Saturday, 8 March 2008

Too Hard?

Good morning!

At least it is while I write this.

I was having a lot of difficulty with editing recently. I was reading each line, cursing because I didn't think it was very good and then trying to exchange it for something better. It was all taking a very long time even to get a page done and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it all.

Now here's a strange thing you didn't know about me; most of my epiphanies happen in the shower. When I was younger they happened when I was brushing my teeth, now its the shower. It's like my brains been working hard on something without consulting me and hands me the results with a rather self-satisfied smile on its face while I rub shampoo into my curly locks.

So here was the epiphany I had on Wednesday. I'm trying too hard. Editing needs a gentler touch than the one I've been giving it. I could sweat over a single sentence for hours over how Theo opens the door but I shouldn't be. If the sentence says clearly and concisely what needs to be said that's all that matters!

No matter what kind of story you're writing or whatever scene, horror, romance, comedy the sentences themselves don't matter. They need to be clear, of course, they need to give that crucial bit of info to create the image in the reader's head, but the horror or romance or comedy comes from the paragraphs, the story, not the sentences.

I recently finished reading Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay and there was one scene in particular that sent a chill down my spine. Now ask me to point out the one word or the one sentence that made that scene scary. I can't, of course I can't. It was the scene being described I found scary, the situation itself. I imagined myself in that situation (someone trying to break into your house while you're still inside, unable to see out the windows because your own reflection obscures the glass) and I got scared. That's how you write. That's how you make the reader feel what you want them to feel. Pretty, well chosen words are great and help to enhance but clear, well thought-over description beats all.

Right, with this newfound idea on editing and redrafting (which is working wonders) I have to go rewrite a few scenes.

Weird Tales still has my story RWBW. If they haven't got back to me by Wednesday I'll chase them. Also I'll be sending Of the Father to Shimmer magazine if I have time today.

Well, that's it from me.

No wait! I had a strange dream last night and the last thing I remember before my alarm woke me was a song. It had a kind of samba rhythm and the only lyric I recall was "I played my Xbox but it was a Kiss Box." Not the best lyric ever but it seems so... not like something I'd think I'm near convinced it's part of an actual song but can't find it anywhere on Google. Can anyone conform its real or am I just nuts?

Thanks for reading!

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