It’s so important to always go over every scene we write, and then to rewrite until we’re absolutely certain we have it nailed. The following scene is a good example of one, where although not wrong, there are still things to improve. Let me set the scene, and then we’ll rewrite, and see if you prefer the changes.
Matilda is in the countryside, having gone for a walk with her friend, Cole, at his place. The two stop at a low stream and she wishes to cross it.
- Several huge oaks made up a natural umbrella over a small inlet of the stream. Sunlight glistened like dancing jewels off the clear blue water. As she drank in the soothing landscape, Matilda realized the trees stood on the other side of the stream, which looked less than lazy. She peered up and down but didn’t see a bridge. “Is the stream too deep to walk across?” she asked Cole.
In this example there is some inaccuracy in how the scene is drawn through the center portion, so let’s rewrite, actually placing ourselves there by the stream to do so.
- Several huge oaks made up a natural umbrella over a small inlet of the stream. Sunlight sprinkled through the swaying green foliage and lit the surface of the rippling blue water. The dancing jewel tones glistened and Matilda drank in the soothing landscape. She peered to the left and to the right, searching for a bridge to cross. Releasing a sigh, she glanced at Cole. “Is the stream too deep to walk across?”
I hope you get my meaning. In the rewrite, slight changes have been made to direct the scene’s order more accurately. I now have Matilda noticing the huge oaks over the stream as her gaze would have been directed upward, then she sees the sunlight coming through the foliage and highlighting the surface of the rippling water as she looks down. She enjoys the view, and then looks for a bridge to cross.
Such small tweaks, yet every sentence we write must be polished to perfection. If you find you’ve written something that’s bugging you, then go back and follow each stage of what would have happened to your character in real time, then ensure you capture each of the essences in the right order.
Do you think that’s all this paragraph needed and now reads better? Leave a comment if you wish—I always love them.
Thanks for joining me, and I hope you tune in next week for some more bite-sized tidbits. Simply check out the right-hand side panel, and enter your email address to “follow the blog.” If you want, also click “like” on my FB author page to the right. I’d love you to join me.
* * * *