Rough Screams

Let’s talk about roughness, screams, excesses, and murder. I’m a killer writer, my Wicked Luvs. When a word doesn’t do anything for my tale, I murder it. However, like most Word Criminal Master Minds (or maybe it’s just me), there are times when I take trigger-happy a bit too far.

My first draft of “Brownies, Brews and Blades” was almost 500 words. I had to chop off 200 of my darlings, in order to bring the scene down to the required word count. During the massacre, I played a lot with the words “rough” and “scream.”

I felt that “rough” didn’t add much to the action or to the plot as a whole (The super’s rough voice made me jump.). The reaction of the character who thought the words was enough to convey the mood the story needed. Still, I left the word alone (I don’t always know when my trigger-happy moments will fire). Then—without me saying anything about it—someone pointed out that “rough” wasn’t needed, so I killed it. A few days later, a second person said that the word didn’t bother her…

The case of “scream” also has to do with excess. In the first draft, the “screams” were plural. My sexy first reader, Piano Man, felt that there was too much screaming. I agreed, especially after listening to my Kindle read the scene aloud. I won’t show you the actual fragment because with a piece of only 299 words a tiny excerpt can give away the whole story. But I will say that the plural form of the word could have broken the delicate veil that exists between astonishing and melodramatic. Read “Brownies, Brews and Blades,” and tell me what you think.

And that, my Luvs, is my long response to a fellow writer who emailed me to ask, “Would you mind explaining why you ended up cutting ‘rough’ out?” The short answer is that I didn’t need “rough,” and when a word doesn’t do anything for my tale, I kill it.

While we’re discussing rough and unfinished things, let me show you a bit of my writing space.

I totally lied, I will show you the whole thing. (For those who don’t know it, I write in bed—desks hate me.)
Oh, and that huge glow about to melt my window? That’s just Amaterasu saying hello.

 I’ve been brewing poetry… The wee blue cat likes to keep warm.

I had to show you my book stopper. It’s one of a kind; yep, a Magaly Original. It used to be a bottle of Peach Schnapps in its former life, (but we don’t talk about it). No shadow! Shadow!! Just like magic!!!

Here is Wicked, flanked by six years of The New Yorker, World Religions and Rifleman Dodd, and sitting on centuries of literature. I’m sure she is planning world domination. She’s related to The Brain.

P.S. There is a story that comes with my unfinished writing space. I promise to tell it, soon… ;-)

28 comments:

  1. I also write in bed. It's the only room I can shut the kids out. ;)

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    1. I can only write in bed. And not in all beds, just while sitting on one that is firm enough not to misplace my hip bones or an annoying little nerve that keeps on making my back really piss off.

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  2. A match made in heaven - You write in bed; I read in bed!

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    1. I read in bed, too! It's my favorite thing to do ;-D

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  3. And the last picture of the little angel thing completely ruins anything else I was thinking of saying, at this moment... because I and my girls were watching Doctor Who earlier, and now all I can think of is The Angels Take Manhattan... with Lady Liberty turned into a Weeping Angel... and anything that takes the image of an Angel becomes an Angel...

    *ahem* And now I shall go *not* sleep while I try to think of a more cogent response. lol.

    -Fox

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    1. You know, Wicked (even without Doctor Who's influence) has that effect on people. Look at her grin, that angel is constantly planning mayhem.

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  4. I adore your writing space. All those little drawers that are different sizes and different directions are lovely in a topsy turvy loving kind of way. Empty (or full) bottles make excellent decor. I have the bartenders here saving me Patron bottles, and I go hunting in the dump often for blue glass and interesting bottles. I love Pinky and The Brain. As a fellow space cadet, I am partial to Pinky. Your angel does indeed look like she's plotting.

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    1. I love the little drawers' attitude, they refuse to be like all other drawers lol

      Patron bottles are sooo beautiful. I used to have one, covered in was (I used it as a candle holder for many years). Then a friend fell in love with it, and I gave it to him. Him, I might have to have a talk with a local bartender--what a great idea!

      I love Pinky and The Brain, and The Brain has always reminded me of me (especially while talking to my best friend--I swear he is related to Pinky and loves to drive me nuts, but I adore him).

      I have no doubt about that angel. Oh, and I'm always wondering why her hair and robe look like she just got drenched...

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  5. It is more your reading space..judging by the pics. hehe :) I loved it!
    and.. nice nice cupboard you have! I can imagine how many things you can keep inside it...delicious!

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    1. It is, indeed. I keep the books am currently reading and some reference books by me (I'm secretly very lazy, so I don't want to get up to get them after I settle down lol).

      I have all kinds of secrets in those drawers... ;-D

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    2. You have them, no doubt ;)
      I wish I had at least a proper table in my room to keep a book I am reading. But okay, my small collection of books found its yet tiny space in the drawing room. I am going to get some more when I go home this Summer! yey!

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    3. And I'm sure you bring their pages in your heart wherever you go, too ;-D

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  6. It's funny reading about you and your words. It's kinda like my thinking around interior decor (my job). I am questioning the placement, the color, the use of objects all the time. I put something somewhere, step back to have a look, walk around the house, see it in a different light. I kill my darlings by packing stuff away or giving stuff away.

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    1. I think most art is living work while it's being created. And in the case of interior decorating and, let's say dancing, the living continues even after the art is declared completed--you can always move something around, a dancing can always add a little something to a move.

      The same happens to writing, but in a different way. The beginning is the same: we move things around, get rid of stuff, add a bit... Then after the project is completed, the art continue living through the experiences of readers.

      I love how that works.

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  7. I love that unfinished piece! As far as writing, I can write just about anywhere- literally!and whether it be laptop, long hand, journal, scraps of paper u name it I am flexible.. maybe that's why I lose some of whatever I have written?! :-)

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    1. I used to be able to write anywhere... about 15 years ago. Then I hurt my shoulder and my hip, and the injuries changed my life. I can no longer write longhand for more than a few minutes, I can't eat at a regular table, and I can only write my tales while my legs are stretched out in bed.

      And I still lose some of what I write lol

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    2. wait till u forget where u put it! omg. my kids just shake their heads...lol

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    3. You're assuming that hasn't been happening already! LOL

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  8. I am currently "roughing up" a little wooden box while thinking of you :D XXX

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    1. I'm doing a little dance ;-D

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  9. I love your dresser! I like unfinished wood ( also the scent of leather being cleaned, wood being cut, mown grass, & Murphy's Oil Soap) almost as much as I do a deep cherry wood stain. My next move, I hope that I have enough room or such a dresser :)

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    1. Then I'll close my eyes and wish for unfinished wood, and scent of leather being cleaned, and wood being cut and grass, and Murphy's Oil Soap, and all the room you want to fill with the things you like ;-D

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  10. the unfinished piece of furniture....kinda reminds me of you my darling. The drawers are there and functional but not in a common or usual way. The appearance is jazzy but yet orderly....but it holds so much more than can even be seen from it's appearance. A lovely, mysterious, conundrum piece that can be many things and is quite beautiful. Oma Linda

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    1. My mind is thinking about a great response for these wonderful words, but my heart told it to shut up and just said, "You're the best, Oma Linda!"

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  11. I love your writing space! That little blue cat is adorable! I have to admit, if I painted in bed, it would be messy and I think I would fall asleep! LOL!

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    1. I just had a flash of you painting in bed... Your poor sheets! lol

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  12. Hmmm, writing in bed... That's the best... And I have a real cat to keep me warm :)

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    1. See that hint of green coating my words? That's good old envy. Yep, I'm wishing I had a furry friend to warm my feet while I write. I miss mine, a LOT.

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