How I edit my own work - Plus a story to read too - 11

in #writing4 years ago (edited)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

If you'd like to read the story in the edited format rather than comparing the 'before and after' versions, feel free to just read the left hand side version.

Images from Google (free to use) and Pixabay


I wrote this story hot on the heels of Deadlier Than The Male because I was never confident that my first book's success wasn't some sort of fluke.

Re-reading this, I'm still not convinced I didn't just get lucky with my Werewolf story.

Daughters of Le Fey has been put away and not touched, certainly not added to, for six or seven years. My mother-in-law read it (or as much of it as I've written) and she has always encouraged me to continue with it.

I've had the plot rattling around in my head for the past seven years and I know where it's going but I can't get it out of my head yet.

I'm sincerely hoping that, like Ash's story, because I'm working on it every day, it will start to get a life of its own again and I'll be able to progress.

I'm not there yet, I still have some editing to go, and I'm using this editing process to refresh my memory on where the story came from and hopefully that will help in forming where it's going to go.

I think, because it's set at a more gentle pace, I'm having trouble with describing the people and their actions. I'm used to action-driven storylines. I may yet have to rip it apart and start again...

I became caught-up in the story today (that's a good sign for me) and I had to go back to re-read and edit it.

This piece took a lot of research. I wonder if you can figure out who this little girl is? She's a real character from history and she really did lead her governess, 'Kat' on a merry dance, frightening her by running away.



Original text

“You were fortunate in your husband’s treachery, however. If he had been a decent man and had performed a burial ceremony for your body and head, he would have closed that door forever and your task would have no end reward. As it stands, only you can close that particular door – or rather it can only be ended by your likeness further down the centuries.”

As Morgana kissed Katherine on each cheek and on her mouth and on her forehead, she added: “Watch now, my daughter, learn well the man you thought you loved, the man you must defeat three times.”

Chapter 2

Katherine still felt as though she were human: alive, not dead. She had her senses still; smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch were all prevalent in her existence. But she had another sense; she could see the spirits and sometimes lesser deities that mortals prayed to.

The deities looked upon her with great compassion and pity and her pride would not allow her to approach them. The spirits looked upon her with a mixture of emotions, some pitied, others scorned her, some were in awe but most were curious, either friendly or spiteful, but she would not approach those either, she did not know which would betray her to Dominic or to his guardian spirits.

She could touch and feel material things from the world of man, but she could not move them. She also retained her human emotions and mostly she felt regret. That she had trusted someone so very much and that he had then betrayed her and that she would never give birth to her children.

She wept sometimes for things she had lost, opportunities, chances, love, experiences and children. She felt her tears hot and wet; they dried cold on her skin or dress. She could smell fragrances as she drifted past flowers and animals.

Above all, she loved the smell of a newborn baby, but Katherine found the experience of witnessing another woman giving birth distressing and sometimes, the baby could see Katherine.

Now and then she would remember times past when she had been a child, before her mother had died - she had not imagined her mother was a Goddess then – playing hide and seek and Morgana would pretend she could not see the child only partially hidden.

Katherine was reminded of these happy times whenever she observed a family gathering, it was almost as though the people were deliberately ignoring her, she felt sure she was in plain view, but none could either see or sense her - until she came across a tiny red haired girl, pale faced and thin of arm.

Katherine sat in a meadow, watching the birds and butterflies, and then she saw the little girl running. She watched her play in the long grass, swatting the seed heads of the taller flowers and pulling her hands across the top of the grasses which came up to her waist. Katherine was sure the little girl could not see her, just as no-one else had, until she came right up to her, stuck out her little chin and said: “Why are you watching me? You are laughing at me and it is not polite!”

Katherine sat, dumbstruck for a second or so.

“Can you see me?” she asked.

“Of course I can see you. I would not be talking to you if I could not see you. Why are you laughing at me?”

“Oh darling child, I am not laughing at you, I am laughing at your playing, you are so happy, and I wish that I could play too.”

“I will allow that. You may play with me.”

Katherine stood and the little girl held out her hand to take hers. Katherine hesitated for a second, and then allowed this precocious and confident child to lead her through the grasses that pulled at her dress and whispered her passage.

The little girl stopped as she saw a woman struggling through the hedge where she had emerged. She turned from the woman, pulling Katherine with her and giggling with mischievous delight.

The woman was struggling through the long grass, her voluminous skirts hindering any progress and she had lost her headdress to the clutches of the brambles in the hedge. Her face was obscured partially by her hair which was no longer held in the confines of her headwear, but Katherine could see she was distressed and close to tears.

“What is your name, child?” Katherine asked, stopping their retreat.

“When we are alone, you may call me Elizabeth, although in company you will always call me My Lady Elizabeth.” The child said.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, My Lady Elizabeth,” and Katherine curtseyed, making Elizabeth smile.

“And what is your name?” Elizabeth asked.

“I am Katherine.”

“My new governess is also Katherine; I shall call her ‘Kat’ then so as not to confuse the two.”

“And how old are you, Elizabeth?” Katherine asked before the governess got too close.

“I am four years old; it is my birthday soon, in less than a month. Will you come to play with me on my birthday Katherine?”

Katherine nodded and smiled, but did not answer because the governess had got within earshot and she did not wish to chance her hearing her speak.

“My Lady Elizabeth, that was very naughty of you to abandon me. I was worried for you. Please do not run from me again, or I will have to ask that we are accompanied by guards on future walks.” The governess panted as she spoke and she held her hand on her bosom.

Elizabeth looked at Katherine as the governess took her by the hand, but Katherine shook her head and placed her left index finger to her lips. The child smiled and waved a silent goodbye.

Edited text

“You were fortunate in your husband’s treachery, however. If he had been a decent man and had at least respected you enough to perform a burial ceremony for your body and head, he would have closed that door forever and your task would have no end reward. As it stands, only you can close that particular door – or rather it can only be closed by your likeness further down the centuries.”

Morgana kissed Katherine on each cheek and on her mouth and on her forehead. She spoke again.

“Watch now, my daughter, learn well the man you thought you loved, the man you must defeat three times.”

Chapter 2

Katherine’s senses gave her the impression that she had substance and form, that she still had life. She had her senses; smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch were all prevalent in her existence, some stronger than others.

But she had another sense; she could also see spirits and sometimes, lesser deities that mortals prayed to.

The deities looked upon her with great compassion and pity and her pride would not allow her to approach them.

The spirits observed her with a mixture of emotions. Some pitied, others scorned, some were in awe and most were curious; either friendly or spiteful. She could not bring herself to approach those either, she did not know which would betray her to Dominic or to his guardian spirits.

Katherine could touch and feel material things from the world of man, but she had no substance to be able to move them.

She retained her human emotions and mostly she felt regret.

Regret that she had trusted someone to such a great extent, giving herself over to him in subservience, only to allow him more power to betray her, deeper than if she had defied him at times and fought for her own will.

Katherine regretted most that she would never have the chance to give birth to children.

She wept sometimes for things she had lost, opportunities, chances, love, experiences and, of course, those children. She felt her tears hot and wet; they dried cold on her skin or dress and then frustration descended and she grew angry – with herself mostly, for she at last realised that she had missed most opportunities while she was alive.

She could smell fragrances as she drifted past flowers and animals.

Above all, she loved the smell of a newborn baby, but Katherine found the experience of witnessing another woman giving birth distressing and avoided watching for too long. Sometimes, the baby could see Katherine and that hurt most of all.

Now and then she would remember times past when she had been a child, before her mother had died - she had not imagined her mother was a Goddess then – playing hide and seek, Morgana would pretend she could not see the child only partially hidden.

Katherine was reminded of those happy times whenever she observed a family gathering. Sometimes they left a chair empty, with place settings for a passed loved one and she indulged herself, pretending for a moment that she was part of the family and the toasts were to her.

Then, it was almost as though the people deliberately ignored her. She felt sure she was in plain view, but none could either see or sense her - until she came across a tiny red-haired girl, pale faced and thin of arm.

Katherine sat in a meadow, watching the birds and butterflies, and then she saw the little girl running.

She watched her play in the long grass, swatting the seed heads of the taller flowers and pulling her hands across the top of the grasses which came up to her waist.

Katherine was sure the little girl could not see her, just as no-one else had, until she came right up to her, stuck out her little chin and said, “Why are you watching me? You are laughing at me and it is not polite!”

Katherine sat, dumbstruck for a second or so. “Can you see me?” she asked in a shocked whisper.

“Of course I can see you. I would not be talking to you if I could not see you. Why are you laughing at me?”

“Oh, darling child, I am not laughing at you, I am laughing at your playing. You are so happy, and I wish that I could play too.”

The little girl stepped back and thought for a moment. Her little hand rising to cup her chin. Then she nodded and smiled. “I will allow that. You may play with me.”

Katherine stood and the little girl held out her hand to take hers, looking up at Katherine’s face, she broke into another glorious smile.

Katherine hesitated for a second, and then allowed the precocious and confident child to lead her running through the grasses that pulled at her dress and whispered her passage.

The little girl stopped and ducked down a little in the long grass. A woman fought her way through the hedge where the girl had emerged moments before.

The girl turned from the woman, pulling Katherine with her, giggling with mischievous delight.

The woman struggled to make headway through the long grass, her voluminous skirts hindering any progress; she had lost her headdress to the clutches of the brambles in the hedge.

Her face was obscured partially by her hair which was no longer held in the confines of her headwear, but Katherine could see she was distressed and close to tears.

“What is your name, child?” Katherine stopped running away and asked her companion.

“When we are alone, you may call me Elizabeth. In company, however, you will always call me My Lady Elizabeth,” the child said.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, My Lady Elizabeth,” Katherine said and gave a deep curtsey, bowing her head.

Elizabeth smiled. “And what is your name?” she asked.

“I am Katherine.”

“My new governess is also Katherine; I shall call her ‘Kat’ so as not to confuse the two of you.”

“And how old are you, Elizabeth?” Katherine asked before the governess got too close and could hear at least one half of a conversation.

“I am four years old; it is my birthday soon, in less than a month. Will you come to play with me on my birthday, Katherine?”

Katherine nodded and smiled, but did not answer because the governess had come within earshot and she did not wish to chance her hearing her speak.

“My Lady Elizabeth, that was very naughty of you to abandon me. I was worried for you. Please do not run from me again, or I will have to ask that we are accompanied by guards on future walks.” The governess panted as she spoke and she held her hand to her bosom.

Elizabeth looked at Katherine as the governess took her by the hand to lead her away, but Katherine shook her head and placed her left index finger to her lips. The child smiled and waved a silent goodbye.

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Oh my. steemit has an amazing writer here! Good thing I stumbled upon your post! By the way, how do you make that kind of format? I'm quite curious since I'm kind of a newbie here hehe

Ah, thank you. That's very kind of you.

This is the post I took the formatting tips from @steemitguide Format Tips

Yay thank you so much! I'll have to look into it. ❤

Awww. The future Queen Elizabeth I. How interesting that she can see and interact with Katherine. I rather enjoy doing research for my writing. It is part of the fun of writing...

Well spotted! :)

I love the research too! :)

what a amazing write it is!
you are super super that means beautiful writer.
all the best.

Haha! Thank you! Much appreciated.

Another beautiful one from @michelle.gent.. learning from you has really begun to impact my writing skills greatly. Thanks a lot, my role model.

Oh goodness! That's such a compliment! Thank you!