Troy Kirby

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Re Examining Your Rewriting...

One of the unique portions of rewriting is how we develop new avenues of plot, character and style based on second or third drafts.

First draft sample:

Bob Wright went to the store. He was very sad. His wife had left him. He bought a nail gun and decided to renovate his house.

Second draft sample:

Bob Wright had a lot to lose during his time. The ring on his finger was coming off as soon as the divorce papers were signed. Gloria had been insistent on keeping the house during the proceedings, leaving him with a second mortgage on a bad property that needed a lot of upkeep. Bob headed into the local tool store, picking up a nail gun on a thirty percent off special that fired each nail deep into the wood. He decided to renovate the bad property, seeing if maybe his luck would turn.

Third draft sample:

He wasn't a handyman by any sense of the imagination. But Bob Wright had it in him to attempt the impossible and fix up an eyesore of a property and flip it to an investor. In the past, he would have been hindered by his wife, Gloria. That was the past though. She had filed for divorce, meaning the ring on his finger that had stay on for twenty-two years would be coming off as soon as the divorce papers were signed.
Inside Harmon Tools, Bob moved toward the back, seeing that the place had changed since the owner had passed, leaving the place to his two sons who appeared to bicker over how much they could bilk from the business rather than nuture as their own. Bob selected a nail gun off the shelf, thirty percent off. The weight of it in his hand felt cheap, but he attempted to make the best of it. Maybe by renovating this property, his luck could turn around.

Okay, so this isn't the best writing. I did it on the fly to prove what I was saying. That as you take a sentence, then rewrite it, you change the story. Sometimes you water down original meaning or you give it an improved life. It's up to you, but I believe a lot of writers neglect their rewriting skills. In fact, the majority should take time to rewrite.

One step is to let the writing "sit" for a while. Go work on something else, then come back to it in a few weeks or months. Let it craft inside your head.

The second is to remain confident. You are your own best friend. Rely and trust in yourself. You make the best art that you can make, and worrying about how the eventual document is going to look to others is silly. It usually looks better than you think anyway.

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