Today I started re-reading and it soon became clear that perhaps what I had written was not as exciting as I had first imagined. I have extracted an excerpt from Chapter 8 to share with you all. I wonder what you make of this scene?
Click on image twice to open to readable proportions:
I have always loved to write (but usually non-fiction stuff) and expected to be able to write a publishable novel or short story almost immedately.
Now I think I just need to keep writing and reading until something clicks.
This is from chapter eight. Check out First Page Blogfest for the opening of Chapter One.
Firstly, how do you make your excerpts look like book pages? That's so clever!ReplyDelete
I don't think there's anything wrong with your excerpt that a little judicious editing wouldn't solve. For instance, the first paragraph could be tightened to read something like …
“Ginny’s head felt as fragile as an egg-shell as she lay on top of the patchwork quilt, her tears drying. In the half-light the chair and the dresser loomed at her like shadowy onlookers and the air smelt stale; a combination of carpet and furniture polish. She longed for the warmth of her husband's body, to help erase the past few hours from her mind - but she was alone.”
It’s tempting to add lots of lovely description, but if it’s not absolutely necessary to the story it can slow the pace. I find it helps to read my writing out loud, trying to imagine it’s a novel written by someone else (famous, preferably!!) to get a feel for the flow and structure :o)
Obviously I don’t know the context, but reading the first paragraph I assumed the husband who had left her alone on the bed was Bernard, but as I read on I gathered he’s presumed dead and is still missing, so that might need clarifying too.
I hope that helps a bit, and don’t give up – you’ve got something worth working with, that’s the main thing!
Personally, I really like this, Madeleine. It makes me want to read more. Will you be publishing any more of it?ReplyDelete
The enigmatic, masked blogger
Thanks ladies. It is an excerpt from Chapter 8 so naturally the backstory would have been given in the previous chapters. I agree that maybe some editing is still necessary, though I love to read authors who use description in their prose. :O)ReplyDelete
I like your excerpt! An enjoyable read.ReplyDelete
Well I was there with Ginny as she recalled her horrific trip to the mortuary - she seems a woman in the verge and I loved that sound of her heels clicking!! There is a tremendous build up of emotions and the tension is palapable!!! Well done you!!! I really enjoyed this and wanted to know what on earth had happened to get to this frightening (for poor Ginny!!) denouement! Take careReplyDelete
I didn't read the excerpt, but I feel your pain about thinking what you've written is pretty good then going back and finding you don't like it so much. I hope you don't give up hope and keep working on your WIP. Oh, and I love the candle flame in the corner.ReplyDelete
How can you say it is not exciting?! I could feel my emotions tensing with Ginny as I read on, and I'm eager to read more.ReplyDelete
The only thing I would say is that I agree with Karen, but only in regard to paragraph one. You already know I think your strongest point as a writer is in describing a scene and a character's emotions, but I think there was just a fraction too much description to start with. But as soon as you hit that second paragraph the balance was perfect.
Madeline, please don't toss your work out. You've got some good stuff here. I agree with Karen that it just needs editing (shorter sentences, fewer pronouns). The hard part is done; don't give up now!!!ReplyDelete
apart from the description already mentioned above I see nothing wrong with this Madeleine. If you finish it I can look it over for you but I don't want to see you give up, you are an excellent writer.ReplyDelete
I loved it....I really felt the emotions and definately want to read more. I'm one of those readers (and writers) who loves minutiae but I can see what the others mean about the first paragraph. It's all there, though, please don't ditch it.ReplyDelete
It'll happen for you, Madeleine. I have faith in you.ReplyDelete
I'd like to know how you do the fancy spread too. Do you use Photoshop?
Thanks everyone for your wonderful support. Bless you! I felt this might be the most exciting bit of the novel and that maybe chapters 1-7 had been less so. You have already read the opening of from Chapter 1 in First Page blogfest http://scribbleandedit.blogspot.com/2010/10/first-page-blog-fest.htmlReplyDelete