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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

okay, you know that scaffolding thing I'm always talking about?

Here's how it works: the old and the new-revised paragraphs from By the Mountain Bound.


My hearing is so keen as to catch the cries of surprise from the town when the moonlight puddles like mercury on the surface of the ocean and an enormous pillar of a neck rises up out of the waves, shedding glowing seawater. The form is translucent, seemingly wrought from starlight and air, but the wind of its gestures brushes my skin as it sways heavily from side to side, starlit eyes gleaming in its tendriled head.


Moonlight like mercury puddles on an ocean lain smooth. Faint cries ring from the docks. A pillar of neck rises, shedding glowing water, reeking of salt rot and ocean bottoms. It sways heavily, starlit eyes gleaming in a tendriled head--translucent, wrought of starlight and air, but the wind of its gestures brushes my skin.

The second one, as you can tell, has an absolute mess of useless verbiage snipped out, and its line of direction is improved as well.

Yes, dammit, I am getting better at this.

(I'm also revising to better catch a character voice, but that's neither here nor there. Also, no wonder this is taking for freaking ever.)

And, because I was wasting some time, I made an animated .gif of what the external portion of the editing process looks like. It's

It's not the writing. It's the revising, after all.


That can't be right -- no all-capped swearing shows up in that gif at all!
EXTERNAL portion.
This is why rewrite is not a four-letter word.
For a couple of years now, I've been using the term scaffolding to refer to all the author-side world-building, plot-background, character-history, and off-screen activity that will end up in my rough draft in the process of trying to get the thing written, but which has no business being in the final draft. Entire passages, sometimes entire scenes.

Clunky, ugly, messy stuff that will ultimately be entirely removed by the time I've done revising, but which had to be written in order for me to get within reach of the territory that will eventually become the lovely, finished public facade of the novel. (Or, you know, what I hope will become a lovely, finished public facade.)

Anyway, yeah, my ears have been pricking when you've been talking about scaffolding, and it's interesting to see that we mean somewhat different things by the metaphor.
Get the story written, then get it right.
Thank you. I really needed to hear this today. :)
You're welcome. It helps me to put it into words.
I should clarify that last statement.

It helps me too. :-)
Also very helpful for me to hear this right now. Thanks!
Yep. Scaffolding. That's what it is.

It sounds so much better than waffle. *g*

Anyway, I've just been removing a load of it from a previous draft of a novel that I've decided to resurrect and finish after abandoning it for about 3 years.

Re: Geeze

Sure you can.

And thanks! When I thought of the animated .gif, I was like, DUDE! I have *got* to do that.
Hee. I didn't want it to take longer than a minute to run the whole thing....
Thank you.
Love the animated gif!
Nevermind that mercury doesn't float on (in) water (*ducks*)

Who said it did?
Oh, cool...