Rather a Radical Rewrite

(Being a rewrite of First 1,064 Words of Rough Draft)

The first stage of this rewrite is a Thought Edit that goes like this:

“Instead of saying: “Adam knew Gwen liked him.” instead say: “Between classes, Gwen was always leaned on his locker when he’d go to open it.  She’d roll her eyes and shove off with one foot, leaving a black-heel mark on the painted metal, but she also left the smell of her perfume.  The combination lock would still be warm from her ass.  And the next break, Gwen would be leaned there, again.”
In short, no more short-cuts.  Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.”

Next, the rewrite focuses on large-scale showing and telling that relates to elements like time, backstory, setting, etc. to identify: information that is told, information that is dramatised and shown, and/or unanswered questions that the narrative might raise in the reader’s mind.

Finally, the editing homes in on creating mystery by working on: removing some of the telling, converting some of the telling into showing and/or introducing incomplete telling – e.g. told information that opens as many questions as it answers.

Okay, on with the show rewrite:

Professor Blake, face partially in shadow, scowled at his assistant as he handed over the capsule. This was to be the first field-test of research that had consumed most of that year.

At best, this project could be seen as innovative; at worst – morally reprehensible. But if the nano-tech acted as predicted, the bidding war between the leading smartphone manufacturers would make the Cold War seem like Enola Gay’s gift to Hiroshima.

“You know what to do – break this into the coffee and serve it to the girl.”

The youth failed to stop his lip from curling as he took the capsule and slipped it into the pocket of the barista uniform. He touched fingers to his forehead, flicked them away and headed to his temporary job.

As the locks slid back into place, sealing the lab once again, the professor sighed. He would have rid himself of this child long before, but for a promise made to his dying brother. And then there was the matter of the KGB money.



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