When the landscape becomes a character, the story comes to life. I’ve seen a couple of well-done miniseries lately. They will always be set apart in my memory because of the cinematography. The scenery lives and breathes. It’s heart beats.
The characters are on the screen, but your eyes are drawn to the entire scene, taking in the backdrop, which may be airplanes landing behind them, or a battle scene, with blinding flashes and heart-stopping explosions.
In one of the movies, the characters are arguing in the middle of a cotton mill. The air is white with fiber. It looks like snowflakes, so thick you can hardly see. The noise of the looms is deafening. You can barely make out what they’re saying, but their body language makes the meaning clear. And the scenery almost steals the show. Without this setting, the dialogue would fall flat. With the setting, we’re riveted.
How do you translate this to writing? How do you balance your characters’ interaction with descriptions of scenery so the reader feels the place, sees the sunset, hears the waves crash? It’s a challenge I’d like to take up, after seeing these films.
What does all this have to do with Revising, Rewriting, Re-releasing? I tested the limits in The Lady of the Haven. I tried to maintain a balance between the magnificent hulking scenery of my imagination and the actual words I put on paper. My first efforts, the scenery overshadowed at times. In my second effort, I hope I’ve brought more balance. In my future work, I hope to achieve even more.
The beautiful new cover art for The Lady of the Haven spurred me on, almost drove me, to rewrite parts of the book. The revised version, just released, has some new scenes. The beginning is new, the ending is redone. And I beefed-up several of the action scenes, renamed some chapters. Sharpened the view.
I’m still a novice. I’m learning and each time I think I’ve learned all I need to know, someone opens another chapter. Ah! There’s more.
The Lady of the Haven, 3rd Edition*, is now available at most book sites.
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*Cover created by Debi Warford