A few days ago my good friend and Editor Peter Muller shared with me a compliment that inspired this post.
“Joe it is a great pleasure and gift to get to know you as we have worked together over the last four years. As I work on editing your manuscript I see the parallel between you and your character Jake on his journey to evolve and become enlightened.” Peter remarked.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked with a smile as big as Texas.
“You and your writing have evolved much like your character Jake does in the story. I have to say that you are on the path that is meant for you. You are becoming a great writer.” Peter exclaimed with a smile just as grand.
Peter rarely gives compliments, as an editor he is more likely to give a critique or voice an opinion about how a thought or idea could have been expressed in a more powerful way. I appreciate and am honored that he cares about me enough to teach me and guide me as I learn the craft of writing.
I thought I might share an illustration of how important rewriting is in the evolution of a story.
The following paragraph was selected from my upcoming novel The Talisman.
The rough draft:
Jake felt unlike he had ever felt, it was as if he was immense and small at the same time, he could feel his skin, his muscles, he could feel the valves of his heart open and close, the blood pulsing through his veins, he could feel his lungs expanding and contracting it seemed he could even feel the air separate and mix with his blood. He closed his eyes and even before he started to silently chant he could see the purple cloud and white ball he was becoming familiar with. He silently started to chant, it seemed to him his silent chant was loud and powerful even in its faint delicate silence.
The First rewrite:
Jake had a feeling within, unlike no other feeling he had ever felt. It was as if he was immense and small at the same time. When he sat down, he felt the life, in his skin, and in his muscles. He could feel the valves of his heart open and close, the blood pulsing through his veins. With each breath he could feel his lungs expanding and contracting it seemed he could even feel the air separate and mix with his blood. He had never felt so alive.
The Second rewrite:
When Jake sat down it was surreal as if he was in a dream. He was immense and small at the same time. He felt the cells in his skin, muscles and organs. He could hear the valves of his heart open and close, as the blood pulsed through his veins. With each breath as his lungs expanded and contracted, the air separated and mixed with his blood, he experienced the sensation of being alive.
Each rewrite expressed the same thought yet the last paragraph was far more concise and shared with the reader a more powerful picture. The last version was a better way of showing the reader than telling the reader when compared to the two previous versions.
As the writer I wanted the reader to feel what my character felt and used the word “feel” in its various tenses six times in the original draft, seven times in the first rewrite and only one time in the last rewrite.
Which paragraph do you feel is more powerful and captivating?
I read the first rewrite in a writing group thinking I had captured the essence of what I was trying to convey in a way that would invoke the imagination of my readers and inspire them to vicariously share my characters experience. Then one of the members of the group pointed out that I had used the word feel seven times in one paragraph.
As a writer it was an eye opening comment that made me look at how I could better capture the imagination of my readers by using my own imagination and choosing different words to captivate them.
Good writing is achieved through rewriting. Rewriting is how a story and writer evolve.
Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoyed the experience and perhaps that in some way this post may enrich your life in some way. Thank you for being beautiful you and making our world a better place for all we share it with.
As I sat at my keyboard to compose
The notes that within me rose
Express my heart in poetic prose
Words could not describe
What I felt inside
Music did in the silence hide
Time and beat
Rhythm and rhyme
Words sometimes cannot define
To embrace the stillness
Is to know the divine
Is a state sublime
I have been completing my novel and am in the process of querying agents. Sorry I have been neglecting to post and read as many posts as usual… A few more days and the letters will be sent the new novel is underway and I will make time to be more present here.
Thank you all for being so awesome and sharing your notes of concern and wonder I am doing well… Much love and appreciation to you all. Thank you for being beautiful you!
You have taken over my mind
Distracted feeling quite sublime
Feelings and thoughts transcending time
Thoughts racing bouncing here and there
Should be focused yet I don’t care
Wish my fingers were running through your hair
As you speak
My knees get weak
Your body in bed I seek
To feel your flesh skin on skin
The thoughts that rage within
With you naked we begin
Passion building bursting free
Your legs wrapped around me
Slowly the rhythm builds
Quivering as your depth you yield
Our bodies melting as it is filled
Clenching squeezing contracting
Your inner works reacting
From the depths of me extracting
Our magical attraction
Distracted by thoughts and dreams
Making love with you on my mind it seems
What a lovely distraction your sweet smile brings
My virtual Valentine
You are on my mind
Can’t wait to meet you in space and time
For the first time since my first kiss… I have no Valentine to share this Valentines Day with. I am a romantic kind of guy and figured I would throw my thoughts out into the Universe and be surprised with what it shares with me! I actually have a lady I desire to make my Valentine she really made me feel so sublime yet I have only just met her and she lives quite a ways away. It may seem kind of … Scary maybe to show up and take her for dinner out of the blue. So I decided to just chill and wrote a poem expressing how I feel. Happy Valentines to you all and my virtual Valentine, maybe next year I may once again have one that is real!
Just wanted to share the most interesting thing I encountered in my day of expansion and learning. This was quite entertaining and quite makes the point that sounds… Shape and influence our world and our Universe!
Science and entertainment! Hope you enjoy!
What do you think?
Jake exited the Lincoln Tunnel entering the urban jungle of concrete, steel, and flesh, the “Big Apple”. He turned onto Tenth Ave. abruptly slamming on the brakes just avoiding a collision with a redhead that had a body like Marilyn Monroe.
“Damn it” he cursed, as his coffee cup erupted like a volcano. He looked at the traffic signal making sure he had the green thinking; it’s suicidal for someone on foot to try to cross against the signal, during the morning rush hour.
What the hell, is she doing, he thought while searching for a napkin to clean up the murky pool that now graced the seat of his jeep ” Betsy”. He retrieved a napkin and looked up from the spotless consol to find the road hazard staring into his eyes as she walked towards him.
The smell of overheating brakes, burnt oil and scorched tires wafted through the window assaulting Jake’s nose as he rolled it down “What the hell are you doing, are you crazy?” he shouted over the cacophony of horns, now blaring simultaneously, by the conductor- less, orchestra …the five lanes of stopped traffic that now surrounded him.
“I came to find you Jake; we need to talk, and you haven’t got much time.” She said before asking rather smugly.” Are you going to let me in or leave me standing here to get run over?”
“What are you talking about, do I know you?” Jake queered, as he pondered whether he should let her in or not. What harm could she do he muttered in his mind. She is half my size and doesn’t look like an axe murderer. Even if she is there was no way she is hiding an axe in that outfit. . She was wearing a perfectly pleated paisley dress which revealed her shapely body, and highlighted her auburn hair, and enchanting green eyes. He unlocked the door and told her “get in.”
The flowery spring like fragrance of her perfume preceded her entry, making him feel somehow lighter, and full of joy. He smiled as climbed in and sat next to him. “My name is Sandra; I have been a friend of yours for close to three thousand years.” She said as her full lips proclaimed, revealing her brilliant white teeth and creating a warm smile.
“What?’ exclaimed Jake” Three thousand years is a long time. In case you hadn’t noticed I am not that old, even though I am forty-three I don’t feel in any way ancient. You, my beautiful friend, can’t be a day over thirty, thirty five at the most.”
“Do you believe in reincarnation?”She retorted, then before Jake could answer she continued”We are spiritual beings, souls that have chosen to take a physical body.
The song just seemed to fit! “The Talisman of Immortality” coming soon to a book store near you!
Little Angel spread your wings
Although you were only here for a moment
You have made my heart sing
Love is what you brought and all you knew
Love is what I give back to you
Your time though short on this earth
Only moments from
The time of your birth
I love you forever for what my love is worth
Love is beyond a moment in time
I carry you in this heart of mine
The love you shared is a gift divine
I see you flying with your angel wings
A tear of sorrow and joy the vision brings
I love you is the song my shattered heart sings
Thank you for sharing your love
My little Angel up above
Sometimes the smallest things are only there for the shortest moments, those moments are sometimes the greatest gifts and teachers. My life has been touched by a young soul that was in it only for a few moments yet those moments have affected me and my family forever.
If you only had ten minutes left of your life what would you do with them? If you only had ten more minutes to live I hope you have the gift of being held by someone you love and someone who loves you. If I had ten minutes right now although I sit alone my heart would be and is filled with the greatest of love. I have no words to truly express what that means, other than a tragic moment fills my heart with a reverence and love in this moment that I shall cherish and embrace as long as I am able. Joy is hard to find in my mind, yet joy and peace are found in my presence this moment. Fly little Angel fly I am watching you with a tear of joy in my eye!
Thank you all and may peace love and joy fill your moments as you are present in them.