First draft death match is underway

Strangely, editing my not-yet-rough-draft of the new novel on a commuter flight from St. Louis to Chicago turned out to be tough. And editing in the center seat on a 747 to London turned out to be tougher. So I’m back at my desk, finishing up the work to turn this hot mess into a first draft that won’t make me want to kill myself. Picture my office: ankle deep with 450 scattered, typewritten pages scrawled with red corrections. There’s so much red ink it looks like Scream 5 was filmed in here.

To give you an idea of what I’m doing, here’s a hot-stinking-mess paragraph:

The water poured cold around her legs, cacophonous, bitterly cold. Her jeans clung to her. Her running shoes were sodden. She shivered and half-ran, half-swam across the river, grabbing every breath she could, wondering if each one would be the last. She’d lost track of time, and it felt like a pendulum had wound around her chest and begun to tighten.

And here’s the revised paragraph:

The current grabbed at her legs. The cold bit. She braced herself.

Yes, I’ve reached the Strunk & White phase of editing: Omit needless words. Omit needless words. Omit needless words.

Back to it.

8 responses to “First draft death match is underway

  1. I liked the first one too — but, I’m a yakker at heart, so it sounded good to me. 🙂

  2. I liked the first version because I was visualizing it.

  3. Dru: The problem was, I had about twelve paragraphs in a row saying the same thing, but with the words in different orders. There’ll be plenty of visual images.

  4. I just want to know who “she” is and what she is running from/after!

  5. You are SUCH a tease…

  6. Is this new book a stand-alone?

  7. I’m so glad “cold” made the cut.

    Still, I’m wondering about the pendulum winding around her chest and tightening.

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