Writing is a journey, not a destination.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Commence 3rd Draft

As promised, I figured out the YouTube address for the funny post from Jennifer Allee's site. That's Jennifer Allee of Vinnie's Diner and The Pastor's Wife fame.

TT: I really need to figure out how other bloggers post those nifty video frames, but I remain clueless.


I've been assured this video is funnier than the last one I posted. Be sure to read around the highlighted sentences on her "hate page." Four minutes. Totally worth it.

On with the post.

Silly me assumed finishing the second draft would bring a sense of completion. It didn't.
Tightening sloppy sentences brought an acute awareness of worthless words. "Now (about 250 removed)." "That (about 300 removed or sentences rewritten)." "For that matter (Where did that phrase come from? Said 3 times by 3 different characters. Crazy)."

I have yet to search "I think" or "realize." You may notice I've dropped the word count almost 1K just doing this. Talk about tedious dulldom. Oh well. Writing ain't all root beer and daisies. Or white fish and chips. Or nachos and artichoke dip. Oi, I need breakfast.

During this rush to crush, I have experienced a few moments of trepidation about losing my "voice." In my headlong word cutting frenzy, am I sterilizing my prose? Out of fear, once I've finished with the next two "find and replaces," I'll send the full mss out to my test readers and let them guide me on what goes next.

I'm hesitant to cut plot until forced to do so.

I also find myself in the unusual position of uncertainty about what to plant. Not on FV, dear readers, but within my story.

When a writer drops hints about things important in later chapters, it's called a plant. If you do it right, the reader doesn't notice a thing until the thing gets put into play. It becomes a brilliant move or an "of course, why didn't I think of that?" moment and the story moves on. If you do it wrong, you may as well post a giant blinking neon sign over the hint: "warning: this item will resurface at exactly the right moment to save/screw the hero."

I have a few tricks (a very few) up my sleeve, but I don't know how much finesse is necessary to avoid the feeling of contrivance. Even worse, I don't seem to remember to plant them while I'm digging around those scenes anyway.

My subconscious often knows what it's doing even when I don't. This leads me to believe I should leave things "as is." The two folks who read the first draft didn't complain, and one of them is a real...hmm, what word am I willing to publish? Stickler when it comes to cheating. It's good to have one of those in your writer's survival pack.

TT: You're wondering if it's you, right? Yeah, it is. You know who you are.

So the Nanoo-Nanoo November writing thing is on hold until I'm happier with Elementals. On with 3rd draft revisions.


  1. please go ahead and send your revised story in text, I so need a good story!

  2. On its way. I'm done with editing for now.


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