Friday, September 17, 2010

Long hand vs typed first draft

Well, I certainly impressed the members of the writers group I'm in by showing them some of my hand written manuscripts. One even uttered the word awed. Hmmm I hand write the first draft simply because I can't think as fast as I type and I feel as though I spend most of my time staring at the computer screen. However, I am thinking.

When I hand write, I lie on our queen size bed, surrounded by my thesaurus, dictionary, and Romance Writer's Phrase Book. Music is blaring in my ears, usually from the chosen play list I've created for that particular manuscript. I have a pen, and not just any pen, but a "special" pen I've picked. It can't smudge. It can't write too thickly, or too thinly, and Heaven help the pen if the nib is cracked. My eldest daughter refuses to go pen shopping with me. My son...well, I mention pen shopping and he runs for the hills!

Most women get excited when given diamonds or gold as presents (don't get me wrong husband, diamonds and gold are a girl's best friend!). Me? I'm over the moon with five or six sturdy covered A4 lecture books. It means I can keep writing. hehehe Makes me sound very sad.

But! To the reason for this post, and I'm afraid it will be a long post. I promised a comparison between a hand written scene and a published scene. My writer friends wanted to see the transformation from scribble to polished final draft. So, I've picked one particular scene from my debut novel, Illusions of Destiny. I think this scene depicts the transformation well.


Ianna stumbled backwards, still clutching the stick. The trap flew through the air and she watched with horror as it landed where her next stumbling step was to fall.
A quick burst of light lit the forest and Ianna's body froze, her foot inches above the trap. In less than a moment, she regained use of her body and threw herself backwards away from the trap, and landed on her bottom with an echoing ooomph!
More curious than frightened, Ianna climbed to her feet and walked to where Mysra and Orion were seemingly frozen in time. She studied their faces and tentatively touched their horns. Then, she bent and inspected the bloody wounds on Mysra's back legs. The blood had stopped flowing but the cuts were deep and were already swelling.
"We'll have to fix those," she mumbled, patting Mysra's stomach affectionately.
"Unicorns are self healing."
Ianna let out a gasp and spun around, startled by the sudden voice.
"You have a good heart, Ianna the Just."
Ianna merely stared at the man, tongue tied. He was a little taller than shewas, maybe six foot, and well built, but not overly muscular. His shoulder length hair was blond, almost white and his skin shimmered with a sun kissed glow.
"You are too precious to allow fate have her way."


Unbalanced from the amount of force she used to open the trap, Ianna stumbled backwards still clutching the stick. The trap flicked off the unicorn’s legs and flew through the air to land exactly where her stumbling steps led. Fear coursed through her as she tried to stop herself but her body’s momentum proved too much.
Closing her eyes, she sucked in a deep breath and waited for the pain. It never came. Frowning, she opened her eyes and glanced around. What the…? Her body stopped, mid fall, suspending her in the air above the trap, light as a feather. Then, the small clearing came alive with an iridescent radiance that pulsated outwards as a tangible warmth.
Ianna watched the brightness, worried. What came for her, now? She blinked against the glow and gasped when, somehow, she ended up in the arms of a man. Whether friend or foe, she didn’t know, and at that very moment, didn’t care. She looked into his smiling aqua eyes and for the first time in her life, believed in love at first sight.

The shine behind him subsided and he lost his godly aura, but not his masculine beauty. His strong features held a certain sensuality, and his dimpled smile melted her heart. His shoulder length hair shone silver-blond in the dwindling light, but his eyes—Ianna couldn’t drag her gaze from them. They were compelling, serene—extraordinary—just like the man. She’d looked into those eyes before, in her dreams.

He wore a long white tunic, embroidered with gold beading and a thick gold band sat snugly around his head. He looked important. The warmth that enveloped her subsided when he gently placed her on her feet.

“You’re safe now,” he said, his voice smooth, like velvet.

“Thank you,” she replied.

A blush crept into her cheeks when he stared at her as openly as she studied him. He captivated her and drew her to him like a ship to a lighthouse. It wasn’t like her to fall for a good-looking man with a devastating grin but—oh—she’d only ever imagined such perfection.

“You have a good heart, Ianna, and are too precious to lose to destiny and her fickle ways.”

Well, that's the transformation. After 3-4 rewrites, things tend to fall into place.

Have a great weekend!


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