Saturday, March 21, 2009

Editing

I have posted these three chapters as they would appear in a book. The most recently posted chapter (chapter three) is posted last in the series, for anyone who has been reading along.

I've taken some very good advise on the first chapter edit from MRMacrum, a very fine writer and generous reader/editor.

La Belette Rouge reminded me that the "show don't tell" rule is a good one to follow. So all history of how this family came to be has been cut from chapter 2. I now begin it with the rape of the child, Judy.

Chapter 3 is very short and is the scene in which the Maggy takes Judy in the middle of the night and runs for it. So far, there have been no edits on chapter 3

16 comments:

Paul C said...

I heard once that a famous writer was once given this advice by a friend:

When there is a painting of a horse there is no need for the words "horse" beneath the painting.

Utah Savage said...

This is the writer's advise, "show, don't tell." I'm certainly trying to show, not tell, but where I've failed in that attempt to show not tell, it's valuable to have someone say, at that specific point in the story, "show me, don't tell me."

La Belette Rouge said...

I am happy if my comment was helpful. When editing I am always interested when I look back and see where I tell and don't show. I often think that is an especially important part to elaborate on and to explore what my resistance is to showing is, if there is any resistance( I am prone to modifiers and disclaimers in both my writing and my speech). Yes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and I just took a short cut and other times there is a reason I resisted and that can be important to explore for myself and for the writing.

I am endlessly inspired by your courage and openness.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you dear, I have now taken you into the story without all the backstory to have to fill in. Since this book is told through the eyes of a child, it's pointless to talk about the time before the child was born. So I cut to the chase and opened the second chapter with the rape. It is the child's first unforgettable first moment, first indelible first memory.

Paul C said...

Utah,

It was the great editor Corlies M. "Cork" Smith who (before he died) would often give writers that
"'Horse' under the picture" advice.

I have enjoyed reading what you have written here and elsewhere.

I remembered Cork's line/quote for some reason.

I was not being critical by saying you have any tendency to state the obvious; though I know I can often do that.

Liberality said...

I wanted to come by and offer my support for your efforts. I am not an editor so my support will not lie in that direction, though you ask for it. However, I do want to come by and let you know that I believe in your writing. I admire that you are willing to work on it so publicly as well. That takes guts.

Utah Savage said...

Thank you Lib. I really appreciate that. I'm afraid I've driven every one away. Reading may be great, but editing for someone else for free isn't exactly a laugh riot. And my material isn't light reading.

Utah Savage said...

Paul, I'm sorry if I snapped at you earlier. This isn't fun. It's also costing me readers I fear. I think I've driven everyone away. Sunday I'll post something else, move on and try this somewhere else, or try and publish a short story first. Best start editing the short fiction. I might have a better shot at getting something published if I start small. Work up to the novel.

susan said...

A long time ago I was reading Stephen King's newest novel 'The Shining' on my husband's recommendation. Late one night I got to the part where the little boy was reading 'redrum' on the mirror and couldn't go further. My own young son was sleeping down the hall and I was horrified at the images the boy in the story was seeing. I woke up my husband to demand he tell me the rest of the story in order that I could sleep.

I'm not comparing you to King - in fact, I think you're a better writer but I do find the images you evoke on young Judy's behalf very disturbing. I know these things happen but I wish with all my heart they didn't. Wishing the world was a better place won't make it so and in that regard I think your story is one that needs to be told. I applaud your talent and your bravery in posting these chapters.

Randal Graves said...

Don't worry about driving anyone away. It's your place, so post, cajole, yell, scream, tease, fart, edit, eat a meal how you like.

Of course, any blog could benefit from a bit more sports, no?

darkblack said...

Frankly, I think you're a fine writer approaching a difficult subject, Utah - although like many creative types you might be trying to anticipate the unpredictable. I suspect that developing myriad connections with an eye to publication will make a difference in the status of the work, building a groundswell as it were.

;>)

Utah Savage said...

Darkblack, Thank you for the kindness of your comment. I am not in good shape today. I'm angry and sad. I think I'm probably not alone in those feelings. I watched the Sunday news shows and have been so sad today. My own small problems seem so stupid compared to the massive catastrophe for so many others, and yet I'm enraged over the smallest things.

themom said...

No, no, no, no...you are not driving readers away. Granted some may just not have an interest in the book issue - but I'm sure they are still hanging around for everything else. And let the "fickle be damned!"

Utah Savage said...

Funny how when you care so deeply about your creation, it's hard to understand that it isn't everyone else's passion too. Crazy will do that to you.

SarahA said...

I'm the same. There are some of my babies I love to bits and yet others hate, totally ignore and I think 'what do they know, they have no taste' Ha!
But I think if we ourselves love something we have created, then that is all that matters. Or it should.People as a whole are always looking for some sort of acceptance I guess.I am no different *sigh*

Lisa said...

Hi. I wanted to stop in tell you that I'm so happy that you're still hard at it. This book will get a deal. It will.