books, fantasy, horror, science fiction, Vampires, writing

Out, Out, Damned Words!

UPDATE: I’ve put up a new page with the chapter in question. You can find it under the Fiction tab, labeled “Revenants Abroad.”

After consulting with my beta reader/editor (aka GypsyScarlett)  I’m cutting the first two chapters from the vampire novel and going back to the original opener, which had become Chapter Three. I feel much better. The two lately deceased chapters were mostly backstory that I can fill in in bits and pieces later when, and if, necessary. This shaves something like 5000 words off the book, which is good as it was getting a little long. I’ve saved them to a separate file, so I’ve got it to fall back on if I need something for consistency. But I discovered it’s a whole lot less painful to cut chunks out than I thought it would be.

Chapter One had some kind of fun bits to it, but Chapter Two was particularly weak. I think my problem (ok, ONE problem) is transitions. I write a lot of crap to fill in the timeline in my mind, but the story doesn’t actually need all of it.  I’m wondering if I should toss Chapter One up on the site here, ’cause I really did like some of it. I dunno, maybe I’ll fiddle with it a little more.


17 thoughts on “Out, Out, Damned Words!”

  1. I for one, would love to read chapter one. Let me know if you just want me to read it for fun, or if you’re interested in comments re: what parts are worth working into the rest of the MS


    1. It sure WAS fun! Who was it that said a to be a good writer, you need to learn to kill a lot of your darlings? There’s good stuff in Chapter 1 – if nothing else, I hope you’ll keep it in your “spare parts” file. When it becomes a bestseller and your publisher sn clamoring for a sequel or a series, you’ll be glad you saved it.

      p.s. If not Goran Visnjic, how ’bout Adrien Brody?


  2. Thank you! 🙂 I am definitely saving it in my ‘deleted material’ file. Never know what could be useful.

    RE: Adrien Brody: NO NO NO. Can’t stand that guy. Something about him just creeps me out, and not in a good way.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any actors I could see as Andrej. I’ve got a couple in mind for some of the other characters, though. Not that it’s ever going to be an issue, but it helps me create the character if I have someone in mind as a model. (I do have someone I see in my mind as Andrej, but he’s not an actor)


  3. Aw, thanks you guys 🙂 Ok, I’ve put it up online under the Fiction tab at the top. You should see a new one, “Revenants Abroad – Chapter One”


    1. Hey, I like the new format. It has a bold, shameless, almost tabloid qualities, if the tabloids would use their powers for good.


  4. Yeah, it’s not my favorite theme, but I wanted one that had the drop-down menus. This was the first one I ran across. And I prefer serif fonts like this. It’s likely to change again when I have time to sift through the themes again 😉


  5. “But I discovered it’s a whole lot less painful to cut chunks out than I thought it would be.”

    Cutting is actually my favorite part, believe it or not. Once the manu is done, I love going through it and chopping. It’s like sculpting. I like Pascal’s quote about something has reached perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Anyway, that’s how i look at the final editing process.

    Thanks so much for giving me the honor of beta-ing!

    And yes- always keep copies of old drafts!


    1. I spent a good bit of time yesterday editing, and man, some of the stuff I wrote in there… well you know what they say about first drafts! 🙂 I guess I wrote a lot of it just to get the thoughts out of my head, but reading back over it now… well you can imagine LOL


    2. What a great way of looking at it! If it’s OK w/you, Gypsy, I’m going to borrow the idea of “sculpting” when I talk to my occasional “overwriters” – most college kids want to rush thru the process, and pad an underwritten paper, but I do occasionally get these well-intentioned students who get all sorts of ideas – good ones as well as weak ones – and it’s important to me to encourage them to edit their work without feeling bad about “killing the babies”


      1. Didn’t Michaelangelo say something similar about how he found the sculpture inside the marble when he created? Oh here it is (had to make a quick sidetrip via Google): “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”


        “The best artist has that thought alone Which is contained within the marble shell; The sculptor’s hand can only break the spell To free the figures slumbering in the stone.”

        We just have to chisel it out.


    1. Haha 🙂 Well, at the rate I’m going it’s going to be awhile before I get through all of it. I just need like, six months uninterrupted editing time! I’m half afraid to say that; I’m afraid the universe may play a cosmic joke on me and send me to the unemployment line to give me my wish!


  6. Oh, feel free Mary! You’re very kind, but I’ve heard a lot of other writers use that expression, too. So I can’t say it’s unique of me. 😉

    And DD,

    yes! I love that quote by Michaelangelo. Even though he was speaking of sculpture, I think it’s a very fitting description of the editing process of writing, too.


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