Friday, August 3, 2012

Rewriting and Remodeling! by DL Larson

Yesterday my new kitchen floor was installed.  It looks wonderful and I'm glad I stayed with my initial instincts and made a contrasting floor to the rest of the house rather than trying to match it with the existing wood floors.  The carpenter wanted to finish the edges with corner-round and I wouldn't let him.  A test of wills, friendly to be sure, ensued.  He stated it was the best way to finish off the room.  I wanted him to pull off the front kick panels of the counters and baseboard in the few areas that needed it.  He was surprised I knew something about wood and how decorative pieces fit together like a puzzle.  The finished look is now professional with no easy patches to cover imperfection.  The make-over was done the right way!

The process of remodeling has been exhilerating and exhausting.  Trying to improve a part of my house and making it blend with what's not being remodeled was a big challenge.  It reminded me of editing and rewriting bits of my book.  Whenever rewriting is needed, one has to be careful not to destroy what is already established and good.  The new words need to feel as if they were always a part of the original plan, much like my new kitchen floor. 

My best advice when rewording or rewriting is to take the time to establish the scene already set and then visualize what is missing.  A light touch, usually, is all that is needed to expand the image.  It may be a dialogue that needs tweaking or better description to clarify the setting.  Once that is done, I normally let the work rest a few days before reading it aloud from the beginning to the end of  the scene.  If it flows without a hiccup, then I know I succeeded in my task.  If not, I do the process again.  There have been times when I've needed to throw out whole paragraphs and start over with fresh words in order to get the job done.  Sometimes I realize I've overworked a spot and removing redundant images makes the reading flow. 

Whenever re-writing, it is good to understand what is needed before diving in. Take the time to assess the problem asking if the section is over-worded or lacking depth.  Is diaglogue weak or stilted?  Is the character focused?  Once the problem is decided, the progression to making it better is already set.

Good luck!

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

I'm almost finished with my Her Handyman, my work in progress.

My problem is almost every time, I want to start over and get back into the story, before proceeding. I have to force myself to go to the end and continue on first, then make the changes later. It's hard to get into the flow when you do it piece by piece, yet constantly looking back is a slow go, if it will go at all that way.

Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

I write in chunks or scenes and it makes it a little easier to look back before moving forward. It helps me get back into the flow of things.
DL Larson