Friday, March 28, 2008

Transition

Something has shifted in me or my writing. I am not sure when I crossed this boundry. It seems to have snuck up soundlessly. I am back deep into editing and rewriting ( and loving it) however this morning I spent twenty minutes trying to find and use the right word for a simple action. No surprise there, you say - well for me there is. I am formost a story teller and I have not dwelt on the words individualy. It was getting the story out that mattered.

So this morning I looked at the action I was trying to convey. It was simple. She was placing something somewhere away from her. I suddenly realized that this was a key thing. She was moving on from the past and all it held. So the did she place it? Did she put it? Did she thrust it down? Did she deposited it? Did she park it? Plunk? Rest? Stick? Settle?

See the problem.......I realized that this was a the first turning point in the novel. What was she thinking? How she handles this bust of her dead husband would tell a great deal.

To many of you - this is something you do all the time but for me this was new. In the past whatever word first came to mind stayed but I am now looking at the sublte nouances of the words...........something tells me that this rewrite could take a long time!

16 comments:

Cal said...

You have my sympathy (empathy!). I went through my novel line by line, word by word rewriting it to make it tighter and zippier. It took ages but it was worth it in the end. If I'm honest I think I could spend even MORE time polishing my word choice but I need to write something new!

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Cal. I keep telling myself it will be worth it!

Good luck on the new project :-)

JJ said...

I think that's what so wonderful about words. I worry about my story telling ability, but I love to sit and consider which word...

cs harris said...

I remember reading once that the longer we write, the more we recognize the endless choices involved in writing and the more conscious we become of those choices.

Debs said...

I can spend an age trying to think of the exact word that I want to use.

I'm about to start my rewrite with will no doubt be doing the same thing.

liz fenwick said...

There are many roads to Oz, JJ, as they say. Keep crafting those words:-)

That is so true, C.S. Thanks for the wise words.

Good luck with the rewrite Debs :-)

Lane said...

Isn't it fascinating how we all work so differently.

Hope you found the right word - and many more of them:-)

ChrisH said...

Liz, the determination will be worth it, keep going. I can't thank you enough for recommending the Maass book - it's really helped me to rewrite.

liz fenwick said...

Lane, I find it amazing.

ChrisI'm so pleased its working for you too. Now we just need to see if it leads to publication :-)

Jan Jones said...

Good, Liz. This is really, really good. The right word in the right place is to be treasured.

Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

Words are wonderful things, but there are just so many of them to show a simple action.

I love our English language, it amazing to have so much choice.

best wishes
Annie

Michelle Styles said...

You should get a flip dictionary or a word menu. They are some of my latest toys and are very useful.
FWIW I only tend to think of how and increasing the impact when I am in edit mode. It is always how can I make this more? How can I give it the greatest impact? And sometimes it is by heightening and sometimes it is by giving that slightest turning of the tide.

Leigh Russell said...

I think you're right to focus on the story. My problem is not so much finding the exact right word, but avoiding overusing words. I try to avoid repeating the same word too soon if I can help it and sometimes I need to. That's when I have to think about my words. Otherwise, I try to use whatever word expresses what I want to say in the simplest and most direct way. I think that style suits my genre (crime fiction). It would not be right for every kind of writing.
Leigh

liz fenwick said...

Jan - it is just such a switch for me!

Annie, the English languae is so veristle - one can get totally lost.....

Michelle, I like the sound of a flip dictionary! Yes, it's in the editing stages that I am looking to heighten things :-)

Leigh - In my first draft I have have favorite words that crop up repeatedly. It's only when I reread I think I have a one word mind! I think all writing at the moment is pushing towards simple and direct as that is what the market/reader wants :-)

Amy Appleton said...

That's really interesting - for me, most of the time, the words come naturally but I do come across dilemmas like the one you're describing, when I could dither or consider for ages before picking the right word. I always do the right-click and the synonyms thing on Word, even though it sometimes misunderstands what I am trying to do...

liz fenwick said...

Amy, I never noticed the right click thing!!! You are a star :-)