Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Editing With A Pack of Pens

Hi everyone, while you've all been slogging it out pushing the word count boundaries near and far this month I have embarked upon a slightly different NaNo experience. I'm editing, this whole month, editing, editing, editing. I have taken Margie Lawson's "Empowering Characters Emotions" lecture packet and ..... Lightbulb moments galore!
I'm a cliche-aholic... I admit it, but with Margie's 5 step program I'm ridding myself of it. I do love traitor words, things that seem innocent enough but are pulling away from the emotional depth of my story, darn it all to heck!
I have almost coloured an entire scene in yellow! (Not good, so not good).
I'm half way through, I did one round of editing thinking "ha, I'm good"... and then a little birdy who likes to wear bat wings a lot told me that I have to include more visceral responses and deepen my characterisation. That my WIP was really just a skeletal mass, kind of like a runway model, it needed more muscle, more drive, before it was ready for the big time.
Righto, I accepted it, and then said little bentwing bat told me to go look at Margie Lawson's editing courses.
So I will say right now, for the world to hear.... Thank you Bentwing Batperson! You have put me on the path of enlightenment, and whilst there are no happy little monks dancing around me chanting, there are lots of ideas and power words flowing out of these fingertips.
I'm going to share something with you. It's embarrassing so please don't tell the world... oh, well actually I am telling the world aren't I? Yeah righto, well anyway, here's a before and after. Baby steps Bob, baby steps.

From this:

Something about him grated on her and now they would be stuck on the same ship for four weeks at sea. Her knuckles started to whiten as she gripped the wheel tighter.A large thump to the side of the vehicle brought her back to her senses. The body of the car shuddered as one of the back tyres deflated.

To this:

Her hat bumped the roof of the carriage, she should have ditched the feathers they were so last season. Gwen took one hand off the wheel to readjust a pin and heard the collective gasps of both men.

“You wanted to come along,” she shouted over the crunch, crunch, crunch of the car. “Sorry, forgot to change gears, this should give us more speed.”

A large thump to the side of the vehicle stopped her fun. The body of the Imperial shuddered as she slammed both feet on the brake. The stench of burned rubber and dust pervaded the car. Her stomach lurched as the car skidded to a halt on the gravel road.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I could be of assistance, Nat. Margie Lawson was very enlightening for me. And I hear you on the big chunks of yellow highlighter, I can feel the yellow as I write (but that's what I get for writing fast) - have to go in and add the pink later.

Love your line about the ms being a runway model - the Kate Moss of manuscripts?

Wonder if I can hula hoop with my bat wings on - maybe they'll give extra balance.

Sandie Hudson said...

Yeah Nat,

Margie is fantastic, I've started to read through some of her notes ready for my big 6 months of editing after NaNo. For once I'll looking forward to editing. LOL.


ozambersand said...

Hi Nat

I've done three of Margie's classes now. I know I'm not applying it all yet. Telling far too much.

Loved your samples of improved sections. Very visual.

It's a bit overwhelming at times though. I don't find making that change easy!!!!!

good luck.
Alison (aka) Amber Sand