It’s Getting Silly Around Here & Revision Tip 23

The Creature With Fangs Elfed yesterday.

My Beloved Husband Elfed yesterday.

Queen Louise Elfed yesterday.

And I did, too.

A most merry time, indeed!

Revision Tip #23

I rarely have the image systems of my books in mind when I start writing. But by the end of the first or second draft, some image (symbol for Eng lit majors) has cropped up and I realize that I can riff on that symbol throughout the book to tell the larger story. In a subtle way, I hope.

In SPEAK, it was the image of the tree. There was only one mention of it in the early drafts. When I realized the power of it, I wrote in all the art class scenes, and made the tree into a year-long project for her.

WINTERGIRLS was interesting. The first paragraph of the first draft of the book was this:

"The crows stalk me, wings folded neatly behind them, hungry yellow weighing my soft spots. They circle around me once, twice, three times, claws scarring the stone floor of the church.

I curl up on the frozen altar. They flutter close, black feathers filling my mouth and eyes and ears."

I really don’t know where that came from; I just wrote it down, plus a bunch of other stuff. The reference to the "frozen altar" is what got me thinking about ancient religions and mythology, which in turn led me to ponder if there was a mythological story within Lia’s story. Ofcourse there was: the story of Persephone. That became a central image system for the book, with references to pomegranate seeds and the death that is winter, along with mother/goddess figure at her wits end, trying to pull her daughter back from the grasp of hell.

(For the record – that opening paragraph wound up migrating to page 264. It fits much better there.)

Is there a small detail in your draft that could be expanded into a central image system?