Final editing notes…

At long last, I am back to finish the editing series.  I had to dig down into my stack of discard paper to get chapter 1 notes again, but let’s wrap this up, as I already know what I want to talk about next.

She plunged the knife through her hand.

Exhaling finally, she recited the prayer of sacrifice; “May this offering of mine satisfy the need for bloodshed and suffering for this week. May Ailiah bless me with the power to remove the infirmities of those in need. Ailiah’s love.”

See, again it seems like she is bored with this.  I know it looks boring to me.  Crazy chick just jammed a knife THROUGH HER HAND!  What happened?  What did she feel?  There has to be some physiological effects.  We will amp this up.


For a moment, Mirian basked in the warmth of Ailiah’s love. Her entire arm throbbed angrily with her heartbeat but Mirian barely felt it, the euphoria of making the sacrifice to her goddess washed away any other thought in her mind.

I seem to be in love with the phrase “For a moment”.  Thus, it must be killed.  I overuse it way too much.  Also, you might remember that in the posting titled “The Rest of the Questions…” I mentioned that I wanted her to be studying to become a prophetess.  I think this would be a good time to play that up a bit, since she is in the throws of sacrificial euphoria.

Taking another deep breath, Mirian shifted her grip on the knife’s handle and pulled. She placed the knife blade down into the bowl of blessed water and held her hand out to Prophet Neijen. He pressed a bandage on each side of her hand while High Priest Vaktril tied a strip of cloth around both to hold them tightly against her wounds.

As they did so, Vaktril muttered to her “there is no need to penetrate your entire hand. An offering of a few drops of blood is sufficient.” Mirian smiled in return, his weekly admonition having no more effect on her than it ever did. She gave no answer, but turned and walked back to her prayer mat.

This isn’t too bad, although there is room for tightening.  


OK.  So let’s see where we ended up then, shall we?

—–

She plunged the knife through her hand. Her breath caught in her chest. Pain seared up her arm, then through her body. Tendons popped as the blade sliced through. Two of her fingers curled involuntarily against the knife’s handle. Half her hand went numb and cold. Blood ran along the blade protruding from the back of her hand. It clung to the tip before forming drops, each one dripping into the bowl with a sticky splat.

Her hands trembled. Exhaling, she recited the prayer of sacrifice. “May this offering of mine satisfy the need for bloodshed and suffering for this week. May Aliyah bless me with the power to remove the infirmities of those in need. Aliyah’s love.”

Mirian basked in the warmth of Aliyah’s energy coursing through her. Her entire arm throbbed in tune with her heartbeat, but Mirian pushed the pain from her mind. The euphoria of the sacrifice to her goddess washed over her as she strained, listening, hoping today would be the day Aliyah spoke to her.

Silence.

Finally, she tightened her grip on the handle and pulled the knife out. She placed it, blade down, into the bowl of blessed water and held her hand out to Prophet Neijen. He pressed a bandage on each side of the wound while High Priest Vaktril wrapped a strip of cloth around her hand and tied it.

Vaktril muttered to her, “There’s no need to penetrate your entire hand. An offering of a few drops of blood is sufficient.”

Mirian dropped her head and nodded her acknowledgment, unchastened. She turned and walked back to her prayer mat, knelt, and prayed as the prophet delivered his message.

—–

There  it is.  I hope that this was somewhat informative or, lacking that, at least amusing.  My next set of posts will be about a writing tool that I have been using successfully lately:  The character interview.  Mirian says some interesting things if you get her out of her shell a little.  :^)

–j–


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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Final editing notes…

  1. I’m part of the ‘For a moment’ clan too. We can escape it together! The newer edited version reads so much smoother and is much more riveting. I feel the pain in Mirian’s hand and her wish for her goddess to speak to her. Nicely done!

    • Yay, thanks! I am also trying to excise all of the “looked”, which is my other overused term.

      Glad you like the new version. I’m looking forward to the character interview series, although I suspect that it might just be me putting my craziness on display.

      –j–

  2. Hi Jay! Nice editing 😀
    Lol, I’m not in the For a moment clan, because I use: for a fraction of a second – I love that phrase – so people should hit me over the head with it if I overuse it 😉
    (PS: With that no feeling comment, you sounded like me :p)

    • Hiya Stef,

      I was thinking of you when I wrote it. Lol. Wait till you see what I did with chapter five. The character interviews are turning out to be a great way to get the emotional response from them, even if they start getting annoyed with me. :^)

      –j–

  3. Wow, you’re doing a great job on making this chapter more riveting, as Lindsey said. I have to go back and use the “find” function to weed out the “looked” “seemed” “felt” “heard”, and my favorite “managed to”. I seem to employ that one a lot.

    I am taking lots of Stefanie advice too and injecting more feeling in places she points out. Quite fun. Oh, and character interviews sound cool. I just wrote a guest blog post that will appear on May 16 involving Cali and Galadin, called “He Said, She Said”. 🙂

    • Looking forward to the blog.

      Do you “miss” Cali and Galadin? As in, spending every day in their lives? Are you still able to get as deep into their heads as you used to?

      Just curious…

      –j–

  4. That’s funny you asked, because I really do miss them. We became quite close over those months we spent together. And it was quite fun to go back and “visit” with them. I think we pretty easily slipped back into our old friendship.

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