Reanimating the Corpse of Your Story

No pain, no gain – as they say. Interesting tips here for writers from author Drew Chial.

Drew Chial

When my first draft is dead on arrival, I have to edit my story back to life. This is how I slice out the borrowed elements from my work and stitch something original together.

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Reanimating the Corpse of Your Story

My early screenplays were full of placeholders, cop drama clichés, stock dialogue I had every intention of replacing. The margins were littered with comments like, “IOU one clever retort here,” or “IOU one line of romantic sentiment,” or “IOU one well reasoned argument to show the hero has learned a lesson.” My scripts looked like algebra equations. Editing meant scratching my head, wondering what to substitute for “X.” I knew what the result should feel like, but lacked the variables to get there.

The stories hinged on melodramatic scenes. Without the words to communicate the characters’ emotions, I went for longwinded declarations. Tender moments devolved into bloated monologues that read…

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