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.

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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

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    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?

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  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)

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  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”

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

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  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 😉

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  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!

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    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

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    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”

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      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.”

        and

        “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.

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    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!

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  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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