Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Week in Writing #409 - Numbering and Rewrites

Hope everyone is staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Funny thing. As soon as I published last week's post, I realized I had been numbering wrong for the past few weeks. Apparently, in my world #406 repeats, so I was off by one for about three weeks. The numbering has been corrected but it's things like that that make you feel stupid. Great way to end a week.

I know I said I was going to work on fka Skylar this week, and surprise surprise, I didn't really. Instead, I got interested in rewriting the first chapter of the book I'm currently querying around, Broken People. As you probably know, most queries require a writing sample, some part of the beginning of the novel. It can be 1000 words, the first chapter, the first three chapters, or the first 50 pages, depending on the agent/agency. The one thing they all have in common is that they start at the beginning. I started to wonder if the lack of response was due to how the first chapter started, so I thought I should rewrite it.

I don't usually get into specifics of what I'm actually writing but I'll make an exception in this case.

The first chapter takes place in a club, A-X-N, pronounced Action, where my private detective has followed a man that he has to serve with a subpoena. With the help of a waitress, whose name he doesn't yet know, they've found the man getting into a boxing ring with a former flyweight; the guy's large but super drunk. I won't get into all the action but I began to feel that I had started the chapter in the wrong place.

In the old version, I had the private detective enjoying holding the woman's hand; helping to ground him after a day of searching for people in a rain storm in Los Angeles. If you've ever lived here, rain is a scarce commodity so when it rains, things don't work. Traffic, the backbone of the city, bogs down and what might have taken you an hour can take three. I'm serious, I used to commute to Santa Monica and I had spent that much time one-way because of rain. (Don't miss it.) I thought it humanized my main character but I think maybe that doesn't work so well in a thriller.

In the new version, I have the action start when the first punch from the flyweight lands and draws blood. After all this time, I remembered the old adage start as close to the action as you can, which I wasn't doing obviously.

Now, rewriting a chapter is more than just moving paragraphs around. I mean, there is some of that but things still have to flow. It's not a one-time sit-down and it's done thing either. It took a couple of nights and in the end, the first chapter got shorter but I think it reads better.

I used it on my Thursday night query, so we'll have to wait to see if that was the missing ingredient. I still need to write a short synopsis so I can broaden my search. All in due time.

So, I still need to get back into fka Skylar but I think the time was well spent.

I wrote a new future review for Trophy Unlocked. This time it was Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935), Will Rogers' last film. Interesting, that wasn't the reason I DVRed it a year or so ago. I had heard about him as a film star amongst his other accomplishments but had never seen anything he had been in, so when this film was shown I thought it would be a chance to watch something he was in. I'll save my opinion for the review, whenever that gets posted.

Paul's review of Hercules (1997) was the Saturday Morning Review. The Wednesday Game Day review was Trevor's review of Moss: Book 2.

Finally received the proofs for Issues 13-15 of Powers Squared. Paul and I did an unboxing video on our Friday On the Air with Powers Squared podcast, which you're invited to listen to and/or watch. I had requested sets of proofs from two of our on-demand publishers but only received one set so far, but you can't wait forever. Check it out at if you're interested.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

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