Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tinkering with tough pieces

Time Spent: 5 hours, 15 minutes.

I finished my contest story today. The final word count? 746. HA! That'll show THEM to set a minimum word count, LOL.

I also started revising a story I wrote in CW1 called "Show You Love." It's about a woman's pregnancy and the birth of her child. This is the one I talked about revising yesterday for Literary, and I've really enjoyed going back through it and seeing how it progressed. I should say I finished revising it, from graded hard copy to computer file. I think I'll let it sit for a few days then look it over again for anything I might have missed.

This story was difficult to revise. I got a REALLY good grade on the final draft, and there weren't many spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors in it. The story itself didn't really need tinkering. What I did though was clean up the passive verbs and made them more active. A lot of what I've read about revising has said to do this very thing, to make the verbs stronger. For example, an original sentence read, "Her stomach was churning, fists flexing, and she started to say whatever came to her mind when it came, instead of making sense." The revised sentence reads, "Her stomach churned, fists flexed, and she said whatever came to her mind whether or not it made sense." The second sentence is much stronger, not to mention less wordy. Yet another great reason to let drafts sit for a while before revising.

I'm still learning to revise. I still don't like doing it, but it's much easier and much more enjoyable now that I have a better idea of what I'm looking for, what I should change. I think - judging from what I've read - that revising is something one learns to do over the course of a lifetime. There's always room for tinkering, but eventually one has to quit fixing and say it's complete. I don't know that this one's complete, but I'm certainly ready to quit tinkering.

On a sort of related note, I just calculated my hours so far for the project. I need 160 clock hours to finish the AST, and I just passed the 100 hour mark today, with 100 hours and 30 minutes. YAY! Which means I've caught up and really DO have the opportunity to get ahead the rest of this week.

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