Revision, Stage-one: Re-reading

I’m feeling a direct parallel of interest re-reading as I did in writing this. I remember this section as one of the times I wanted to quit writing, and as a reader I am totally not sticking with it. I’m only on page 35, and I’m not picking it up during my reading times anymore.

When I was writing this was the signal to jump to a new section, so I’m almost to a total shift (and I know it will pick up quite a bit since I got a great word-count the next few nights). Knowing I only have a few pages left here is a good thing, but frustrating too, in a way, since I don’t feel justified in skipping to a more interesting part.

Bringing the axe to the first draft is not going to be emotional at all– well, maybe cathartic ;-). There’s some good stuff I need to be careful to trim around, but (in this section at least) it’s buried pretty deep in the gristle.

A brief excerpt (as I’m trying to toughen my skin):

Before the “perfect” Prince Torbjorn leaves to meet his bride, he has this exchange with his parents (Unedited, first-draft. This may not– ETA: didn’t–survive the knife):



“It is pleasing to think I could secure a peace with my life, as my grandfather did only in death.” No one said anything and Torbjorn looked up at his parents, surprised.

“Were you not pleased with my comparison, Father?” he asked. “I did not intend it to be disrespectful.” The king smiled.

“I do not wish to contradict you, Son, and I am thankful you see this as an honorable opportunity to serve your kingdom. But I would warn you—” Here he paused and looked at the queen.

“My son,” she said gently, “It could rightly be said, it is easier to die all at once, and have it over with, than to live a life of sacrifice.” King Egiltor covered his wife’s cold hand with his warm one. Torbjorn looked uneasily from one parent to the other.

“Is marriage really such a trial?” he asked.

“Not most of the time,” said his father. “But when it is and when it isn’t, it is very good practice for being king.” Again, the weight of the crown.

“Why, sir?”

“Because you are forced to think beyond yourself.”


My first draft is just jammed full of sermonizing like this. Sort-of Blogging-by-Novel. It diminished when I started blogging more. ;-)


2 thoughts on “Revision, Stage-one: Re-reading

  1. I like this exchange. It didn’t seem like sermonizing to me. More like just interesting analysis of life. I like coming across profound things like this in novels.

    My critique is of the names…I “say” names outloud in my head when I read them, and both “Torbjorn” and “Egiltor” are hard to say. Might be hard as a read-aloud. Although, this is the first time I’m reading them…I’m sure they’ll flow more when I get used to them. I like the ending of the dad’s name and beginning of the son’s name being the same.

  2. The name are from my initial name-collecting before I was sure of the country of origin. All the names I collected were Swedish/Scandinavian, and I’ve since learned the story’s more likely from Denmark.

    Changing names is pretty low on my to-do list, but might happen if I have time.

    Thanks for the read-aloud comment. I haven’t thought enough about how sections (and names) sound.

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