fudge

Monday, 10 October 2011

Make It Better - WoW

Write On Wednesdays



Write On Wednesdays Exercise 18 Look through your previous WoW posts (or select a short writing piece that you would like to work on). Read through your piece carefully and let's attempt to make it better. Look for redundant words, cliches or overused phrases. Chop and change. This is not an exercise in word count, it's not about simply whittling it down. Make it a better piece of writing. Post your original and edited piece. THEN, throw it to the*wolves. Ask for advice from WoWers. With  help you can make your writing shine. ** This article on criticism may help you get your brave on.


This is a post that I was never completely happy with.  I couldn't really work out why but bits of it didn't work for me.

I think it was because I was trying to make Rock Chick be or feel something that wasn't real, something that I wanted her to be/feel rather than the truth.

Reading through the comments again it was clear that some people had picked up on that and it fell apart a little towards the end.

It's been a while now since I looked at it but I think this is a much truer reflection of her feelings on that night:

The original:

Crouching down on the damp sand, shielding the flame from the breeze blowing in from the sea she carefully lit the wick.  Gradually the flame took hold, burning brightly, filling the sky lantern with hot air.

Standing up slowly she held the metal ring at the bottom, watching it take shape, tugging at her hands, wanting to be set free.

‘Don’t forget to make a wish’.

She smiled. Wishing on the first star, a full moon, the soft puff of thistledown they used to call fairies as children.  One had drifted right into her hand as she walked along the canal.  If you caught one in flight and whispered your dreams before setting it free they would come true…………..

 But dreams are meant to be shared.

It was time to stop the daily fight of emotions. To stop the painful analysis.  To acknowledge that there were things she would never understand and that in trying to do so she was just hurting herself afresh every day.
She allowed the lantern to float away taking her wish with it high above the water. Watching as it got smaller and smaller until, like the closing of an eye, the tiny glow of light disappeared into the inky blackness.

Standing alone in the darkness she felt a mixture of emotions.  Sadness, regret, fear, loneliness. But at the same time there was relief, hope and a new respect for herself.
The sky was suddenly lit up with a multitude of coloured lights from the laser show on the pier.  They shimmered in the moist air, her very own aurora borealis dancing in the sky.
She turned away from the darkness and began walking, slowly at first, and then with more confidence towards the bright lights.

Towards the future.

...........................

The re-write:

"If Wishes Were Horses ..."




Crouching down on the damp sand, her body  shielding the match from the breeze blowing in from the sea she carefully lit the wick.  

Gradually the flame took hold, burning brightly, warming her cold hands and illuminating her face. Filling the sky lantern with hot air.


Holding the rigid frame with both hands she slowly stood up watchful that the flame didn't catch the gossamer thin paper as it took shape. The lantern tugged at her hands yearning to be set free.

The  rhythmic sigh of the waves whispered, ‘Don’t forget to make a wish ...'

She closed her eyes tightly forcing away  the memory of all those unanswered wishes. 

Wishing on the first star. A full moon. The soft puffs of thistledown they used to call fairies as children.  Catch one in flight and whisper your dreams before setting it free and they will come true …

Her dreams were just a mirage,  a reflection of her heart.  Unseen and unwanted by the one she had thought shared them.  

She had to find a way to stop this daily fight of emotions. To end the painful analysis.  To acknowledge that there were things she would never understand. To accept that she didn't have the power to change anything.


 The truth was that her love just wasn't enough and all she was doing was hurting herself afresh every single day.
She allowed the lantern to float away taking her wish with it high above the water. Watching it grow smaller and smaller until, like the closing of an eye, the tiny glow of light disappeared into the inky blackness.

Standing alone in the darkness she felt a mixture of emotions.  A deep, deep sadness, overwhelming regret and loss, fear and loneliness. 
Suddenly the sky was alive with a multitude of coloured lights from a laser show on the pier.  Shimmering in the salt laden air, her very own aurora borealis dancing in the sky.
Even as she reached out towards the light she knew that her real happiness had taken the same path as the sky lantern.



19 comments:

TV said...

I absolutely love the rewrite! It is definitely a great improvement on the original. You really grabbed on some great occasions for extra description and explained some things that really worked. Great stuff.

The only line that bothers me is that "held the metal ring at the bottom" I have no idea why I don't like it... You think there might be another way to phrase that?

Sarah Mac said...

Thanks TV. I didn't like that line either but I kept thinking, 'that is what they have' :) I've changed it slightly, hope it's better now.

Adam said...

Yeah, the second one is much tighter and punchier. Great rewrite.

TV said...

It's perfect!

Lillie McFerrin said...

Well done on the rewrite! I especially like how the 'rythmic sigh of the waves, whispered, 'Don't forget to make a wish...'!

Sarah Mac said...

Thanks TV ;)

Thank you Lillie, I love the sound of the sea (although I'm not sure it always gives good advice:)

Feisty Cat said...

I like the re-write. But I do miss the last line from the original. I'm a sucker for those kinds of endings.

--Feisty

Sarah Mac said...

Me too FC - maybe one day ...

Finding a skinnier me said...

Love the re write. I like how you made the waves whisper.. Don't forget to make a wish and I liked how you add'd in a little more and different detail. The re write was a little clearer as well! :)

Sarah Mac said...

Thank you. I like the rewrite more too and I think the story does flow a bit better now :)

Stephanie said...

The rewrite is fantastic! It flows very nicely. I love the line "the soft puffs of thistledown" when you are describing the fairies. Details are what makes a story rich, and you did a pefect job of that my friend! :)

Tiffiny said...

Great rewrite. There was a lot that was unclear in the original. The rewrite was wonderful in that it kept what you were saying with much more detail about what was going on in the scene. Very nice.

Andy said...

Hi Sarah!

I am glad I finally have the time to read and comment here. I missed your writing last week so I did try my best to be here.

By the way, what i liked most in your rewrite was the definition you gave to her dreams.

"...dreams were just a mirage, a reflection of her heart..." - this was way better than the original. But still, I like the original last two paragraphs than the second one. Overall though, descriptions were excellent.=)


Smiles,


Andy

spring days, new growth said...

Hi Sarah,
No time to post my own this week, no headspace, but enjoying looking at others.
great rewrite, in particular like that you rewrote the "she had to find a way to stop this daily flight of emotions" etc: para Breaking into smaller sentences has clarified the intent.
I like the original ending too, but because it has hope, rather than the second which is sadder - depends where you want your character to go.
Kate

Sarah Mac said...

Thanks Andy, I haven't had much time to read and comment this week and the weekends set to be completely mad!

Thanks SDND - I like the flow of the rewrite better but I agree, the positive ending to the first is a much better outcome.

Funnily enough, I've been giving a great deal of thought into where I want this to go. One possibility was to retire RC and start something new (I almost did after the original of this post) BUT it's not an ending I want for her and I don't think it does her justice.

InkPaperPen said...

I like your re-write. It is much punchier, as Adam mentioned. One thing I'm wondering if you could shorten this line even further to really accentuate it:
"The truth was that her love just wasn't enough and all she was doing was hurting herself afresh every single day."

I'd like to see simply "The truth was that her love just wasn't enough". It's a powerful point and I thought it could do with standing alone? Maybe?

Gill x

Sarah Mac said...

Completely agree Gill, the second part of the sentence isn't necessary. x

sars! said...

I think the re-write is great, the flow is better and I agree with Gill about shortening the one sentence. It's the one thing that struck me as well.

You're always fun to read, thanks!

Janelle said...

I enjoyed the rewrite more as well. The original to me felt a little rushed, and a little unclear. The rewrite pulled me in with its beginning, and overall it seemed to take its time but without dwelling on any one detail for too long.

My favourite line is "Watching it grow smaller and smaller until, like the closing of an eye, the tiny glow of light disappeared in to the inky blackness".