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Creative rewriting

June 16, 2011

Have spent the past four days reviewing and revising the first draft of Obsidian Fields as suggested by David Michael Kaplan in his book Rewriting: A creative approach to writing fiction (A&C Black, London).  He defines three stages to the process: revising for style, revising for structure and revising for meaning.  I concentrated on the last two.  This involved deleting; ruminations, repetitions, tangents, useless amplifications, stagey dialogue, dreams and unnecessary characters & events.  I also marked sections where additions needed to be made such as; direct dialogue with accompanying actions, descriptions of characters and descriptions of environment.  I noted which scenes needed moving and learnt to categorise scenes as critical, transitional, bridging and summative.  Phew!

Now I’m left with a draft two thirds of the length of the original (Anton Checkhov would have been proud of me) and face the challenge of writing a new opening and ending, developing the characters who have avoided the axe and improving individual scenes in order to create a second draft.

I balanced all this hard work with the delight of reading a new author.  (New to me that is).  I have just discovered Michelle Moran and added her to my list of ‘writing ancestors’ (another Julia Cameron idea).  The list includes: Alma Alexander,  Isabel Allende, Jean Auel, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Bernard Cornwell, Gustave Flaubert, Diana Gabaldon,David Gemmell, Victor Hugo, Christian Jacq, Mary Stewart and Tolkien.  If you haven’t yet read any of the above, I urge you to check one of them out.


From → Creative Writing

One Comment
  1. Congratulations Judith on your new and interesting blog which will be appreciated by all new writers. Creative editing – as you outline it here – is such an exciting part of writing a big work. On must mention babies and bathwater, though. One mustn’t edit the life out of one’s baby. But you know that….

    Good luck with the MA and your vivid and imaginative novel project.

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