Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #12

WordPress is snowing. But it is currently 70 degrees outside. In December. *sobs* My life is ruined.

And now back to our regularly scheduled writing drivel, this week’s post relates to editing and polishing up your work. One thing I’ve noticed as I frantically try to finish the revisions on my novel before Christmas (just an abstract goal, I’m not going to curse anyone with it as a gift) is that you can lose a lot in editing. If you are–as I am–trying to work mainly on the plot, the prose itself can get lost in the scuffle and as such, sink your work just as quickly as a bad plot. Ergo, this week’s…assignment(it’s not technically a prompt, I suppose).

Q. Take 1-2 paragraphs of your current work. Give it a good spit-polish keeping these points in mind.

-Passive is bad.

Appropriate, gripping adjectives are good in small doses.

Awkward phrases are bad.

 Unnecessary words are also bad.

Run-on sentences are an evil spawned in the darkest pits of the dark side of the moon and should be killed on sight.


I’m starting with the first paragraphs of my novel. They really, really need help at the moment. Here is the unedited version…

“Before you’re sucked into the chaos that makes up my life, allow me to point out one thing. This was in no way my fault. Well…the stairwell incident sort of was, but that’s beside the point. All in all, I was just a perfect innocent (not a word I get to use often) who happened to get sucked into the blasted mess.

Then again, it isn’t unusual for me to be in trouble. But usually, it’s of my own making rather than something someone else planned for me to stumble into. A gadget gone wrong, a trip gone weird, or simply my own blasted curiosity typically catapults me into trouble—and I don’t mind. It can be one of the most amusing past-times for a peculiar person to get oneself in and out of trouble. This time, I wasn’t given the choice.”

And here is the edited version.

“Before you’re sucked into my three-ring circus of a life, allow to point out one very important little fact. The events of this tale were not my fault. Well…outside of the stairwell incident. That was probably me. But, either way, it’s beside the point. 

For once in my life, I can honestly say that I was an innocent bystander, sucked into trouble by a certain n’erdowell and forced to cause a bit of chaos of my own in the process of getting out.  Granted, it isn’t unusual for me to be embroiled in one mess or another, but I generally make it myself rather than letting someone else do it for me. One of my gizmos gone wrong, a trip gone wrong, or simply my own blasted curiosity–and I don’t mind. It can be vastly amusing for someone with a good sense of adventure and significant amounts of explosives. But someone else setting a trap for me to fall into? This was a first.”

Your answers?


Categories: Writing Prompt Monday! | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Writing Prompt Monday – Entry #12

  1. Anna

    Ooh! You could give ME your novel as a gift!
    So, here’s the scene where poor Nora tries to “cope” with the fact that her husband is MIA…

    (this is supposed to be italicized XD) Please, no… (end italics)
    Marc couldn’t be missing. No, some other woman was supposed to receive this letter- not Nora. Someone else’s husband was gone, in jail or dead. Somehow, the Union army had sent her the wrong letter. Marc was safe in camp, sitting around a fire or doing whatever soldiers did. Yes, it was another soldier whose life was endangered.
    Nora knew she couldn’t lie to herself. But it was the only way she could cope, by telling herself that there was a mistake. Yet she knew, deep down, that Marc Rossi truly was gone, possibly never to return.

  2. Anna

    Not sure why I forgot the edited version…

    Marc couldn’t be missing.
    No, Marc was safe and sound, sitting around a campfire somewhere, doing whatever soldiers do. He would be swapping stories and jokes, laughing with his friends and grinning his charming grin. Some other woman was supposed to receive this letter,not Nora. Someone else’s husband was gone, in jail or dead. Somehow, the Union army had sent her the wrong letter. Some other soldier was endangered, not Marc.
    Nora knew she shouldn’t lie to herself.
    Yet no one had told her how to process her surroundings properly, how to cope with painful circumstances, ways to handle her grief. Her mother never thought a pampered heiress would need that set of life skills. So Nora continued with her comforting lies, trying to ease herself to sleep.

  3. Prilla

    You named him Rossi????????? 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  4. Anna

    I just googled common Italian surnames and picked the easiest to spell. XD His parents are Italian immigrants, so I wanted to find something authentic…

  5. Prilla

    “Rossi” is to the Italians what “Smith” is to the Americans pretty much.

  6. Pingback: The Shine On Award | apprentice, never master

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