Monday, January 14, 2013

Editing a Novel and Burying Your Lead

It's been slow this week, but I'm still editing. I've revised that scene that was so very wrong.

But in this revision I noticed another  mistake that goes along well with my last post about the important parts of your story.

In my scene, the main character looks over and sees the school bully. In the next sentence, he gives a description of what the bully and his friends are wearing. Soccer clothes
.
Yes, I needed a detail to make it obvious that the bully isn't where he's supposed to be. Still, [hangs head in shame] I glossed right over the important part.The main character's rapping on the computer screen, complaining. "Hello? I never got a chance to say anything. And I don't care about soccer clothes."

This made me remember how Alane Ferguson, an absolutely wonderful person, writer, and WIFYR instructor, always calling that "burying your lead."

I had an important moment in the story, and ignored it to describe soccer clothes instead.

Alane always said we have to watch for those important moments in the story, make sure they don't get lost in trivia.

Time for me to get back to writing, and  unearth my main character's reaction that I buried under an pile of words about shin guards and soccer jerseys.

As you edit, can you look for places where you might have missed, or glossed over, a key point or emotion?

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