Revision and Redrafting

I took a piece of free-writing from part 2 and used it for the exercise in Part 6 of WFC course. Please, could you read and then offer comments as suggested at the end of the attached pdf file? All feedback gratefully received. I hope that some of what I have done will be useful to others on the course.I attached as pdf  because  copying and pasting a word document did not work as it deleted all indentations and highlights.

Thank you in advance

Carole

 

.Editing exercises from part Six

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6 thoughts on “Revision and Redrafting

  1. Hi Carole, I really enjoyed this. Not just the story – which reminded me of a favourite Enid Blyton book from childhood (The Magic Wishing Chair) but also the way the exercise asked you to take out certain words, rewrite, and then add back in the ones you thought absolutely necessary… a fascinating exercise and one I can’t wait to try out myself!

    The only thing I noticed was in this part:

    …. My Grandma was gone but had she had left me a small envelope which I had opened after I had gone to bed. Mum had wanted me to open it earlier, but I had told her it was between me and Grandma.
    ‘Look,’ I had said, showing her the writing on the front.
    ONLY TO BE OPENED BY MOLLY. PRIVATE!
    I tiptoed downstairs and into the living room when everyone had gone to bed….

    and I did expect the repetitions (x 5) of ‘had’ to disappear at some stage during the exercise but they remained at the final. I only noticed because I’ve just passed the part of my coursework which says:

    “If you go back to a time before the ‘now’ of a story, you’ll shift from the past tense (‘She walked to the shops that morning’) to the pluperfect tense (‘She HAD walked to the shops that morning’). This is horrible to write and read so, once you’ve established the shift in time, you can slip silently back into the past tense. Your reader won’t even notice.”

    So I’d have written it:
    “… My Grandma was gone but had she’d left me a small envelope which I opened once I was in bed. Mum had wanted me to open it earlier, but I told her it was between me and Grandma.
    ‘Look,’ I said, showing her the writing on the front.
    ONLY TO BE OPENED BY MOLLY. PRIVATE!
    I tiptoed downstairs and into the living room when everyone had gone to bed….”

    Hope that helps, but loved, LOVED the story (And Molly is delightful).

    Oh, I did jot down another word or two – it depends on the reading age of your audience of course – but where you’re describing the chair, I’d leave in ‘comfortably’ because it feels easier than ‘in comfort’, and I’d question the use of ‘depression’ when describing the dent in the seat of the chair – simply because of it’s dual-association.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fantastic Deborah. Really helpful. i came across the rewrite when starting the exercises and decided it was worth working on as I think a couple of my grandchildren would like it. Your observations are going to help me make it into something much more polished. Just need to work out the rest of the plot now.

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  2. OOps – on my ‘rewritten – omitting HAD’s’, I should have deleted the word… no prizes for guessing … ‘had’! to read: My Grandma was gone but she’d left me…’ etc. Bah 😦 !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carole – I liked your story; good luck with developing it. I was also interested in the guidelines and exercises for editing incorporated into the text – my current course (Life Writing) doesn’t seem to offer any guidance like this. I have taken the liberty of copying these for my own use.

    I would be more brutal in shortening the text. For example the first two sentences could be made into one without loosing the meaning – ‘The tall, slatted back of Grandma’s wooden rocking chair was curved to allow her to sit comfortably.’ This reduces the word count from 25 to 17.

    However, I have a tendency to cut too far and rely too much on the reader working out what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, Thank you so much for commenting. I put it up here in the hopes that it might be useful to other students. I’m glad you copied it. It seems a very useful exercise. I’ll take you up on your suggestion for the first line.
      Thank you
      Carole

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