clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Noting quite like an opening.

I worked in the library tonight where I usually work on Wednesday evening with a friend. I started mucking about with my imperfect opening of this second full prose draft.

I know the rule is write and move on. This is a revision and I'm re-writing. In a first draft, I'd never muck about fiddling with bits. Tell the story and move.

In the second full prose, I've tuned the outline, fixed logical gaps, removed dead end scenes, compressed scenes, enhanced secondary characters. I try to write a second without adding affected speech or tone. I'm pretty good a resisting the urge to sound like someone else. I'd like to be better at sounding a little less like me.

Anyway, I wasn't happy with the opening re-write and so I fell to picking at it. Now's the time, really. It is a confidence defeating activity and you don't want that in the final big revision/re-write.

I'm better. It is a bit like me telling a story and less like any of the authors I surveyed in an hour tonight. I'll write about their openings this weekend when I'm a little more relaxed.

My opening is a still a little too much me but it works for now. [ I'd post the opening but the "not appearing" clause for previously published works in any form might be a problem. Best to let it go. ]

Now, the grammar bit. Helpful here in my opening structures.

You know lay is put or place, present tense.

You know lie is to recline, present tense.

In the past: lay becomes laid. The past participle becomes laid also. So, lay, laid, had laid describing put or place.

In the past, lie is lay. The past participle of lie is lain. So, lie, lay, had lain.

You want to sweat, just think of an interview for a graduate level writing class (when you are in the Engineering school) when Professor Pompous suggests that admission is dependent upon using the present, past, and past participle of lie and lay in sentences correctly. Now let's see if you're material for our class!

I want to say: thank you Magistra Flatery. I owe you for that one. A chance to take Space Plasma Physics at the same time ended up trumping Professor Pompous. I took a undergraduate poetry class that met on Tuesday and Thursday evenings instead. I didn't get anything out of the class. Pity.

I should have stuck with Pompous. He was a bastard; but, he taught writing.

What that had to do with grammar is anyone's guess.

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