Sunday, April 17, 2011

"O" is for Out loud Editing

A to Z Blogging Challenge: "O" is for Out loud Editing

Writing Exercise: Read your writing out loud as a way to edit. Re-work any sentences that you stumble over.

For this exercise, I've chosen to read a passage from the book I'm working on. Feel free to offer your suggestions for this piece in the Comments Section!

Excerpt from The Library Chronicles - Guardians of the Secret, Chapter 22 - Estabel
By Dawn M. Hamsher

The cave wasn’t big, but it was was small and very cozy.  In the center was a stone fire ring. ring of stones, in which a warm, A small crackling fire was burning. It's, sending light dancinged on the stone room's walls.  A narrow crack in the ceiling sucked the rising smoke up and out. Crocks and wooden bowls sat on a A natural stone ledge held some crocks and wooden bowls. On a stump sat a and a pewter pitcher and basin. rested on an old stump in the corner. To the side lay a mat and bedding.

“If you still want to stay, you can sleep there,” the man said, motioning to the other side of the fire.  Then he pulled off his hood, folded his hands, and waited for his guests’ reactions.

There was utter silence as they stood staring at him in horror. He had expected that, but it still hurt. Every mouth dropped opened, eyes bulged, and Danya gasped. 

Tension and fear filled the cave.

The man’s skin looked as if it had been dusted in a fine volcanic ash.  In the shadows of the cave, it was hard to make out his features. he almost blended in like an apparition.  It was almost as if he wasn’t there. As their eyes adjusted to in the dim fire light, they could see that he had dark, gray brittle hair with lighter white streaks running from his brow. The man's eye sockets were sunken and dark, but his eyes were watchful and soft, -- a shuddering contrast.  The man’s leathery skin seemed to be was stretched so thin over his skull that his features were contorted/grotesque. It was almost like looking at a preserved mummy corpse -- something that should not be walking and talking.  

He The man had expected this response  that, but it still hurt. 
They stood staring at him, unable to speak. It was Mr. Hodge who broke the silence.


  1. Some great editing! The only suggestion I would have would be to delete the word corpse (after mummy) as possibly redundant. Or use mummified instead of mummy if you want to keep corpse.)Would like to read more of the story.

  2. Li, Thank you for the suggestion! I appreciate it. I might go with "mummified corpse".

    BTW, I liked your "N" for Nostalgia.

  3. Oooh! Very exciting! I agree with li about taking out corpse. Great job editing this piece and thanks for sharing more of your book!

  4. This is a good example of editing. I try to teach the kids at school that words are fluid and can be changed/improved. I usually hand them a thesaurus when they have done their first edit to help them improve their vocabulary.

  5. Thx for sharing with us. It sure helps me.

  6. Great editing. I'd only change the following: "As their eyes adjusted in the dim light, they could see his gray, brittle hair with white streaks running from his brow." I'd go with gray to match brittle, and I don't like "running". It somehow doesn't match the mood. Maybe just, with white streaking... :-)

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving kind words at the blog.

  7. Brianna, Thank you. I'm so glad you are along for the ride (on my book)!

    Umbrellalady, I don't know what I'd do without on-line Thesaurus and Rhymezone!

    Keena, Thanks for reading. I'll stop by your "O" soon!

    Petra at Penned Pebbles, Thank you so much for your suggestion for that sentence. I will be using it! I never picked up on the word
    "running", but you are right!


I appreciate your comments! I try to respond to each one.