Friday, July 30, 2010

After some thought on my last edit

Okay, I was looking at Thursday's edits, and I realized I made a mistake. I think I over-edited the piece! :(
I think I over-edited because I didn't have the fuller perspective of the entire story. Without the entire chapter, (or book) it's hard to do more than just basic edits. I don't think I was justified in cutting so much since I don't have the full chapter that this leads into. From now on for Edit Me Thursday, I'll remember this!!

 I think some of the dialogue I cut was fine. So here's a better edit:


“She’s in pain—how is this possible?” Adaiyas said.

“I cannot explain it, First Elf—“

“Cannot explain it? You’re the midwife; it’s your job to explain it!”

“Has your wife experienced pain like this before?”

“What are you suggesting, Corina?”

“If I did not know better, I’d suggest labour pains—“ (This line [and the one below it] only works if Corina isn't an elf. Because if she is, this topic of labour pains wouldn't be brought up. But if she is human or some other species, then it would justify Adaiyas's response below. But if Corina is an elf, it sounds funny for Adaiya's to tell her that "Elves do not suffer labour pains..." )

“Elves do not suffer labour pains, Midwife.”

Corina, the midwife, wrung her hands together hopelessly as she stared at the slim elf woman on the birthing mat. No longer clutching to the circular delivery chamber’s birthing pole, her hands now The pregnant elf clutched her swollen belly as she and screamed, a tormented wail pierced the late afternoon air.

First Elf Adaiyas leapt from his stool and took his wife’s hand in his(.) distressed by the sight of t (T)ears flowed ing down her bronze cheeks to mingle with sweat dampened her blond hair. “Do something, Corina. Please.”

Experienced hands Corina explored Filarna’s swollen belly. “Something is wrong, First Elf. The baby is not head-down but sideways. Your wife is fully dilated and attempting delivery, but as the baby cannot enter the birth canal, the contractions have it pinned are causing her great pain.”

Okay! Now I feel better :)
I couldn't live with my conscious if I didn't amend my over-edit. I can go on in peace now for the rest of the week :)

12 comments:

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Brandon,

I like this version much better, also. You must be somewhat of an anal-retentive perfectionist, like me! (Just kidding!) It's nice to meet someone that it proud of their work and is not afraid to admit when they have made a mistake because they have an excellent work ethic that demands integrity, honesty, and the best work that they can possibly produce. I'm proud to know you.

Furthermore, I'm an editing nut, as well. The moment I discover that a book or something that I am reading has a mistake, I whip out my trusty notebook and pen, then begin keeping track of the rest of the inevitable mistakes in the remainder of that particular body of work. I can't help myself! :o)

Our hometown newspaper is the worst offender, and it really bothers me that they have such "slipshod" people working there.

Well, enough from me. I'll see you next time, Brandon. Have a great weekend.

Cynde

Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

Joshua Peacock said...

Yes. The previous I thought imposed your own style a little bit too much. This one looks better to me.

Brandon said...

Hi Cynde,
Yep, your right, I am a perfectionist :)
I'm definitely the type that will edit my own work relentlessly (not grammatically, but structurally--sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph). But hey, it pays off in the end. I see improvements most of the time, and if I don't I go back to the previous version.
And thanks, I gotta keep that integrity! My conscious wouldn't let me go on in peace!

Hey Josh,
HA! I appreciate an honest man! And you're absolutely right.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brandon,

Thanks for doing this revised edit. In my draft I was attempting to use dialogue to build suspense, and your initial edit took most of that out and went straight for the kill.

So I'm glad to see the dialogue back in there, but also appreciate how the other edits streamline the piece so that it flows better. I have a tendency to put a lot of unneeded 'fluff' in my writing.

Thanks again for offering to edit this. I'll keep at the edits :)

Brandon said...

Hey Anonymous,
Glad to be a help!
And about fluff cutting, I do it too. We all have fluff at some point in our manuscripts. And the best thing about fluff, is it's easy to fix!

Joshua Peacock said...

I thought the dialog style accomplished what it set out to do--I use it that way too sometimes, and I've seen authors like Orson Scott Card use it successfully as well. However, I have to ultimately side with Brandon, because it's not always appropriate. If you always write dialog like that it becomes cheap and doesn't move the plot anywhere. Not to mention wastes space.

Brandon said...

I think, Josh, you're referring to that quick back and forth style dialogue that builds with each persons response. I think it can be used for good or ill in a story. Like any device in a writers pocket, it's got to be used when the timing is right.
Since this is just one piece of story in a larger context, I definitely realized I was not at all able to judge in this respect.
Like you, Josh, I've used this technique too. And I love Orson Scott Card's writing, so I know what you're referencing :)

aspiemom said...

Hey, Brandon. Thank you for stopping by. I remember you from a LONG time ago. I used to do the CSFF tour. Glad to see that you are doing well!

Brandon said...

Hey Aspiemom,
Yeah, the blog tour is a lot of fun :)
Maybe we'll see you on it again sometime.

Joshua Peacock said...

Me too Brandon--Ender's Game was amazing! If anyone wants to learn about how to keep tension throughout a story, read that book!

von said...

>>This line [and the one below it] only works if Corina isn't an elf. Because if she is, this topic of labour pains wouldn't be brought up. But if she is human or some other species, then it would justify Adaiyas's response below. But if Corina is an elf, it sounds funny for Adaiya's to tell her that "Elves do not suffer labour pains..." )

Not necessarily. This is one possibility, surely, but the other would be that something has happened to change the norm. The section indicates that the child is transverse... which could cause pain in Elves... which, if it never happens, might never have happened.

If it really is just because of her being human (or half human, etc.) then one would almost expect the opposite line: "I don't know! Except for her pain the birth is proceeding well..."

Brandon said...

Agreed Josh :) I like the fact that Orson Scott Card writes sci-fi with great characterization. For me, that's an essential for my science fiction tastes.

Hey Von,
I know what you mean...the delivering elf might be actually experiencing labour pains for some reason or another essential to the story, but my point was with the way those two sentences came out. If they are both elves, there would be no reason to state the fact that "elves don't have labour pains." It would go without saying.
Instead they might say: "It's as if she's going through labour pains." That would reflect a more genuine way to state the problem if they're both elves.
But like I said, I don't know if Corina is an elf or not, so it might be fine.