May 14, 2009

Editing Stuff

I found this cool little video that I just had to share. It’s a little lengthy, but it’s worth the time it takes to watch it. I just may have to search out the others in this series.

Writer Crash Test

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You know, if you read the same advice enough, eventually it starts sinking in. I read a short piece about opening hooks (and I can’t for the life of me remember where, otherwise I’d quote directly from the article) and I don’t know how it happened, but something finally sunk in.

That’s what’s been missing from Driving Into Forever, an opening hook. It’s all so simple, and it’s been staring me in the face all along. I’ve read this same advice hundreds of times. Start with action to pull the reader in. That’s why I changed the first prologue (one with the MC packing up after music practice) to the second prologue (where the MC is at a bachelorette party at a strip club). But the problem with both was the same. They weren’t necessary to the plot.

I scrapped both versions of the prologue from DIF and started it where is should have started in the first place, with my MC driving home in the fog. (I know that sounds just as ho hum as the other two, but this is most definitely necessary to the story). I don’t know if I’d describe it more as a light bulb appearing above me, or a Homer Simpson “D’oh!” slap to the head, but whatever it was, it worked.

That’s probably why I like the second DIF book better (I’m about 20,000 words into it). There’s no prologue. It starts with the MC’s best friend worrying about her, and then going off into danger herself.

All I can say is, “D’oh!”


Jamie said...

I was having that problem with both my short story and the novel I'm editing - no matter how many times I rewrote it, the beginning just wasn't "active" enough.

I finally went a completely different direction with the short story, and that worked. The novel I'm moving scenes around - and trying to decide whether to cut the first one, or just move it. Regardless, I need more action in the first two lines.

Holly Lisle is just amazing, isn't she? :-)

C R Ward said...

I love Holly Lisle. She has such a broad scope as a writer and she's so generous with her writing tips. Her website is outstanding!

Benjamin Solah said...

This is so true. I read a similar thing about writing blog posts, about how to write the hook in the first sentence and it's helped.

I guess I might have to look at the hook of my short story I'm editing right now.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Really appreciate your comments.

C R Ward said...

Thanks to you as well, Ben.

I love your blog (even if I don't comment a lot still), you always have something really interesting to say!

Benjamin Solah said...

Thanks :-) That means a lot.

I've put you in my RSS feed and on my blogroll so I remember to come back here and leave more comments :-)