Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Write on Wednesdays: Revisiting the Tartan Clutch...

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.


When I first read this week's exercise description, I immediately knew which piece I would be re-writing. A couple of weeks ago, we'd been given the task of observing someone in our neighbourhood and writing a character piece based on them. I wrote about an elderly gentleman I observed at my local bus stop. I received some really helpful comments asking for clarifications and suggesting some small changes, so this week I've reviewed those comments and re-written the piece. I've pasted both drafts here for your convenience, but you can also check out the original comments here. I've also edited the format (and I found a glaring mistake - wonder if anyone else can spot it in the first draft?).

Tartan clutch  (First Draft)

Edward gingerly lowered himself onto the bus stop bench. The sun was on his face, but the icy Spring wind was threatening his kidneys, as Marla would have put it. 

They say noses and ears grow with age. Luckily Edwards nose had always been on the petite size, however, his school chums would have collapsed in fits of laughter at the foot of their zimmerframes had they lived long enough to see his eyes now. Big Ears had nothing on Edward as he sat clutching the oversized tartan pencil case to his chest. His enormous wrinkly ears soaking in the sun's rays on either side of his weathered face.

The Tam o'Shanter on his head was in a tartan to match the pencil case clutch - his family tartan - he wore it with it's cheery little pom-pom atop with pride. He'd lived in Australia for 65 years, but deep down he was still a Scotty a heart.

Scotland, the home of his childhood, he hadn't been there in all these years, but now he was on his way to the Flight Centre office to pick up his air tickets. He couldn't say what awaited him back in Edinburgh, but there was nothing left for him here. Since Marla passed he longed for family. They had never had children. Marla didn't like children. Marla didn't like a great many things, including the idea of travelling overseas. Edward didn't mind too much though, he would have given up anything to be with her - he had given up a lot.

Now though, he needed his first home, the comfort of his birth place. Edward clutched his savings to his chest in the oversized tartan pencil case and sucked in a lung full of cold spring air - it was as if the weather were giving him a hint of home as confirmation that this was the right thing to do now.



Tartan Clutch  (Second Draft)

They say noses and ears grow with age. Luckily Edwards nose had always been on the petite size. However, his school chums would have collapsed in fits of laughter at the foot of their walking frames had they lived long enough to see his ears now.
Big Ears had nothing on Edward as he gingerly lowered himself onto the bus stop bench and sat clutching an oversized tartan pencil case, containing a decent percentage of his life’s savings. His enormous wrinkly ears soaked in the sun's rays on either side of his weathered face. The sun on his face was countered the icy Spring wind threatening his kidneys, as Marla would have put it. God rest her soul.
The Tam o'Shanter on his head was in a tartan to match the pencil case clutch - his family tartan - he wore it and its cheery little red pom-pom atop with pride. He'd lived in Australia for 65 years, but deep down he was still a Scotty a heart.
Scotland; the home of his childhood. He hadn't been there in all these years, but now he was on his way to the Flight Centre office to pick up airline tickets. He couldn't say what awaited him back in Edinburgh, but there was nothing left for him here.
Since Marla passed he’d longed for family. They had never had children. Marla hadn't like children. Marla hadn't like a great many things, including the idea of travelling overseas. Edward sighed. He hadn't minded too much though, he would have given up anything to be with her - he had given up a lot.
Now though, he needed his first home, the comfort of his birthplace. Edward clutched his savings to his chest and sucked in a lung full of cold Spring air - it was as if the weather were giving him a hint of home to confirm he was on the right path.

8 comments:

House of Prowse said...

Yes, works better.
It could be a cute short story...
Sorry that's all I have at this hour...zzz

Sif said...

Hahaha, another night owl! Glad you liked it :).

claire said...

I really liked it! I am a huge Scotland fan, love everything tartan and I loved this piece. it was very cute!

Finding a skinnier me said...

Great re write, it flowed better! Though I had also liked the first draft as well.

Stephanie said...

The rewrite is beautiful! I could feel the sadness he was experiencing when his wife never wanted to travel or have children. I also felt his relief; his new life.
Great job!

Lillie McFerrin said...

Great job on the rewrite! I agree with Stephanie, the sadness and relief were well crafted.

spring days, new growth said...

Definitely improved with the rewrite, the references to his school chums and his wife
round him out into a real character. Love the focus on the ears.
Kate

Janelle said...

It's a fantastic little story Sif! You've really improved it, it's really clear now from the start that he is an older man. And I like how you've reworked the beginning to start at the second paragraph, I remember that suggestion from some of the other WoWers.

Teenagers and the failing parent...