Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Burning Bright)

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Some of you have been worried about the poor, misguided werewolf who tried to murder our hero with his teeth in the first few paragraphs of this story.

You’ll be happy to know that Turner has just dragged the poor guy away, perforated patellas and all, to wait for the police so that Tom can have a nice, relaxing phone conversation with his sister, Jackie.

Jackie, if you were wondering, is not a duck.

Panthera_Tigris_Jacksoni_(Malayan_Tiger)

“Whoever sent this clown thought I’d be an easy target,” I said.

“Oops,” she said. “Is the clown still alive?”

“So far.” A couple of thumps and a muffled yell came from the next room. “Turner’s turning him over to Kyle now—one of the perks of a backalley view.”

“Fourth floor?”

“Fifth.”

____________

See?  Nothing to worry about. In this universe, Bumbles bounce. Mostly.

Regardless, I’m absolutely tickled that some readers stopped seeing Tom as a victim and started seeing him as dangerous in his own right.  I think Tom would be pleased, too; he’s worked hard for it.

Speaking of working hard, the world I’m building here is coming together enough that I was forced to tear the first two chapters into chunks this week, cobble ’em together with bailing wire and chewing gum, and retype everything to smooth over the scars, because I’m told that continuity is important.

I have some leftover bits that I’m saving for later, in a document cleverly titled “Bits”.  They’re good snippets, but they don’t belong where I originally put them.

Does anyone else do rewrites, mid-WIP? Or do you just pause to flip back to chapter three and slap a post-it with “Fix because Norbert is now a turtle* starting p. 74“?  Or maybe just forge ahead, teeth gritted, and plan to beat the continuity gremlins out in the second draft?

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Bats*No, I’m not planning any wereturtles.  I do, however, have this weird idea about what werebats would be like, which is why we don’t try to cure insomnia by watching National Geographic shows about urban bat colonies at 2am.  Or maybe why we do . . .

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Image of a Malaysian tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni — see what I did there?) by B_Cool  via Wikimedia Commons.

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51 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Burning Bright)

  1. Will the fifth floor turn out to be significant?
    Another fascinating snippet!

    The photo reminds me of LSU’s live Bengal tiger mascot, Mike VI.
    (He lives in a $3 million dollar habitat and is cared for by the world famous LSU Vet School.)

    • Only to a werewolf who is hitting the ground from that height, Chip! 🙂

      From other people’s comments, this snippet apparently doesn’t make it as clear as I’d hoped that that Turner’s pitching the guy out of the window off-page. But I went back to read through the whole scene and I think it works. This is why I’m not a professional editor. 😀

      Malaysian tigers and Bengal tigers do look a lot alike, at least to me. Gorgeous beasts.

      (Whoa. Find me a cat mask and a striped bathrobe and sign me up for that gig!)

  2. I do rewrites as needed. In fact, whenever I get stuck, I start over, re-read and edit until I get back to where I was and keep writing. Nice snippet. I’m left wondering why the floor is important …

    • Interesting, Carrie-Anne. Is it easier to edit after letting a work sit a long time, or is the delay part of your busy schedule?

      See my reply to Chip’s question above. Not important, just emphasis. 🙂

      • It’s a lot easier to edit after years away, since I’m less emotionally attached to keeping everything the same way, and I’ve matured so much as a writer. The delay in editing and revising my older manuscripts is largely due to how they were trapped on obsolete file formats on disks for years, before I finally found out how to convert and reformat them.

  3. Fun snippet. And Tom’s sister doesn’t know where his office is?

    As for your question, I usually just leave myself notes in text in all caps inside square brackets. Especially for the 12 book series that I’m working on that isn’t exactly in order. Things like:
    [CRAP! HE’D KNOW THEM FROM ARCANE. FIX THIS.] and [ARE THEY STILL BROTHERS OR DID I CHANGE THAT? I’VE REWORKED IT SO MANY TIMES I’VE LOST TRACK!]

    I’ll go back later and beat it into some semblance of continuity.

    • Thanks, Paula. 🙂

      She probably knows where the building is, but I don’t know if she’s ever been there. I couldn’t tell you where my sister’s office is without looking it up in the lobby, and I have been there. 🙂

      I yell at myself in notes, too–I leave them when I can’t remember what day it is (in the book, I mean, though I do have my moments) or what I’ve named someone and I can’t be bothered to check. I do go back and do fixes once I reach the end of a scene or chapter, though.

    • Yep! But don’t worry: no werewolves were harmed in the writing of killed maimed inconvenienced . . . this specific wolf recovers. From this. Promise! 🙂

      And, yeah, he’s not a Nice and Noble Wolf. He’s a stinker.

  4. Hee! Love the touch of humor running through this. And yes to the story chunks. I just had to rip apart a nearly completed story. I think it would’ve been a lot less painful to fix it sooner.

  5. Great brother/sister dialog! They sound fun. And, yes, I tear apart my books mercilessly and at varying times in the process. Some things you can leave to the editing stage, but others demand immediate mutilation. Good luck!

  6. I like Tom very much. His sister too. I hate to tear things apart, but sometimes I have to. I save deleted scenes too. One of them became the first chapter for the book I’m working on now.

    • Thanks, Elaine!

      I never throw out my darlings—I always tell myself that they just need the right setting. I’m not always right, but it makes me feel better. 😀

  7. Did the ‘clown’ get tossed out a window? That’s not nice, but he probably deserves it.

    Sometimes I do rewrites, if they’re big. Because they generally involve too many changes to simply go on. If they’re small, I go for the post-it approach. Also, you *need* a were-turtle! 😀

  8. Haha, bumbles bounce… Love this snippet. Tom sounds like my favorite kind of hero–the only people who know the true extent of his badassery are the bad guys and his closest friends. And, lucky for us, readers. 😀

    To answer your question, it depends. If it’s something that only needs fixing in one place I might put instructions to myself in brackets; if it affects everything that comes after, I’ll probably fix it before I go on. But, if I’m on a roll when I realize something needs fixing, it goes in brackets for later. Can’t interrupt a roll, that’s when things I never thought about before magically appear on the page.

    And in my experience, the opening is usually the last thing that gets finished.

    • It’s not like he tries to hide it, but there are none so blind (and bruised) as those who will not see. 😉

      “Can’t interrupt a roll.” That’s good advice, Charley! I need to pass that one on to my kids . . .

  9. I like the casual banter with a tinge of humor.
    I hate doing rewrites but do scour my first finished work carefully to make sure I have continuity – or at least a believable time tunnel.

    • Oh, no! Not good, Sue Ann. Feel better, please, right now.

      I play What If at first, and then my characters start talking to each other. When they get too loud, I write ’em down. 😉

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