Writing and Re-writing.

As a beginning note – my posts may be up later from now on as I am working (well, volunteering) at the Stained Glass Museum, as I said before and am usually there ’till about 4.30/5pm, so posts won’t be up until evenings. But don’t worry, I will be posting!

And now, back to normal!

So, today I think, is writing and rewriting.

As I said in my first post, I’m currently on my third draft of my novel. Obviously this had meant quite a lot of writing and rewriting. When I wrote the first draft I didn’t worry too much about going back and changing things that I had written unless something I wrote later in the draft happened to contradict it.

My second draft was born during my dissertation writing at uni. I told my tutor that I had nearly completed the entire thing and he asked to read it all. With the comments he left, I changed some things and decided on a couple of changes myself. During the writing of this draft there were still things I didn’t like but as I was really editing through to try and focus on the part I was handing in for my dissertation, I didn’t really make many huge overhauls at this stage.

After my dissertation was handed in, I left the novel to sit for a while so that I could look on it a bit differently. The new draft has a completely new beginning and ending (when I get round to typing it up anyway!) which do change the story slightly. I’ve also changed one character’s motivations and back story a bit to fit in with the main character and have created several new scenes to go where I felt something was missing. I’ve also added a scene of something I kept alluding to over and over and had never actually shown, so that’s good.

And for a bit of comparison, I’m going to share with you a small section from the first page of the original draft and current draft of my novel.

Original draft:

I lay back, trying not to think about anything. The water, which had now grown cold, barely covered me as I reclined further. The next day I was to catch a train and journey off to enlist.

I didn’t want to think about it. Whilst I had chosen to enlist, I was nervous because I didn’t know what was coming. Some chaps had been describing it as a ‘good show’, but whether or not this was true was another question all together.

Beginning to shiver, I decided it was about time I got out of the bath. Pulling myself out of the bath I grabbed the towel and wrapped it around my stomach. The small window on the far wall was pushed slightly open and I edged over to it. I sat down in the chair next to it and glanced out.

The lush green fields spread out for miles under the window. In the distance, I could see the stables which I usually cycled down to a few times a week. I promised myself I would cycle down there before I left, say goodbye, I suppose. I probably wouldn’t have time to go hunting between now and then. My wet hair dripped onto my now drying stomach and I brushed the droplets away.

New draft:

I watched as Basil opened the paper. July 19th, 1915. He poured over every detail, the shaking of the train causing the paper to tremble in his hands.

“Isn’t it incredible to imagine what’s happening out there?” he said, glancing up at me.

I nodded, knowing soon enough I’d have to tell him. I didn’t want to think about it.

“Laurie?”

“Yes,” I said, “Yes, it is.” I reached up and slid the window down, watching as steam buffeted past the window.

Basil turned back to the paper. I watched him squint, drawing the paper closer to his face, but chose to say nothing. He never listened anyway.

We slowed down and the train juddered to a halt. Stepping onto the platform, Basil turned to me and said, “Cheer up. You look like [something].”

I smiled as we set off down the road. It wasn’t until we were sat on the hill, surrounded by ruins that I felt I could tell Basil what was happening.

“I’m going to join up,” I said, watching him.

“Why?” He’d stopped eating and was staring at me, looking surprised.

“I want to. I think it’s something that needs to be done.”

He didn’t say anything for a while. The paper he’d been reading on the train laid beside him, reporting, much like it did every day, about the men being killed out in France.

“You’re not angry, are you?” I asked.

“Angry? Why would I be angry?”

As you can see, in the new version I’ve left a note for myself in brackets because I couldn’t think of anything appropriate to put in and will fill it in on the next draft. I’ve done this later on in the draft as well instead of spending time worrying about what to put in.

As for actual editing, I don’t think I’ve done any since last week. For some reason I feel as if I’ve been really busy and haven’t had proper time to sit down and work at it. Hopefully I will be able to rectify this before long!

Also, I know it is rather early to start thinking about it as it doesn’t start until November but plans for NaNoWriMo have begun. For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, check out: http://www.nanowrimo.org. I will be trying it for the first time (I actually tried last year, wrote one page on the first day and then felt guilty for not having worked on my actual novel, which wasn’t finished at the time so gave up.) I have started planning the basics of what my novel is about and am going to try to come up with more ideas soon.

Current word count: 30, 646
Currently reading: Paper Towns – John Green.

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