ABOUT ANNE FRASIER

Anne Frasier (a.k.a. Theresa Weir) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

through the meat grinder

I decided to take Matt's opening and give it a full edit. If I were actually editing I wouldn't use my own words, I'd just make suggestions. I've added my own text in order to give a solid example of what I'm talking about. Matt's material works very well for this because I'm starting with a first draft. Thanks, Matt!


original opening

Fisher of Beasts
by:
Matthew M



And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
-- Matthew 4:18-20


Chapter 1

Some were called to be fishers of men, but I was called to be a fisher of beasts.
Azazel, one of the Grigori, the Watchers of Men, once had fallen and revealed the art of sword making and war to mankind. Now, he stood at a corner under a flickering street lamp smoking a cigarette and hawking cheap guns. A cool breeze barely moved the black hair matted against his forehead. His red-ringed eyes watched each passing car as he pulled another drag from his cigarette. The ash glowed red and faded away.
“Men shouldn’t fight,” I said, stepping out of the dark alley and into the dim circle of light from the lamppost.
“We’re not men, are we Baraqel?” he laughed, dropped his cigarette, and stamped it out. He exhaled the last of the smoke and it hung as a halo around his head.
“It’s never too late,” I said. “I’ve recruited many and they believe this too.”
Azazel laughed through a deep cough.
I smiled. “Not as well as we used to be?”


edited opening

Fisher of Beasts
by:
Matthew M



Chapter 1

Some were called to be fishers of men, but I was called to be a fisher of beasts.

Hard to believe I've been in/on (where?) twenty cycles/years. The streets paved in stones from (where?) or: streets paved with recycled (what?) still feel alien to me. The lamps, with their iron shields, cast an unfamiliar shadow, constant reminders that I'm the stranger here. (just an example!!! immediately ground us and pack as much what/where/who info in these first few paragraphs as possible without doing a dump. The first two paragraphs might be all an agent looks at. Make them really count.)

From my hiding place in the dark alley, I spotted Azazel standing on a corner under a flickering light, smoking a cigarette and hawking cheap guns. (has he been looking for him? Hoping to find him?) A breeze barely moved the black hair matted against his forehead. His red-ringed eyes watched each passing car as he pulled another drag from his cigarette. The ash glowed and faded away. Azazel had once been one of the Watchers of Men, but he'd fallen, tempted by (?) My purpose wasn't to kill him, but recruit him. (why?

“Azazel.” I stepped from alley and approached my enemy, stopping a few feet away. (or whatever.) "How does it feel to have so much blood on your hands?" The man (or beast or what?) before me had betrayed (what? who?) by revealing the art of sword making to mankind. He deserved no small talk.
"You give me too much credit." He dropped his cigarette and stamped it out. Smoke hung as a halo around his head. “We’re not men, are we Baraqel (explain this with Baragel's reaction)?” He was right, but it was something I tried not to think about too deeply. (Or something I would never admit, or whatever. What are they?)
“It’s never too late to help the cause,” I said. “I’ve recruited many.”
Azazel laughed through a deep cough. "And what do these recruits of yours do? Bake brownies and knit?" (or whatever. or could say something like this instead: "Are you offering me absolution?"
B might wonder if A has any remorse. "Sins cannot be undone."
(have they met before? or is Baraqel famous?) this is a chance to reveal some of A's character. Also, Azazel should be a major character. Don't introduce someone this early if they will only have minor role or never appear again. I'm sure you know that!

5 comments:

  1. i see i kind of messed up that men line. the dialogue could remain with a bit of tweaking.

    anne

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks! actually, this is really helpful in seeing exactly what you were thinking with your comments! i really appreciate you taking the time to work on it (twice no less!)

    it certainly gives me some fresh perspective, which is so hard to see when you're so close to the text. being able to see my own characters from a different light allows me to be more critical about the process of development.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. it's so strange how much of what is in our heads doesn't make it to paper. we almost have to over explain every detail, otherwise the reader begins to fill in the blanks with his own story. at least that's what i do. :D

    anne

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  5. HAHA!!!!

    now that's one piece of spam I can't make myself delete. :D :D

    anne

    ReplyDelete

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