I found a sweet new way to revise. I used to copy my old draft to a new file and make changes there. Now I split my screen, put the old draft on the left, and write a new copy on the right, starting with a blank file. Granted, “write a new copy” is just copy & paste for the parts where I’m satisfied with the old version, so functionally it works out to the same thing. But it feels different, and I’m lovin’ it.
The first sentence of my new draft is:
The Lady Rana Serago sat twelve years alone in a deep dungeon.
Comparisons with your own revision process?
Anyway, leave me a comment and I’ll read it in a few hours. Too busy writing at the moment. 🙂
Usually I do my first edit by printing out the work and marking it up in red pen. This is good for avoiding just skimming the text. However, it also produces a stack of pages I need to recycle.
So, coincidentally, I was musing this morning on other methods of editing I could use when I finish my novel, to avoid printing then recycling hundreds of pages. Copying across into a new document might produce enough of a change in reading to have the same effect.
I quite like your new first line. It does feel very stylised, so could set the reader up to expect an older-fashioned story (a la, Lovecraft, Poe, &c); this is not a bad thing, but worth considering if it is actually gritty sci-fi.
Thanks Dave! I’m glad I offered a new editing idea, and I appreciate your comments about the opening. You’re right that it’s a stylized line, but I think the rest of the story can support it. We’ll see!
somehow “deep” doesn’t sound necessary with “dungeon” but perhaps another adjective might be better such as “cold”, “godforsaken” …???
I don’t know. “Deep” and “alone” seem to go well together, both evoking a sense of … well… aloneness, solitude, etc.
Thanks for the feedback!
I see what you’re saying about the redundancy. In a logical sense, “dungeon” does generally imply “deep.” But for me, I think there’s enough difference that it gives it a little extra punch – and I do like the sound of the words together. 🙂
Venetian dungeons were at roof level. I believe several other nations with digging issues (mostly due to being in steep mountains) have used vertiginous imprisonment as well. So deep dungeon is not redundant.
Even if it is subterranean, proximity to the daylight was often a function of punishment/reward/rank/&c. so deep dungeon conveys greater abandonment than just dungeon.
I’d argue that “deep” and “dungeon” are partially redundant. Yes, you can have a dungeon that isn’t deep, just as you can have a winter that isn’t cold, or a midnight that isn’t dark. Nevertheless, if you say winter, people think of cold, and if you say midnight, people think of darkness. Saying “it was midnight, and it was dark,” would be considered redundant, even if it’s possible it could be otherwise. Deep dungeons are a less extreme case, but I still think there’s some overlap in meaning, in general usage if not in the precise definitions.
That said, it’s only partial overlap, which is why I think “deep dungeon” still works – and why I agree with your second paragraph. 🙂 Thanks Dave.
I have no idea how I revise but I occasionally get it done in the end.
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Oh wow thanks for posting this. I’ve been revising the way you described as your before, but your new way sounds so much better. So simple – feel like I should have thought of that, but glad you did!
Excellent! Glad I could help. Good luck. 🙂