Saturday, February 5, 2011

You've Come a Long Way Blogfest

Today Christine Hardy is hosting a blogfest -- You've Come a Long Way Baby.  It's a day where we get to go back and take a peek at some of our first writing attempts, see for ourselves just how far we have come as writers.  Unfortunately you, my readers, have to suffer through a very poorly written scene.  But fear not, I will reward you with a re-write, one that shows I too have come a long way.

So here it is, a scene for the very first manuscript I ever wrote -- Seven Shades of Crazy.

Scene one -- start of chapter 5 
     I don’t know how long we sat out there on the back lawn talking and I didn’t remember falling asleep.  I did remember the warmth of his arms around my shoulder, the way my head fit perfectly into the crook of his neck; the scent of his soft smooth skin as I curved my body closer to his.
     I also did not remember how I had gotten into my bed; my quilt tucked around me so tight it as hard to move.   He must have carried me I concluded.  I woke up oddly content and startled at the same time.  I quickly peeked underneath the covers. 
     Oh thank God; fully clothed in the same attire I had on yesterday.  I didn’t really expect otherwise but the visual confirmation was still a relief.

Same scene -- middle of chapter 11 (that will give you some idea of the major overhaul this ms went through lol!)
     The twisting knot in my stomach was the same one from last night, and I had to swallow hard, past the point of nausea to breathe.  Crawford still hadn’t kissed me, or not the way I expected or wanted anyway.  His lips had found the top my head and the soft, ticklish skin at the base of my neck more than a dozen times in the past three days, but they’d never met my lips.  I tried, turned my head so my cheek rested on the plane of his chest, stared up into his eyes. 
     I’d thought I won when he traced my lips with the pad of his thumb.  I concentrated on the sound of his heart beating against my cheek and waited for the painfully tantalizing moments of anticipation to pass.   I matched my breathing to his and relaxed.  Too much apparently.   I don’t recall him closing the distance, or his lips mingling with mine   I remember his fingers teasing in the hair at the back of my neck calling to me, lulling me into sweet, blissful unconsciousness. 
     “Idiot,” I mumbled, stretching to free myself from the cocoon of the quilt he tucked around me.
      I was up, my feet on the hard wooden floor in search of a cold shower and some insightful way to apologize to Crawford for falling asleep when I saw the note


  1. The second version is definitely tighter, more descriptive, and more emotional. Well done!

    Best of luck with the project!

  2. The second version had great flow and direction. Much improved from the first version! It's SO amazing to go back and see the changes you make over time! Like having all the bones of a skeleton, but the first animal you flesh out isn't the one you pictured, so you strip it all back to the bones and rearrange them to make an entirely new animal, the bones being the only thing that stays the same!

  3. First - LOVE the title. In the first one, the MC's confusion comes through too much, leaving the reader confused about what's going on. The second version is much more fleshed out. I can relate to the MC, wanted her to get that kiss and felt disappointed when she didn't. Is this a paranormal story?

    Nice work! I'd keep reading to find out what happens.

  4. I thought the second was full of *showing* great emotion... but to me, it lacked a bit of the *voice* from the first one. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That is quite the change. For me, the second version felt more adult than the first. I did miss the noticing of being fully dressed still from the first draft but like the voice that really shines from the second one. Well done.

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  7. Great example, Trisha! I think you really demonstrated the "before" and "after" concept well. It seems you've been writing a lot of different things, and that experience shows.
    Thank you so much for participating in the blogfest!

  8. you had me has expectant for his kiss as she was. great job. i love kissing/almost kissing scenes.

  9. I remember least the second version.

  10. It's has been interesting to see how learning the craft of writing has improved everyone's work immeasurably. Your second version has voice and pace - it created a much greater emotional connection with me. The title Seven Shades of Crazy created lots of different trains of thought - I hope there were ghosts. ;)

  11. So much change from the first to the second! Well done! :)

  12. Ah Crawford! Great way to pinpoint the emotion and tense atmosphere. Then again, I'm a hayuge SSOC fan!

  13. It's so much fun to look back - great improvements!

  14. Uhm; I've been at my crit group all day, so maybe commenting is a bad thing tonight. So, just ignore this if it doesn't fit your concepts.

    For me, these are two totally distinct scenes. The context I'm seeing them in is vastly different.

    I'm not sure what the scene just before the excerpt from chapt 5 is, but I get a sense that if you delete "He must have carried me I concluded." it totally works in this "semi telling" mode. Not all scenes need to be emotionally descriptive.

    Same for chapter 14 - although it is ostensibly the same scene. I like the sentiment - the intimacy - but again, it says nothing of what was previous to this emotional tourmoil.

    I can see the value in both versions; and it seems to me an instance of only the author knowing which version fits.

    The second is highly evocative; shows the characters conflicts; builds tension and a sense of embarrassment. The first shows passive contentment, a sense of "rightness" within her growing relationship.

    Only you, as the author, know which scene conveys the emotion you were seeking in the overall context of character/plot growth.

    Both scenes however, enticed me to read more . .


  15. "I’d thought I won when he traced my lips with the pad of his thumb. I concentrated on the sound of his heart beating against my cheek and waited for the painfully tantalizing moments of anticipation to pass."

    My heart was pounding! Kiss already, lol. Great, great, great job!