Hello! I am a yet-to-be published novel writer. You can find some of my rough pieces posted here as well as a series of articles on writing advice. If you want to get in touch with me, you can reach me at @B_M_Valdez on Twitter.
What is Rewriting?
I thought I’d start my series of writing advice articles with this topic as it is one that stumped me for years. As a writer, you’re often told that drafting is the easy part. You have an inciting incident to kick off the plot, maybe you get bogged down in the draggy middle, but then you wrap everything up nicely in the end. The hard part comes next: revision. I used to think this meant making bigger picture changes (adding a character here, deleting a scene there, changing the sequence of events) followed by an in-depth line edit which includes doing a Find and Replace of the whole document to remove filter words.
Once Upon a Pear
The professor brought the lecture to a close with a wave like a conductor’s baton. John ducked his head and began gathering his notes together. Murmured voices filled the hall as the rest of the class filtered out. He tucked his pages into the ratty briefcase his father had generously loaned him only a few short weeks ago. Already, John’s heart ached for the comfort of home. Even if he did return to Georgia, the comfort wouldn’t be there. Ever again.
The first deep chill of December was always the hardest for John’s Georgian blood to bear. The trek across campus from his dorm to his courses was made longer by his aching limbs. At least he only needed to make the journey twice per day: once on the way in and again on the way out. Completing his studies as expediently as possible would ensure John could fulfill his dream of dentistry before long.
The Young and the Rustless
When Doc and Wyatt entered the marshal’s office, Virgil was already pacing the length of it, continuing an even stride despite the disruption. His footsteps reverberated around Doc, creating a rhythm that threatened to put Doc to sleep. They’d had a hard ride into Tombstone the night before, and Doc had barely been able to rest at their hotel. Wyatt had been up early, of course. Now his older brother didn’t even seem to notice their presence.
Ivory and Marigolds
Sharp, crisp notes lilted through the parlor. John’s long fingers danced over the ivory keys while his mother swayed nearby, a tea cup clutched delicately in one bony hand. Each chord John struck brought Chopin’s masterpiece to life. He would play the piano forever just to see his mother smiling like that. His father hated the sound—like broken glass clobbered under a horse’s hooves—because it stood to remind him that John would never be the son he’d wanted. Despite his mother’s efforts to shield John from his father’s disdain, John could see it clearly.
12. The Numbers Meeting
Chapter Twelve Mercedes, Number One Roanoke City, Strike County Mercedes shut the door to his red Mustang, once his father’s car, parked front and center at the doors to the barn in Orchard County. Only four other cars were there. Ranger’s yellow Corvette was parked next to a midnight-maroon and cream Dodge Charger complete with Raymond state trooper markings and a light bar on top. A jagged yellow paint line struck through the word “State” on both sides of the car. On the other side of the cruiser was Legend’s gold 1960s Jaguar. Perpendicular to the Jaguar was a white Camaro with red racing stripes.
15. All That Glitters
Chapter Fifteen Arctic, Czar Lonephalt, Tenth County The bright beam of the flashlight blinded him. Narrowing his eyes against the intense light, Arctic reached to the door and thumbed the driver’s window down with the switch. He gazed up at the officer, blinking his eyes rapidly as he tried to make out the man’s face, and returned his hand to the steering wheel.
Chapter Seventeen Ranger, Number Three Waspwood, Locksley County Ranger studied the packet of paper. His legs were crossed at the knees as he leaned back against the tail of his yellow Corvette. He was parked in an alleyway a few blocks away from one of the more obscure payphones on the streets of Waspwood. The article discussed the roadblock in vague details. Something about tollbooth-like checkpoints on every street in the state to prevent rogue motor vehicles from speeding down them. The article also cited the Roanoke City Senior High School mascot, which was listed as the racer, the RACE assessment, and that Tenth County had taken its name from the racers’ ten-digit mobile numbers—even though there were only seven counties in the state—as ways that the citizens of the “barbaric fifty-first state” have turned the “dangerous and despicable” criminals into heroes and idols.
14. A Chance at Something Real
Chapter Fourteen Ranger, Number Four Waspwood, Locksley County Eleven Months Ago Ranger ducked into the subterranean Lonephalt club, All That Glitters. It was his turn to visit his best friend, Bronze. When Ranger had called Bronze the previous day to confirm their meeting, Bronze had told him that he had urgent news. Ranger had wanted to rush over to Tenth County right then but Bronze had said that it could wait until the next day.
6. FBI's Most Wanted
Chapter Six Mercedes, Number One Roanoke City, Strike County It was just after four PM by the time Mercedes actually went home. He hadn’t done much since he’d spoken with Corey, only the things he usually did when his emotions were challenged like that. Bought a carton of the green Universal brand cigarettes. Visited the grave of Gary “Wheels” Quest, his father. Sat in his car at the beach, again, smoking the carton of cigarettes.