WRITING WEDNESDAY (Revising is writing)


So I am knee-deep in revising the first draft of book two. It’s going well. I am about 1/3 of the way in and restructuring sentences so they are active and not passive, making dialog more realistic and believable, and fleshing out scenes by adding to them or dropping back story in entertaining anecdotes given by Deacon Chalk, the MC and narrator.

So I hit a part where I have to write a completely new chapter to insert. I had this scene as a sum up at the beginning of the next chapter and, at the suggestion of one of the members of my writing group, I am pulling it and making it a full scene all on its own.

I think I started it too early. I have them walking down a corridor to a car, when I need to cut back to them being at the car.

And this is where revising gets brutal. I LIKE what I wrote for this chapter. It’s good stuff. I am describing characters injuries and giving insights to them and it is cool.

But it is not the right place to start this chapter and therein lies the rub.

So now I get to yank it and rewrite it.  But you have to be willing to do this very thing. It makes your story stronger. You have to teeter on the edge of loving your words and being willing to bash them to pieces with a sledgehammer.  When you revise you should be cutting words and sentences and even whole chapters/characters/subplots. You should also be adding, but cutting should happen over and over again. Without mercy.

I know when I am not in the headspace for revision because I read my first draft and don’t change anything for a whole paragraph.  I know myself and while I write a pretty decent first draft, if I go to revise and I am not changing at least one out of every four sentences then I am not in the right headspace.   It’s not because I wrote that brilliantly the first time. Nope. Hell, there are some passages I write that in revision EVERY sentence gets reworded or cut completely.  It has to be done.

Why? BECAUSE EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING MUST PAY FOR ITS TIME ON THE PAGE. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter, every character, every plot, every everything. If it does not further the plot or develop the character then it has to be cut. If you do not cut it you are leaving word cancer that will metastasis and kill your manuscript.

Be brutal and revise like you mean it.

Advertisements

TATTUESDAY Munkey skrull edition


Alright Loyals and True Believers, time for another Tattuesday. Today’s ink selection is a traditionalish monkey skull that I drew up a few years back. It was just a sketch in a sketchbook, sitting around doing nothing. Along comes Kevin B. Dobbs, best friend of 23 years and tattoo artist at my shop Family Tradition. He wants a tattoo, something random, but cool, I don’t want to tattoo all day so we pick the monkey skull.  He was cool with it, I was cool with it, so we slapped it on him.

I limited the color palette to black, baby poop green, blood red, and banana hammock yellow. It’s very stylized, not anatomically correct by any stretch of the imagination, just done for the cool factor.  Click it to enlarge.

FIVE THINGS MAKE A FRIDAY 7/8/11


Okay Loyals and True Believers. I have been a bit lax on posting the last few days. Forgive me, it was my son’s birthday in the middle of the week and it is mine today. Forty-one years young and holding strong.  But here is our Friday post to get us back on track.  This is a link mashup of five interesting things going on in my world.

1) I ran into the short film, PLOT DEVICE  earlier this week. It is truly excellent. Awesome special f/x, good acting, a concise story told in full.  Go watch it and then share it.  It’s only nine minutes but worth every one of them. PLOT DEVICE: CLICK HERE TO WATCH

2) Barnes and Noble announced that Nook users who have downloaded Angry Birds can go into their local Barnes and Noble, sign on to their device, and download The Mighty Eagle! Yes, this app is a GIANT timesuck, but I am addicted.

3) Today is my birthday as mentioned a second ago.  I am having the vegetable lasagna at Provino’s for dinner because it is delicious and free on your birthday.

4) In interesting news, TLC has a new reality show called Tattoo School. It’s a self explanatory  show,  a bunch of folks are filmed while they attend a school to learn how to tattoo. Some form of drama ensues, etc, etc, etc…….  The problem is the school runs for two weeks. Now as a PROFESSIONAL tattoo artist with over fifteen years of experience I can tell you that in two weeks you can learn approximately .000001% of what you need to tattoo. There is so much required of you to permanently mark another human being that almost none of it can be covered in two weeks.  I personally worked my apprenticeship for a FULL YEAR before I was allowed to do even a small simple tattoo.  I am still learning things about the art and craft of tattooing.   So this show has created a huge backlash in the tattoo industry. You can read more about it at  this facebook page and this one here.

5) And on brighter news, one of my favorite people on the web Jackson Pearce, author of Sisters Red, her first book As You Wish, and her upcoming book Sweetly is doing thirty days of vlogging.  For those of you who don’t know Jackson, she does a regular vlog on Tuesdays and Thursdays and they are funny, charming, entertaining, and informative.  So tune in, subscribe, read her books cause they are good.

TATTUESDAY (Roller derby pin up)


Welcome to Tattuesday.  Today we have a selection on a friend of mine who is a hairdresser. Here is her salon.  It’s not hairdresser themed, lol.

It’s a piece of Sailor Jerry flash that I adapted to make into a derby girl. I did it James style, but with a tiny pinch of traditional thrown in. This is a freshly done tattoo so it is a bit red and shiny.

Click to make it bigger.

SIX SENTENCES ON A SUNDAY


Okay Loyals and True Believers, today’s quote is from Father Of The Bride. The Steve Martin, 1991 version. It may be in the original, but I don’t know.  Now before you think me a philistine who doesn’t watch classic movies, I do love both, I just happened to watch the 91 version today.

Many, many moons ago, when I was a young teenager living at home (think 13, maybe 14) I stayed up late one night and was watching The Movie Channel because that was the only premium channel we had growing up. I clicked it on, sat down, and came in on the first few minutes of the movie. I tuned in when Spenser Tracy was just getting comfortable in that chair, with the carnage of his daughter’s wedding strewn all around him.   He began to talk and I was hooked. I watched that movie mesmerized, entranced. I proceeded to watch it every chance I could  when it was on TMC. Remember dear friends, this was before DVR, TIVO, DVD, it was even before my family had a VCR.

So come around to 1991, I am 21 years old and they remake the movie starring Steve Martin. Yeah, The Jerk, Steve Martin. I was not going to see it. I was against it.

I was wrong.

The remake kept the heart of the movie while updating it for 1991. It was fun, funny, heart warming, romantic, and touching. I fell in love with Father Of The Bride all over again.

So today I wanted a nice movie to watch. A comfort movie, because it it was a lazy Sunday, the Missus was taking a nap, The Son was doing stuff ont he computer, and the Daughter is gone.

I watched it. I loved it. I got misty-eyed in several parts. I mean hey, wackiness aside I am realistically looking at my own version of that scenario in just a few, all too fleeting years.

I was also struck by some of the writing that was in it. High quality stuff. So today’s selection is from that. Enjoy. It is George, the dad talking about his daughter and the way it is with fathers and daughters. This is truth. This was written by a father of a daughter. So hark, read and learn.

I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine.

Then comes the day when she wants to get her ears pierced, and wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater.

From that moment on you’re in a constant panic.

You worry about her meeting the wrong kind of guy, the kind of guy who only wants one thing, and you know exactly what that one thing is, because it’s the same thing you wanted when you were their age.

Then, you stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy, and you worry about her meeting the right guy.

That’s the greatest fear of all, because, then you lose her.

Damn George. Damn.

FIVE THINGS ON A FRIDAY (done on a Saturday so you get six things with a bonus)


1) Writers group was awesome today.  My son has started attending and that is uber cool.  Plus my group has a lot of really talented writers so the feedback and support rocks balls.  If you are a writer and you are not a part of a writers group FIND ONE. Seriously, go on Meetup.com and search your area for writers groups. If you live in BFE then start one.  Make it so.

2) Listening to Adele. It’s nice. Relaxing.

3) Bought and read two really good books this past week. EVERY SHALLOW CUT By Tom Piccirilli from Chizine Publishing and BURDEN, KANSAS by Alan Ryker from Sucker Punch Press.      EVERY SHALLOW CUT is a vicious little ditty by the often imitated, never duplicated Tom Piccirilli. It sings like a pop song of violence and desperation.      BURDEN, KANSAS is one of the best vampire books I have read in a while. It is dark and gritty and it is a toss up as to who is more vicious: the vampires or Keith the MC.  AND they both have really spectacular covers, so SCORE!

4) Gonna watch The Wolfman this weekend and hope it doesn’t suck.

5) My daughter leaves for Messiah Conference today and I miss her already.

6) The tattoo shop has been crazy busy today.

Bonus)  The Missus rocks my face off. Every. Day.