Monday, March 12, 2012

Seven





I've been tagged by Gwen of Fulfilling Dreams for the Lucky 7 Meme--thank you, Gwen! Got to confess, I don't know what a meme is. Yeah, I know--what world do I live in, right? And honestly I was never curious enough to even Google it. But--this is fun!


So what do I need to do?



1 -- Go to page 77 of my WIP
2 -- Go to line 7
3 -- Copy the next 7 lines, AS ARE (no cheating, no tweaking, no polishing for any reason at all) and paste them into a blog post (thus here we are) to share with the world
4 -- Tag 7 other authors (mwaahahahaaaa!)


I love this--I love the spontaneity of sharing random lines, and the commitment of sharing them as they are. We authors tend to tweak our work to oblivion sometimes, and although self-editing is definitely a good thing, I'm beginning to think sometimes we go too far. As if we're afraid of sharing, afraid of exposing that vulnerable and fragile tendril of our imagination, as if sunlight can sear its tender surface. Sometimes it does, really--revealing your MS when it's not ready, when criticism can still shape it to the point where the story loses itself--that's not good. But--hey. It's just seven lines.


This is, of course, from Restoring Experience (yeah, still looking for the Perfect Title). Page 77 is the first page of Ch. 11, so those of you in IWW have already read it. Funnily enough, this is the chapter immediately after the one I'm currently sharing in 6-sentence snippets for Six Sentence Sunday.


Without further ado:


[...] expected to live, had been put on hold. I'd left college, got a job teaching—because perfect English was my only marketable asset. I could also type one hundred words a minute, no mistakes, thanks to Miss Benny's typing class in Catholic school, but being a secretary was even worse, in my world's eyes, than being a teacher. As soon as the legal proceedings were finished, I'd go back to college. But I was twenty-two now, my friends all graduating this year. I was falling [...]


Yeah, verbiage. Another advantage of doing stuff like this, sharing in small snippets, is that it helps us edit in smaller bites. Sometimes, when we're self-editing, we skip parts because we already know what's in them, we "know" the info there is essential and super-important, and "can't" be messed with. Well, just looking at this excerpt above, I can already see three places where stuff sounds repetitive, where I could tighten a bit. Feel free, by the way, to suggest improvements--please do so, in fact. And any other feedback you'd like to share will be most heartily welcome.

And now--drumroll please--the next seven authors to share seven sentences from page seventy-seven of their MS are:


Cindy Dwyer
Ted Cross
Rick Bylina
Lynne Hinkey
Kristin Laughtin
Ms. Monkey at 1000th.Monkey
Mish at Writer In Transit


What you need to do? Open your current WIP, go to page 77 (ok, if your WIP doesn't have 77 pages, you can use an earlier one--great chance to revisit NaNo stuff :D), go to line 7, and copy the next 7 lines. Paste them onto a new blog post and SHARE!


Yes, I will go back and check up on you :D


Thanks, Gwen, for tagging me. I loved this little exercise, and I hope all these seven, and the sevens they tag, love it too.

13 comments :

  1. With small chunks, it definitely becomes easier to do line editing. The little repetitions, the excess verbiage, etc., all come to light when you're not viewing the passage in the larger context of your story. I do like that I already get a small sense of the character from your passage, although without that larger context, I find myself questioning how the last bit about being 22 and graduating has to do with the rest. I'm sure it will make sense in the larger story, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Krisin--it's hard to get the full context in such a short piece, and there's definitely holes that can't be helped due to the randomness the exercise requires. I'm glad, though, that at least a sense of character did make it through :) Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. What a fun and easy tag, thanks Guilie. The only hard part will be not cheating...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know what you mean. Six Sentence Sunday really made me aware that every sentence should count :)

    I answered here:

    http://1000thmonkey.blogspot.com/2012/03/lucky-number-13-uh-i-mean-7.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes--exactly! SSS has really brought that particular lesson home to me, too. Off to read your post!

      Delete
  4. Hmm, I'm going to have to check if I've even reached page 77 on my WIP. What do I do if I haven't??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ted! You can use another MS if you have one, or--and I'm just inventing rules here--maybe you can use page 7? Dunno. I guess the point is to share an arbitrary and random piece of our work without editing, just to lose the fear of showing, and to help us focus on editing in briefer chunks, so feel free to adapt the rules as you see fit :) Look forward to it!

      Delete
    2. Well, I actually do have more than 77 pages done on my WIP, so I've just posted...

      Delete
  5. That's true, tiny segments really make me micro edit. I have to admit, I cheated and made one when I posted my 7 lines XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, Gwen! Still, just ONE tiny edit is hardly significant :) Thanks again!

      Delete
  6. Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really enjoyed this, Guilie! It gives a really nice sense of character.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...