and 20 more!
a good day, indeed.
so what changed? well, as my wife reminded me just the other day, when i was in the midst of my slog and feeling like typing these revisions in was going to end up taking longer than actually writing it in the first place, there are large sections of the book where the changes are minimal.
‘yes, well, of course,’ you say. ‘if there are less changes, of course it will go faster.’ and you’re obviously correct.
the learning for me, though, is why there are such differences in the amount of changes. what makes one section so different from another, that i feel the need to make so many more (and more significant) changes?
and this is actually a bit of a surprise, because it’s the action scenes that tend to drive me forward, get my blood flowing, spark the creative juices. or that’s the way it feels when i’m writing them. and when i’m writing them, they feel flawless. the words fly from the pencil, shooting across and down the page and onto the next and on and on. i see the action in my mind, the twists and turns, the sudden double-backs, the leaps, the chases, the fights, the escapes, the falls, the dodges, all of it. i race through these sections, not creating the scenes, but doing my level best just to keep up, not to get left behind. it’s a draining rush, and it’s always a thrill.
but this is the written word. it’s not a visual medium. yes, words paint pictures, certainly, but of a different type. the example that comes to mind is a jackie chan film. i can’t imagine how someone could possibly translate those fight scenes onto the page without turning them into some kind of dragged out Twister* game. it would take a page of text to describe every second or so, for crying out loud.
and yet, when i’m writing the first draft, that’s what i end up doing. worse, if i’m not paying attention when i do the revisions (which i wasn’t, in this case), i only make it worse, landing me in the spot i was in earlier this week, slogging through and re-revising every step.
on the other hand, i find that most common written action scenes leave huge questions for me, where i wonder why the character didn’t do this instead of that, didn’t grab the nearby telephone as at least some form of weapon against her attacker, didn’t consider the window as a possible exit, whatever. i may be the only one who asks these questions, but they still bother me.
which puts me back in my own conundrum, trying to use such details effectively in action scenes, which i have a tendency to over-write.
* okay, i loved this game as a kid, but Hannah Montana Twister?