I am currently sitting at my computer with a pile of papers around me, working on my first draft revisions. I came across a setting I had created early on in my writing of this book, The Rendin Chronicles. At the time, I had thought, “Wow! This is such a beautiful scene I wrote!” As I sit here now, rereading it, I am finding redundancy errors, awkward wording, and bad grammar. Basically, it didn’t read as glamorously as I had originally thought. Here I am going to show you my original excerpt. And I will follow it up with the rewrite I did today.
Here is my original excerpt:
Jandit made his way across the Great Hall. He was standing at the entrance to the Great Hall. It was completely made of intricately carved wood. The entire Hall was made of Riffentrunk, the strongest trees on all their planet. The Riffentrunk was a reddish brown wood, that when polished and shined would have a golden glow to it in the sunlight. It actually glowed gold when the sun hit at just the right time. This time was one of those moments. The Great Hall had been built with great crystal openings in the ceiling. Cut crystal windows that allowed the sun to shine through in a glorious prismatic effect. It was just past noon, when the Second Sun was high in the sky. The light was dancing off the carved pillars that lined the Great Hall and it shown a glorious golden throughout. The pillars of Riffentrunk wood were draped with golden fabric across every pillar and between each were new crystalline chandeliers individually lies with a hundred candles each. The Throne was also made of Riffentrunk. A special crystal had been placed on the ceiling just above the throne, so that no matter day or night, sunlight or moonlight, it would reflect golden all day and all night. The crystal had been cut so that all lights could reflect upon the glorious throne. It had just recently had Varden’s name carved into it below the other kings. Jandit found his father pacing in the room behind the Great Hall.
Here is my scene rewrite:
Jandit stood at the entrance of the Great Hall looking out across the grand marble floor. This room had always been glaringly opulent to him. A place which meant greatness to all others, meant pain and misery to him. He was constantly belittled by the nobles. He was unwanted, an outsider. He was the king’s bastard.
He looked up at the intricately carved wooden pillars that lined the hall, made of the finest Mordebung trees, polished and shining in the late evening sun. These Mordebung pillars were meant to represent the great strength of the Nardisians and the Great House of Nardis. These lofty colonnades glowed red and gold in the sunlight. Diamond shaped openings sat every twenty feet in the ceilings and walls. Instead of windows made of glass, they were of cut crystal. Throughout the day, rainbows danced through the hall as the sun made its journey across the sky. In the last hour as the sun set, just before its final drop below the horizon, the sunlight came through these crystal panes and lit the Mordebung walls up like gold in what was appropriately called the Golden Hour.
Today, these pillars were draped with golden fabric and crimson velvet. The crystal chandeliers that hung from the ceiling had already been lit with three hundred candles each. Breathtaking was what everyone who came into the Great Hall had called it. But to Jandit it was suffocating. To Jandit these bloody colored walls reflected his bleeding heart and the golden light cut like daggers in his soul.
Today was Prince Varden’s coronation. Today, his brother would be crowned king and sit upon Nardis’ almighty throne. It was a magnificent throne, one Jandit knew he would never touch. A special crystal had been placed on the ceiling just above the throne, so that no matter the time of day, the throne was constantly luminous. Just yesterday, Varden’s name had been carved into the throne, below all the names of the previous kings. His brother was being handed everything Jandit would never have. He felt a sharp pang of jealousy and desperately tried to wave it away.
I tried to change my point of view to be specifically how my main character (MC), Jandit, was seeing the Great Hall. He is the bastard son of a king and has been treated in this lowly position all his life. To all others, the Great Hall is impressive, but to Jandit, it has always been oppressive.
For this revision, I went through my original scene, grabbed a “new sheet of paper,” in this case a new Word Document, and started retyping the entire scene.
I read through my original writing a few times and noted that I still wanted to keep the idea of this grand and opulent hall, but in the same respect I wanted to give the comparison of someone who couldn’t see it in all of this great beauty that everyone else did.
I want to note that this still is not a final draft, but it’s definitely well on its way to sounding much better than my first go around. It will still go through more revisions, but it’s a glimpse at the process of changing what doesn’t work and adding what does, etc.
Now, I’m going to go add this to my Scrivener docs.
Next posting, I’ll share some insightful tips I have come across out in Twitterverse.
Happy writing, y’all!