An excerpt that reveals the creative and self-editing processes this week: under the blue pencil. Two earlier versions of a pivotal scene in the final book. Neither made it through... the blue pencil scored through them.
The two excerpts below, are Very Old, and Quite Old. Raw writing, no editing. I did correct the spelling and grammar, but they have not seen the eyes of an editor.
Both concern the moment my erstwhile main protagonist, is offered human blood to finish her transformation to vampire. Both contain a lot of ‘tell’ as opposed to ‘show’. First draft. But you may find the similarities, and the differences, between these earlier versions and the final version, interesting. What happens, how it happens, is roughly the same. Who she is offered, and how she reacts: different. Most writers have scenes that disappear, or change substantially. You might enjoy seeing the process...
It started as a dull ache in her jaw. Once, after she had had a wisdom tooth removed, she had developed a jaw infection. The pain was similar, like a throb that became so deep as to be painful. After a few hours, it spread round her whole mouth, the pain in her front teeth the worse, like the gums were being slashed with a razor. Another few hours and she was feverish, hot, sweaty and her spine ached. By the end of the second day, she was in a confusion of pain and fever. She had not slept. She could not eat. She could not drink. Water, when she sipped it, became like liquid glass in her throat, and she soon retched it up.
The pain in her mouth faded, to be replaced by a dryness, a parched agony that took over all her other senses. All she was became thirst, hunger. She watched television avidly, watching as the phosphor dot images of people, walking, living, breathing people tormented her. She held her face next to the screen, and threw herself away from it in disgust. As the third day dawned, she found herself flinching from the sun as it rose. She knew this aversion was psychological, but as she watched the golden rays warm the garden, her heart shrank, and she ran from the light. Stronger even than the pain, was the need in her for him.
When was he coming? Where was he? What was he doing?
Each noise she heard around her, each rustle and sigh from the old house, from the garden, from the birds and animals around her.
Was it him? Was that the door? Where was he? How could he leave her, to suffer like this?