, just this week, she got back to me with a "no."

I have about fifty agents left on my list. I'm thinking of pressing the pause button, reading my entire manuscript and make minor (or major if need be) changes, prior to trying these next fifty agents. This means however that I won't be able to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

What with Lana's pregnancy, my decaying employement status, Muzzie's memoir, now this re-edit, I don't know if I can spare the time.

I'll update more later.