Adding spice

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As I approach the halfway point of the rewrites–


Yes, I said rewrites.

I know, I know. I mentioned earlier that I was finished with Gray Zone, but I lied. Well, not really lied, I had just forgotten about these last, necessary, rewrites.

I agree. All rewrites are necessary, but these are particularly so. Now is when I add the spice, fine tune the flavor.

Let me explain. As I do these rewrites, I go chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word.

In each case I look for places where I should make cuts, where fewer words would be better.

Then I look to see if the scene is well-built. Did I leave out anything that is important? When the reader reads this scene, will he see in his mind the scene I intend?

What about the dialog? Do the words coming out of the characters’ mouths run true to form?

This particular rewriting phase requires me to read aloud. I listen to the words as they roll off my tongue. I spice it up with vivid words, colorful language, and pithy sayings. Because really, who wants to read a bland book!

In many ways, this is the hardest of the rewrites. It requires intense concentration, dedication, and patience.

But it is worth the pain…I mean effort. You see, without this particular rewrite, Gray Zone would be a pleasing Sunday Brunch, while with it, it is more akin to a gourmet meal fit for the most discriminating tastes.

It is all in the technique, and the spice!

Okay, okay. So it is me, calling it a gourmet meal. Why don’t you read it for yourself and find out?

I dare you!

What do you think?