it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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The Learning Process

So I'm working on this revision of All the Windwracked Stars so I can send Jenn the proposal so she can send it out. And I want the first three chapters, say.

Anyway, I found a whole scene of which I can use entire chunks of stuff, as long as I... well, rewrite it in entirely different words. Because four years is a goddamned long time in writer-years. And I used to do things like peppering every sentence with a zillion prepositions, because it was the only way I knew how to handle line of direction, and explaining the character motivation in embarassing repetitive detail.

For example:

Then:

"I struggled up onto my knees."

Now:

"She shoved herself up."

Then:

"He let me live," I said into the night.  "Mingan the Grey Wolf permitted me to live."  What horrors had he seen in me, to call me sister in a tone other than mocking, to kiss my face with a kiss that did no murder?  Tarnished, he called to the darkness in me and it answered.

It is not so easy to slay a sister.  Even for a warrior.  Even for the fallen.

"And next time, perhaps he'll convince me to aid him after all."

I felt his exasperation as my own.  Ride, he commanded.  I walked to his side.


Now:

"He let me live," she said. "He called me sister."

It implied more than she could bear. A coward--she would accept that judgement. But she was not a monster.

The stallion's exasperation prickled as if it were her own. Ride.




Of course, if I were actually writing this as a new novel, previously unwritten, I could make it better. But I still like the world and the characters enough to try and save it. Even if it will always carry some of the traces of the apprentice I was when I made it.

Once the alloy's made, you can pound the cup into a new shape, but you can't get the tin back out of the silver.

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Tags: edda of burdens, writing craft wank
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