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TACKLING THE EDITING AND REVISING STAGE OF YOUR NOVEL: PART ONE

Posted on May 22, 2013

Keith and I are editing and revising our joint novel: Fractured. We are working on it as a Google doc and making changes directly to the text for our own respective chapters and then placing comments in the chapters done by the other. It's off to a strong start with lots of back and forth in the first eight chapters. Here are a few of the many changes we are making.

Keith wrote: His parents and little brother sat with him in the cell. It was a nice cell, he realized when he finally took a moment to check it out. More like an expensive hotel room, the sort his parents could never afford, and the sort his dad would never pay for even if he could. He got to spend his last hours in a luxurious room with a wall-sized stream screen, had access to the very latest artificial-reality games, or could use up his energy bouncing a ball around or climbing ropes in the adjoining gym hall. There was a ton of other stuff, too, everything a fourteen-year-old boy or girl could want.

My comment: Would he really be in the frame of mind to comment on how nicely appointed his cell is? I would think that would not be a detail he cared to fret over. I think it's that he says his cell is nice is what sits wrong with me. Maybe try this: His surroundings mocked his plight, far more extravagant than necessary.

Revised version: His parents and little brother now sat with him in the so-called holding cell – more of an expensive hotel room, the sort his parents could never afford, and the sort his dad would never pay for even if he could. Kyle got to spend his last hours in a luxurious room with a wall-sized stream screen, had access to the very latest artificial-reality games, or could use up his energy bouncing a ball around or climbing ropes in the adjoining gym hall. There was a ton of other stuff, too, everything a fourteen-year-old boy or girl could want.

Keith wrote: Kyle sat once more on the edge of the bed and ushered his brother to join him. Since it was a chore for Byron to maneuver himself onto anything higher than a child's stool, he remained standing, stiff and absolutely still.

My comment: motioned for instead of ushered Otherwise, slap a little red cap, vest, and dainty flashlight on him and have him show his brother to the correct theater row.:)

Revised version: Kyle sat once more on the edge of the bed and motioned for his brother to join him. Since it was a chore for Byron to maneuver himself onto anything higher than a child's stool, he remained standing, stiff and absolutely still.

I wrote: His brother sat on the wall. Kiff could make out two Weavers dancing through the air. The apparitions didn't look so populous here.

Keith's comment: Returning his attention to where his older brother sat on the wall, Kiff could make out...

Revised version: Returning his attention to where his older brother sat on the wall, Kiff could make out two Weavers dancing through the air. The apparitions didn't look so populous here.

I wrote: Kiff swallowed. He was afraid for his brother. Not because he thought Logan risked being tethered to a Breaker. Or that any of the numerous predators loose in the ruins would seek him out – Kiff knew his brother could handle himself there. No, he feared Logan had crossed into the ruins with such solemn resolution that he didn't intend to ever return. Kiff knew his brother faced exile or death for remaining untethered after today.

Keith's comment: Maybe: He was afraid for his brother, not because of the risk of being tethered to a Breaker or attacked by numerous predators loose in the ruins, but because Logan had crossed into the ruins with the solemn resolution of one who never intended return.

Revised version: Kiff swallowed. He was afraid for his brother, not because of the risk of being tethered to a Breaker or attacked by numerous predators loose in the ruins, but because Logan had crossed into the ruins with the solemn resolution of one who never intended return. Kiff knew his brother faced exile or death for remaining untethered after today.

More to come!

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