In the mind of a Writer

Posts tagged ‘Editing’

Opening Lines


On my journey of editing my suspense/thriller novella (one of three in the Driving Lies Trilogy), I have learned a few things. . . one of these things I that you need a good first line and/or paragraph. You need to pull your readers in. (You don’t need it while writing draft one: draft one is getting the story on paper. However when you edit that is when you correct and tweak to have the detail make sense. That is when you write and rewrite the beginning to pull that reader in.)


I went through my kindle books: I read the beginning of each and out of 65 stories, there were 38 that had at least a C rating. (C rating meant that it at least made me want to read through the page.) Only 13 out of 38 had an A average.


If you make me question what is going (without confusing me), then you have pulled me in. If I want to read more than just first page, then I would really want to read more.

For example, the first line in Anne Rice’s novel The Vampire Armand . . . “They said a child had died in the attic. Her clothes had been discovered in the wall.” I want to know what is going to happen next, and what happened to the child.


I also enjoy when you can describe the setting so well that you make me feel I am there in the story. Raeanne Hadley is very good at pulling me into the setting of her books. “It was one of those spring mornings that made you glad you were alive. The air smelled of efflorescent flowers and blossoming trees, fresh cut grass and barbeque. The temperature was perfect; warm enough that you could have your windows open all day yet not hot enough to have to turn on air conditioning. It was still weeks away from getting so hot that it would melt the deodorant off your armpits. Everyone you passed had a smile and a wave. With all of these beautiful things happening around me, I knew I was going to have a rotten day.”
I love how I feel on those few and perfect days between Spring and Summer.


Hadley, RaeAnne (2012-01-01). Mechanics of Murder (Josephine Lingenfelter series) (Kindle Location 16). Lulu Publishing. Kindle Edition.


Rice, Anne (1998). The Vampire Armand. Ballantine Books.


Write, Write and Rewrite

Write, Write, and Rewrite


I write the first time for myself; as I have said many times, my first time is my therapy.  Draft A is always for me. Draft C-Z is for the world. Draft B is all work. (Sometimes drafts C-Y are all work too). By the way, draft Z will always be different than draft A.

Writing is the creative, artistic, enjoyable part for me. It’s the editing and sometimes the rewriting that is really work for me. It doesn’t matter if I am writing a blog, an essay, a short story, a novella, script, or a novel, there is always an editing/rewrite process. (I hate this process!)

I will even make sure my work is edited before I send it to most beta readers. . . however I suck at editing my own work. I’m known for skipping words, ideas, run-on sentences, and mixed up the tenses of my verbs.

The most times I’ve ever had to rewrite a scene was over 15. My script-writing professor had me change this scene back and forth, because she wasn’t sure which way the scene made the most impact. (I think I ended up asking a few of my fellow writing students for advice.)

I have rewritten a scene several times only to have deleted from the updated draft of the manuscript as well. At first, I was frustrated that I used that much time on that scene only to delete it, but looking back I take it as lesson learned. I learned that if the scene doesn’t help the storyline or character development, don’t focus on it right away. It helps me to determine which scenes stay in the final draft and which get deleted.


I am only saying this for other writer’s out there. There is no such thing as having your writing perfect all of the time. There will be a time where you will have to edit/rewrite something. It is part of the writing process. If you have money (or friend that edit), you can get someone else to edit for you. However most of us, writers have to write, edit, and rewrite.