Saturday, October 13, 2012

War of the Worlds -- Two Drafts


I’m going to show an earlier and a later draft of a new chapter for my reimagining of The War of the Worlds .  Something has smashed into the house Ashley has fled to.  Try not to laugh at the early draft: 

***

It was several hours later when I woke up, since it was broad daylight.  Or, it would have been if we hadn’t been covered with plaster and no light came in from the windows.  In what the dim light we had, I brushed myself off gingerly, since along with the plaster were sharp pieces of crockery and even shards of glass.  One shard had embedded itself in the upper arm of the men’s jacket I wore.  If this had been my peaceful life back in Maybury, I would have called for Mr. Jonesworthy to remove it.  Or, if left to my own devices, I would stare at it for five minutes, seeing how the fabric was distorted around the impact point before getting the courage to pull it out from the weave. 

Here, I grabbed it and plucked it out.  It skittered among the other wreckage on the floor. 

***

Looking at this, I realized I didn’t need the “Several hours later” because the previous chapter had ended at midnight, so the daylight implied it.  So I then added some sensory detail in the first sentence—in this case, taste.  Also, the description of the distortion in the sleeve was awkward, and “grabbed it” is redundant for “plucked it.”  After tinkering with other parts, the chapter now begins this way: 

***

I woke up with a mouth full of plaster.  I spit out bitter dust and saw it was broad daylight—or it would have been if we hadn’t been covered with wreckage and no light came in from the window.  In the broken daylight I brushed myself off gingerly, the plaster accompanied by pieces of crockery and even shards of glass—a sharp one embedding itself in the upper arm of the men’s jacket I wore.  If this had been my peaceful life back in Maybury, I would have called for Mr. Jonesworthy to remove it.  Or, if left to my own devices, I would have stared at it for five minutes, seeing how the cruel glass had distorted the fabric around the point before getting the courage to pull it from the weave. 

Here, I plucked it out.  It skittered among the other wreckage on the floor. 

***

You might ask, “Are your first drafts always so lousy?”  No comment.  


No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...