Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Revise, Revise, Revise!

Fitzgerald once said that the act of writing was really the act of rewriting. I've certainly found that to be true. In the spirit of getting under Alexa's skin and in response to a constructive comment from a published author, I decided to revise the first few paragraphs of the novel.

I hope this captures Alexa's voice better than the original and transitions smoothly to her clinging to the side of that apartment building. Let me know what you think.

ORIGINAL:

Evil has a voice all its own. It sounds like insatiable greed, impotent rage, and terrible grief blended into one throbbing hunger for power. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only one who hears it. It haunts me, compelling me to make it silent.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Why else would I be clinging to the side of an old brick apartment building on Fifth Avenue wearing a little red dress and a gorgeous pair of leopard print Manolo Blahnik stilettos?


REVISED:

Few things are as thrilling as hunting down evil in a kicking pair of four-inch stilettos. I have no control over the fact that I can hear the worst emotions people have to offer: they sound like insatiable greed, impotent rage, and terrible grief blended into one throbbing hunger for power. To the best of my knowledge, I’m the only one who hears evil in others and it haunts me, compelling me to make it silent.

Like I said, I have no control over this. My wardrobe is another matter. I never know when the need to hunt will strike and the fact that I can wipe the pavement with a man twice my size while wearing stilettos is a pretty satisfactory bonus. It’s like being Wonder Woman without all that tacky spandex.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Why else would I be clinging to the side of an old brick apartment building on Fifth Avenue wearing a little red dress and a gorgeous pair of leopard print Manolo Blahnik stilettos?

3 comments:

  1. I found your blog from the 'Hook' contest over at Fangs Fur and Fey and just wanted to give my two cents worth on this. (This is just one small reader's opinion...take at your own peril) ---

    Since you were one of the hook winners picked, and I got to read your first five pages, the single most important thing that grabbed me right up front was your original opening paragraph.
    It immediately set this tightly paced, exciting tone that made me sit up and say, wow this book sounds GOOD! (That's my honest opinion, no fake cheerfulness or anything.)
    Truthfully, I think your original opening was a much better 'original' voice. The revised opening made me start to skim after two sentences b/c I felt like it was just 'another' chick lit book.
    That being said, I can see the conflict (in the original) in transitioning smoothly to her clinging to the edge of the building. It is a little confusing from the opening paragraph.
    So, my suggestion? (Please see warning above) Would be to keep the original opening, all the way up to the 'It's not as crazy as it sounds' and maybe add in something AFTER that to transition to the "Why else would I be clinging..." part.
    As far as what to add? I don't really have any ideas there, but since reading through the rest of this chapter on your blog, I don't think you'll have any trouble coming up with something awesome. (If you do decide to come up with something, that is...)
    ---Jessica V.

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  2. Thanks for the input!! I like your suggestion. I do think the original opening captures the darker, more suspensful tone I want but I think I need to add a little something...

    I'll get some more input and keep playing around with it. I appreciate your two cents!

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  3. mayberry tuesdayJuly 6, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    I think a nice combination of the two openings would do it. I like the darker tone of the first better and it seems more suspensful but I think you could get her voice in there right after "It's not as crazy as it sounds".

    Having read samples of your writing, I'm confident you'll kick ass on the final revision.

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