Revisions, Revisions

I’m working away on the revisions for BEWITCHED. I prefer doing revisions on the print out because this way I can flip through the pages and compare phrases and passages more easily. In order to save ink and paper, I printed the 324-page ms four-on-a-page, which might have some advantages, but also leaves me relatively little room for notes and additions. As a result my notes squiggle topsy-turvy across the page, along the margins; different additions run into each other and vie for space. In other words: the ms looks a mess! *g*

One of the tasks my editor has given me is to intensify the conflict between the protagonists at the beginning of the book. They’re supposed to nearly blow up at each other on the evening of their second meeting. Ooookay. So here we go:

“You don’t normally like music?” His was a polite, bland voice. They might have been talking about the weather.

“The opposite is the case, I assure you.”

“Ah.” He nodded knowingly.

Oh yes. How could she have forgotten? Carrotty hair, cold as a fish, a stiff bore, and on top of that, he was a Mr. Know-It-All-Magic-Doesn’t-Exist. Splendid.

Once again Amy was left to wonder what exactly she had done to deserve this. True, turning Three Elms blue had been a serious offense — what if somebody had paid a visit on them that afternoon? Or what if one of the villagers had happened to pass by the house? Cobalt blue manor houses were rather difficult to explain away. But still, being forced to mingle with obnoxious people in a city that reeked with dirt seemed too harsh a sentence.

“But you don’t play the fortepiano yourself?” the voice of the horrid Mr. Carrothead cut into her reveries.

Now she did twiddle her thumbs. No, I’m afraid not. I never had the opportunity.”

And from his POV:

Not even Miss Bourne’s loveliness could outshine this musical fiasco. And she was lovely, he grudgingly admitted, in the way of a plump, golden partridge. Twice now he had gotten the impression that she was silently laughing at him, however, mocking him. Impertinent chit. Who did she think she was? A little nobody dragged from the depths of the country and without any polish or style. Why, she couldn’t even play the fortepiano! The most basic of female accomplishments!

Fox shuddered to think what would have happened if poor, deluded Drew had decided to marry the chit. Not only would she have pecked the poor chap to death with her waspish tongue, no, she also would have been a desaster as a hostess and would have made Drew’s soirรฉes into scandalous, ridiculous affairs, and thus welcome fodder for the gossipmongers. She surely would have ordered her guests around like servants in the manner of that obnoxious dragon Lady Holland. How fortunate that Drew had seen the light of reason in time!

And:

She turned towards him, her eyes flashing pansy-blue annoyance. “Interesting was what I wanted to say.”

Heavens, what was wrong with this girl? Snapping and japping like a rat terrier!

And then:

“A veritable crush, is it not?” Miss Bourne purred, her voice sweeter than sticky molasses [Note to self: Find out what exactly molasses are.] “It makes one wish for green hills and meadows, where one might meet a faery’s child — oh, I am sorry.” Her free hand rose to cover her mouth while she trilled a laugh. He swore he could see a devillish glint light her eyes as she goaded him. “You don’t read Keats.”

“Indeed I do not,” he forced out between gritted teeth. By Jove, he had never felt the urge to strangle a woman, but this one — oh, he would happily put his hands around her white throat! As he could not follow these urges inn such a public setting, he needed a drink. Fast!

~*~

What do you think? Is there enough dislike between the two of them?

4 thoughts on “Revisions, Revisions

  1. Carolyn

    Call on me! Call on me!

    Molasses is a very thick syrup used to make gingerbread, baked beans and any number of other wonderful, flavorful foods. It’s viscous, very sticky and sweet and extremely slow coming out of the bottle (hence the phrase “Slow as molasses.” So, your note to self should be, find out what molasses is.

    Cool story! Have fun with your revisions.

    Carolyn

  2. Laura Vivanco

    You’ve got a menagerie of metaphors in there:

    “she was lovely … in the way of a plump, golden partridge.”

    The hero is called “Fox.”

    (So far that would possibly be a nice bit of foreshadowing. At least, it would be for a medievalist who’s written an essay about partridges being “eaten” by male lovers ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    “pecked the poor chap to death with her waspish tongue” – this is where the metaphors begin to work less well, because although partridges can peck, they don’t have waspish tongues.

    “in the manner of that obnoxious dragon Lady Holland” – so the partridge with the waspish tongue would also behave like a dragon.

    “Snapping and japping like a rat terrier!” – now she’s a dog.

    “Miss Bourne purred” – and now she’s a cat.

    There are also a couple of typos: “desaster” (disaster) and “inn” (which in that context should be “in”).

    But they certainly seem to dislike each other intensely.

  3. Sandra Schwab

    So, your note to self should be, find out what molasses is.

    English is a bit of a strange language, isn’t it? *g* Thanks for the info, Carolyn! I checked “molasses” at the Online Etymological Dictionary last night just to make sure that stuff already existed back in 1820. (It did, aren’t I lucky?)

    You’ve got a menagerie of metaphors in there:

    Right. I’ll throw out the wasp and make it a sharp tongue. How’s that?

    Those excerpts are spread across several pages, so all in all it shouldn’t be too jarring. At least I hope not!

    At least, it would be for a medievalist who’s written an essay about partridges being “eaten” by male lovers ๐Ÿ˜‰

    *lol* You gotta love medieval imagery!

    But they certainly seem to dislike each other intensely.

    Ha! Mission accomplished! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for spotting the muddled metaphors and horrible typos, Laura!

  4. Laura Vivanco

    Right. I’ll throw out the wasp and make it a sharp tongue. How’s that?

    Better, but then you’ve still got a metaphor involving pecking being done with a sharp tongue, and birds peck with their beaks. I know, I’m being tiresomely pedantic, but… could you have sharp words, or sharp retorts?

    I like the use of the word “peck” because it sets up a subtle echo of the phrase “hen-pecked husband.” And Drew would have been partridge-pecked, which is nicely alliterative.

    Those excerpts are spread across several pages, so all in all it shouldn’t be too jarring.

    You’re right, they’d probably be fine in context, but seeing them so close together does create a strange impression.

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