Revising – Starting At The Top
The Only Direction is Down – And That’s Okay
Read about planning to fix plot holes.
Finally, the endless sorting and planning have come to an end.
Now, our brave writer perches precariously on a mountainous TO DO list.
And she weighs two choices. On the one hand, she might grow wings and soar away to find another work. Or, she can take off her rose-colored glasses and start checking off the TO DO list. With all her heart she prays that, at the end, the story on paper will resemble the story in her head.
What did I do?
Revising To Fix Plot Holes
Working On The Revision Chain Gang
A red sun swims above the horizon, reds and oranges blending with the horizon. Then the camera zooms in on a line of sweaty guys with shovels and hoes and rakes, filling in pot holes on some country road.
The chain gang. That’s me…there…at the back, trying to keep pace.
But, wait. Won’t adding words change those perfect story proportions? Yippers.
But, if I’m going to improve my story, I have to get past that. If it’s not fixing plot holes, scene structures, or characterization will upset the apple cart. But I’m too inexperienced to predict an outcome. Alas, I must wait and see. Continue reading
Revising To Fix The Story Structure
Story-Level Decisions To Make Revising Easier
Someone once said there are only seven story types.
Who knows? But it’s clear we have tried and true formulas to fall back on. Want to write a romance? Why not try boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Obsessed with adventure? We might do worse than the chosen one forced from a comfortable life, falls victim to flaws, realizes mistakes, comes back to win.
So, Now I Get to Revise
Nora Nobody types THE END, uses her last pennies, and mails the three inch manuscript to Hollywood, USA.
The phone rings.
“Hello…hello,” a voice dripping with money and excitement says on the end. “Nora?”
“Who’s calling please?”
Tiny Red Beads
Bench Pressing Strong Verbs
All things come to an end. So, too, my strong verbs project, some twenty-five stories, counting this one.
Along the way, I learned about lovely little Amy, poor, put-upon Janet, and Tammy far from home. At first, fictional creations, they became real to me, and I adore them.
And I pondered which I would end with. But I suspected Tammy would close things out. In some future story I might bring them together. I think they would like each other.
Our final strong verbs, using the usual rules: focus, express, translate, rupture, conceptualize, ignore, and abolish.
Or, Revising the Rewrite
A printed first draft sits on the table.
It cost me two months of my life, and has little resemblance to my first try.
It waits, all 156 pages, 10 point arial, 1.5 line spacing.
I let it set on my hard drive, undisturbed, except when I pulled at parts of it for a series of posts, commenting on the South Park method of connecting applying the method to a part of my story, using Jordan Rosenfeld’s template for one of the three scenes, and blocking a scene, blow by blow. And I attracted a few readers which boggles my mind. Why would anyone care. After all, I’m Nora Nobody. Ha.
Is a Kiss More Than That?
Bench Pressing Strong Verbs
How mysterious writing remains.
In the beginning, most of us want to tell stories. And we pour our hearts into our tales, reveling in the act of creating, delighting in odd twists, and laughing at unexpected endings.
Then…something else sets in…curiosity about writing better, and we discover craft. And, like others before me, I wanted to make each word count. At some point I discovered strong verbs, and eventually made a little game of writing impromptu stories using verbs drawn randomly.
In that spirit, today’s strong verbs are: struggle, convey, resist, prove, nullify, disabuse, evoke, adhere, reap, and contrast.
Let us return to Tammy, a young tour guide in a mysterious Baron’s Chateau.
Rich, deep burgundy red carpet runners swallowed Tammy’s footsteps, capturing the half-formed echos while the fine wool sprang back, erasing all hint of her passage. Where did this journey lead? Had she no will to deny her fate?