Friday, November 17, 2006

On Writing and Bond

On Bond

Casino Royale opens today.

To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
I've been a Bond fan since I started watching the movies with my Dad in elementary school. Of course, I think Sean Connery will always be the Bond, but I've been pretty pleased with the other actors who've played Bond. I'd have to say that my list is as follows:

1) Sean Connery
2) Pierce Brosnan
3) Timothy Dalton
4) George Lazenby
5) Roger Moore
6) David Niven (I haven't seen the original Casino Royale, so that's why I'm putting David Niven at the bottom).

Why is Daniel Craig not on the list yet? Because I have yet to judge how he does in Casino Royale. Do I think he's in the running for the number two spot? You bet.

In the movie trailer, Craig looks like he's got the angst that Bond needs. Of course, Casino Royale is the "first" in the Bond adventures - Bond is just starting out in this 007 business. I'm anxious to see how Craig plays him.

The James Bond movies probably got me interested in the whole spy business. I love the gadgets and the undercover work. Of course it's glamorized, but hey, it IS Hollywood.

On Writing

I think I'm overwhelming myself with the editing process. There are so many things that the "experts" tell me I need to look for that I'm about ready to throw my hands up in disgust. No passive excess -ly words...character development...ending the chapter with a hook...beginning the chapter with a hook...making sure I have conflict on every page...and on and on and on.

While some of these things I can catch pretty well, others are a bit more complicated. Hubby finished reading one of Vince Flynn's books last night and told me it was "amazing." I wondered, will my books ever be amazing? Will someone pick it up and not be able to put it down? I sure hope so. But self-doubt started to creep in last night. Then I had to smack myself (figuratively, not literally!). Vince Flynn is a NYTimes Bestseller and has several books under his belt. If I try to compare my writing to his, I'll worry so much that my creativity will cower under the bed.

So here's my question to you. Do you have any great self-editing techniques? And more importantly, do you like James Bond? ;-)


  1. I absolutely loathe the Bond films.

    Kudos to everyone who makes a living off them -- they won't miss my non-participation.

    RE: editing.

    When I "deep edit", I read each section multiple times, each time focusing on one particular aspect. If I try to hold everything together in my head, I get overwhelmed.

  2. I'm a big Bond fan too, as is Sean! We're hoping to get to see CR next week. Re: the Niven one - Sean says it was kinda a spoof, so isn't really part of the the regular Bond group of films. I haven't seen it either.

    I actually am a rebel and besides liking Connery, also liked Lazenby and Dalton in the role. Especially Dalton - I thought he was a fine Bond and should have been given a chance. Roger Moore, while great as The Saint, was a little too campy as Bond (though I still LOVE Live and Let Die). Am curious to see how Daniel Craig does - there's one point in the trailer where he looks VERY Bondlike, so I'm keeping an open mind.

    Wow, I think this is the longest comment I've ever written!!

    Re: Self-editing, I try to go with my gut. Yeah, I use some techniques, but if something doesn't feel right, I go with my own instincts. Let me think more about it and I'll get back to you.

  3. Looking forward to the new Bond, too!


    At the end of each chapter is a list of things to look for. I go through my manuscript ONLY looking for those specific things. I use highlighters to get a feel for overused words and the balance between dialogue and narrative, things like that.

    If you only focus on a few things at time, it doesn't seem so least to me. :-)

  4. I love OLD Bond. Sean & Roger work for me. Sean cos he's charming, Roger cos he's funny. I didn't like Timothy Dalton. Pierce is attractive but I didn't really like any of the new movies. I prefer old school I guess.

    Self editing techniques? I like to do a "find" search on certain words. Like "as" (oh my I went "as" crazy on my last edits), that, was, etc. That helps me.

    Good luck!

  5. I love it! I'm a huge James Bond fan. As for self-editing--I have certain words that I tend to use way too much. I've learned what they are and use my search function in MS Word to locate them and revise. Have a good one!

  6. My editing techniques are:

    1) Read the story out loud. If it sounds strange or awkward, change it.

    2) Look for seems, appears, and other forms of wishy-washy prose.

  7. Self-editing is such an organic process for me. I try to keep in mind the things I should be looking for, but ultimately it's a gut thing. I try to do several passes, concentrating on one or two elements at a time (tone, pace, depth).

    And Bond? I don't like blonds, but the new Bond is HOT!

  8. I love James Bond, and like Karen, I'm partial to Sean Connery and Roger Moore. The Spy Who Loved Me is my fave.

    As for editing... Well, I'm an editor, so I use my editor's checklist and read my story over and over, with an eye to the next item on the list each time. I also try to read it aloud at least once.

  9. I absolutely love Bond ... James Bond. Sean Connery is the best, but I'm looking forward to the new one. He seems very "edgy."
    Like Robin, I, too, have an editing list which I go through. Lately I've also been using Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maas. It is wonderful, suggesting new ways to look at your manuscript and deepen almost everything in it.
    Good luck, Melissa! I'm sure you're doing fine.

  10. We're going to see the new Bond next week - I like what I've seen of Daniel Craig. I have high hopes that he'll breathe new life into the role.

    I've ordered the books by Donald Maass for when I reach the editing stage. I've heard so many good things about him, and listening to Elizabeth, it sounds like he really could provide the cure I'll be looking for!

    Best wishes for your editing.

    Sue :-)

  11. I've never seen an entire Bond film--and that's just on TV, I wouldn't see it in the theatre. I think the new Bond is hot, but I'm still not gonna go see him, lol.

    The first thing I do on edit is a but check--how many times did I use the word? It seems I have a problem...

  12. LOL--DH and I have been arguing about David niven--who plays Sir James Bond in the spoof. I LOVE David Niven but no way do I think of him as a 'Bond'.

  13. Here's my list:

    1. Sean/Daniel
    2. Pierce/Dalton

    Can't stand Moore. He made a mockery out of the character.

    Never saw the Niven spoof.

    Lazenby (sp?) yawn.




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