NaNoWriMo: Fruits of My Labor

Today I was privileged to have the opportunity to experience a special kind of reward for participating in NaNoWriMo: at the invitation of Chris Evans, I read an excerpt from Chapter 14 of the first novel of my Bent Parallels Quintology on UVM station WRUV this morning at 10. Aaron Smith, another Verimo, was the other guest and read the beginning of his novel, tantalizingly named The Water Beggars’ Tune.

Bios are here posted on Chris’s blog Writers@WRUV, and tomorrow, Chris will be posting the excerpts and an MP3 of the show, in case you missed it.

One of the interesting elements for me was how much editing I was led to do in the course of preparing simply from the experience of reading aloud. The excerpt I sent to Chris on Monday at his request (to give him an idea of what was coming and allow him to vet it for possible FCC violations) was not—and I cleared this with Chris ahead of time—not exactly the same as what I read on the air.

Because a high percentage of the excerpt is dialogue between two characters, reading the piece was—in effect—acting it out and allowed me to test the veracity of the characterization: did it hold up to scrutiny? My answer when I first read it was, “not yet.”

I changed words to synonyms that flowed more trippingly off the tongue in the particular context; rearranged sentence parts; changed the order of the first several paragraphs to make the “argument” of the section progress more persuasively; added a puzzled interjection from one of the characters at a point where she had earlier said nothing; and repeated one particular word to make a stronger connection between sections.

I’d like to thank Chris again for the opportunity: it was great fun!

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