Editing Bunbun

Crap. I don’t really know what editing is.

I suspect my plan to edit something as short as “Bunbun of the Veleme” might be part of my problem. There isn’t enough to rewrite exactly. Most likely I’d simply erase the whole bit and start over with something else.

Instead I’ll punt.

Bunbun dropped from the family deck to the friend deck elegantly enough following his mother’s daughter, but there was no doubt she possessed the greater grace.

Assuming I’d be using this as the opening line of the entire story, there is nothing but characterization here.  No plotting.  I’m not so sure that’s bad, but I know some folks think you need to grab your reader by the balls on line one.  Characterization isn’t going to do that–this isn’t at least.

The deck thing is too obscure to be helpful.

“his mother’s daughter” is my shorthand for cultural upheaval.  I haven’t got the slightest idea how this would play out.  It could still go with women on top or bottom.

But in terms of Bunbun’s appreciation of her skills it puts her ahead.  Either way it characterizes him as having at least even judgment regarding his place in the world.  Easy enough from here to make him self-critical if needed.

Initially he’d planned to follow along to hear the [king] on the High Half Tread.

I guess there is a little plotting, but I am not sure going to hear someone speak is too compelling.  And it’s not in the first line.  I could zing it with some description of the event: first time in years, last time before he departs for…

Probably I thought the mysterious High Half-Tread would do the trick.  But it’s just world building I’ll need to get described as soon as I can.  I’m recommending as soon as Bunbun tears himself away from his artwork and gets his as to the meeting.

Now the plunging spears of light through the canopy conquered his eye. Shafts of this caliber occaisionally followed a wind storm like the one last night.

Again less here than I think.  The one word ‘canopy’ doesn’t quite give the whole ‘ewok village in the trees’ thing I was going for because you can’t obviously connect it back to those decks.  Maybe just a better tie between the two will give me what I think I have.

These beams needed to be drawn.

Character’s thoughts leaking into narration.  I like doing it this, I think the reader knows when this is occurring and appreciates the smooth insertion.  I think I’ve read other people write this way–I’ll have to keep an eye out.  I suppose that it’s just as easy to say, “Bunbun thought…”

He unslung his possibles bag and laid it flat on the deck.

I’ve been wanting to use ‘possibles bag’ in my writing somewhere.  Even though this isn’t strictly worldbuilding, it’s uncommon enough that it might as well be for the likely reader.

First he arranged the chalks perpendicularly to the ledge so they wouldn’t roll off.

I like to get macro with the simple actions.  Let’s mark this up as ‘voice’.

Next he slid his pad from it’s leather sheath.

More macro-action.  To me this slows the reader and characterizes Bunbun as careful.  It highlights his process.  Maybe focusing on Bunbun’s slow characteristics in the first few lines isn’t the best choice.

Finally he drug a lounge over to the edge of the deck and sat on the end near his tools.

More of the same with a little scenery.

Bunbun began his sketch, not with the light, but with the contrasting dark.

This is me heavyhanding the narration.  Not too heavy I think–certainly I’m due a bit of foreshadowy opinion?