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Painting a Novel

I started this blog with a post called, ” The Journey

The journey is nearing an end and I’m ready to pack up and go home.  It’s kind of a mess. 

I refuse to check bags, so at the end of every trip, I am left with the dilema of packing everything we brought…and all the things we bought.  This last trip to Germany was especially challenging, as we purchased everyone’s Christmas gifts including: four star lamps, delicate glass ornaments, a vikings helmet and fake crossbow, a odd shaped rubix cube, and a small round thing that moo’ed upon being tipped over.  Traveling through customs worried me, especially with the crossbow.  That didn’t raise any red flags, not even an eyebrow.  But we were stopped at every security check point because of the Rubix Cube.  I guess it was bomb shaped. 

Every single time we stopped, I’d set my bag between my feet and the plastic cow thing moo’ed.  We recieved plenty of raised eyebrows for that.

When editing a new piece of work, especially novel length, I feel like I’m packing for the return trip.  It’s overwhelming…but so much fun.  As a visual person, I like to make the story visual.  In my last post, I talked about the five purposes of sentences.  Seeing, sensing, thinking, saying, and doing.  After cleaning up each sentence and putting them in order, I’ve become Monet.  I create a landscape of my sentences and it has to be right.  The look, from a distance, has to be right. 

This is what a page of editing looks like for me.

Sentences are color-coded by purpose.  The words highlighted in orange are the star words, meaning the ones with punch and personality that give the work voice. I’ve got paragraphs blocked off that don’t quite fit where I have them and parts noted that need more.  The landscape has to flow, like any of Monet’s would. Brightness mingling with darkness, clear lines with blurred.  It all comes together to make a picture. 

This one happens to be my favorite Monet because it has so much depth.  This is how I want the pages of my book to look.  The first few drafts are merely sketches, but it’s in the editing that you make it beautiful.

Back to novel painting for me, although I’ve dulled two colored pencils and my highlighter is dying.


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