On a rare sunny day this November, I set out to capture a picture of Cardiff’s fairy-like Castell Coch (which is Welsh for Red Castle) surrounded by glorious autumn colours. Unfortunately, by the time I found my chosen location, the sun had gone behind the clouds and some of the trees looked distinctly bare! Also, although the view was beautiful, unsightly distractions like telegraph wires and lamp-posts spoiled it.
The photo on the left is ‘As Shot’ and, like some of my first drafts in fiction, it feels a bit dull and lifeless. The wonder of digital photography is that, just like fiction, with a few judicious editing adjustments, one is able to erase the distractions and tease out the richness of the colours to end up with the photo on the right. Those colours were lurking in the trees all the time: they were just hidden from view.
So if you feel the first draft of your novel, or short story, has too many distractions and lacks warmth don’t give up on it. Maybe all it needs is a few deft cuts and a tweak of colour to turn it into a masterpiece.
If you want to know more about editing first drafts then why not spend eighteen minutes in the company of my good friend and fellow writer Paul D Williams who’s done a Video Blog on this very topic.
Here’s the link: http://www.pauldwilliams.com/2012/author-vlog-day-6a/