Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Moving Paragraphs

While revising my werewolf story (don’t worry, it’s not a sexy werewolf story), I realized a few paragraphs were dragging things down.  They were meant to increase tension, carry the story forward, and give personal insights into a couple of the characters.  As Jess says, every scene should have multiple functions, right?  Well, these didn’t work, so I planned to delete them. 

The paragraphs are struck through with heavy Xs

Later on in the same chapter, I realized these paragraphs would work.  The main character is getting fed up, and adding these same paragraphs would get him to the point where he’s just had it. 


What’s important is not to just copy and paste them into the other scene with mild adjustments to make the grammar work.  It’s best to rewrite the paragraphs word-by-word while putting them in.  Why?  In that act of rewriting, the author may make changes to match the word rhythm of this other scene, or realize it’s necessary to tighten up parts of the writing, or explain some concept with more detail.  You wouldn’t want some other guy to plop down paragraphs in your story, would you?  In this case that other guy is you, and what you were doing in some other part of your story.  

5 comments:

Morgan said...

Such a good point, Mark. It's amazing how every word matters. Every sentence. And I know I've re-written scenes to make sure the rhythm was just right over copying and pasting. :)

Crystal Collier said...

So true! The value of rewriting is often overlooked. I say this after pretty much rewriting an entire book that was very well edited seven years ago. It's amazing how starting afresh can add so much depth.

Pk Hrezo said...

Hi Mark! Love that your werewolf story is old school. I know what you mean with the rearranging of paragraphs. I've done this recently with my first chapter so many times.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm a big fan of recycling paragraphs. They just need reshaped. :)

Mark Murata said...

Thanks for your comments.

P.K., something I didn't mention in my 9/6/13 post of my meeting with publisher Lou Anders is he said that urban fantasy is dying out in Young Adult, and it's shrinking in adult fiction. By that he meant the dark, sexy urban fantasy. He thought that the older sort of fantasy that happens to be set in contemporary times will make a comeback.

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