Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chronicles of My First Draft: Some really, really, really terrible writing

When I’m writing through a first draft, I immediately want to edit as I go. Pause over one sentence and stay there and F.Scott Fitzgerald it to death. But, in order to get stuff done, I just ploughed and pummeled through. What was left, were some of the worst sentences in the history of as -of -yet unpublished fiction

The five WORST sentences I deleted from my first draft. I am sure I'll catch more later.

1.) Bodies flung everywhere, bones shattered and crushed and exposed, blood like a murky river, glass crystallized, tarnished diamond bright on marred surface

 Wow, Rachel. Looking to spell MELODRAMA with a capital M?

2.) Pressing back the smoke, the fog looked like a curtain, slight pinpricks of light cast squelched shadows on morbid devastation.

 THIS MAKES NO SENSE: how can you press back smoke and get to fog? What curtain? Pin pricks squelching light? Shuddup, Rachel, you moron! DELETE! 

3.)Dead faces were too paralyzed by a drench of saturating sensation to show emotion 
How do you spell OVER WRITING? Hint: see above

4.)Evening. In the South End wounded stumbled into the neighbourhood. Another world. Bewildered. Walking Lazaruses sprung to astounded life and unable to get their bearings.

Oh dear Lord: this one. Classic Rachel. Walking Lazaruses? Maybe that should be pluralized. Lazuri? 
Exterminate. EXTERMINATE!

5.) And then this winner, right here, the start of a chapter at that: If Jamie had thought it more carefully through, he wouldn’t have punched Roy in the jaw. 
But wait, that''s not even as bad as it originally was. It was "If Jamie had known the world was going to end the next day, he wouldn't have punched Roy in the jaw." How's that for bludgeoning you over the head with the foreshadow stick?

Writers: what’s the worst sentence you’ve ever written?


ducKy Boyd said...

I want to read THAT book...with a highlighter...and some scotch...

Rachel said...

but I refuse to remove the simile where I use Leviathan to describe the size of army trucks. An editor would have to pry that from my cold, dead hands.

Gina said...

I love the phrase "F. Scott Fitzgerald it to death"! That's how I always want to write too!