14 September, 2011

WoW - The Mighty Rewrite

This week’s Write on Wednesday is an interesting one, choose your favourite book, take the first paragraph and then write your own content into the paragraph, keeping the structure, tone, language etc.

Write On Wednesdays

When I read this exercise I was struck with horror – I was about to be found out! My deep, dark secret was to be revealed…I don’t have a ‘favourite’ book. Gasp!

I know, it seems highly improbable. I am a writer and I don’t have a favourite book. Judge me if you will but I enjoy books and reading so much that it is hard to pick a favourite. Even if I could pick one I know it would change because different books impact me differently depending on how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life at the time.

So I didn’t choose a favourite, but in order to challenge myself I wanted to choose a bit of a ‘classic’. I looked at a couple but when I saw this one, my brain immediately started firing with the possibilities. So I chose, Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver.


His two girls are curled together like animals whose habit it is to sleep underground, in the smallest space possible. Cosima knows she’s the older, even when she’s unconscious: one of her arms lies over Halimeda’s shoulder as if she intends to protect them both from their bad dreams. Dr. Homer Noline holds his breath, trying to see movement there in the darkness, the way he’s watched pregnant women close their eyes and listen inside themselves trying to feel life.


Their two girls are pressed together like runts of the litter whose habit it is to go unnoticed, taking up the smallest space possible. Lily marvels at her older sister’s protectiveness, even when she’s asleep:  her right arm draped across her back as if she intends to shield her from an explosion. Lily holds her breath, trying to be the perfect daughter asleep in the dark, the way she saw the puppy breathing lightly with its eyes closed and trying to look cute getting tummy rubs.

As soon as I read the paragraph I immediately thought of my older sister and the way she has always helped me and protected me so I knew I would have a lot of experience and inspiration to draw from.

I actually quite enjoyed this exercise and found it really interesting to try and get out of my own personal style and emulate the style of someone else. It certainly was a challenge and I feel perhaps my rewrite may be a little awkward, or perhaps it is just the foreign style that makes me feel this way?

13 comments (+add yours?)

K.D. Storm said...

You have nothing to fear you did a grand job on this piece :)

Sheri Bomb said...

Thank you very much, I really appreciate that :)

Car said...

I think you did a great job on this piece! It was a struggle wasn't it, keeping with the same sentence structure from someone else. Personally it has really made me re-think the way I have been writing!

Sheri Bomb said...

Thanks Car, it was a bit tough but you're right - certainly very useful :)

Lene said...

I think you've done a great job here. Your piece is really lovely to read and created a lovely image. I like how you wrote from the younger sister's perspective and how you related it back to personal experience. Beautiful!

Tony said...

Man! that's hard, I'm glad its you doing it. Good Job:) see I told ya "You Know Stuff" :D

Sarah said...

I liked the way you switched the roles and also related it to your own experiences.

Great job!

Sarah said...

Great job here...I too got stumped with the 'favourite' title - one because I didn't think I had one and the other being too embarrassed to admit what I read! Great descriptors - drew me in

Andy said...

I too have no "favourite" but "favourites" I have..hehe..

I don't think you're rewrite is awkward, I told you before, you write really really well!Trust me.=)



Laura Maria said...

The change of perspective really enhanced your rewrite. It was beautiful and tender. I can relate because I have a protective older sister :)

No one said...

Oh you wrote that so well! It completely captured everything the first paragraph had, including topic, but changed it enough that it was absolutely it's own story! I really loved reading this!

InkPaperPen said...

I am glad you felt the usefulness of this exercise. It really is a good one for taking us in a direction we otherwise might not have gone. The sentence structure certainly seems different to your usual "voice" but they are still fabulous, just in a different way.

"Lily holds her breath, trying to be the perfect daughter asleep in the dark" Loved this! Wonderful

Apologies that is has taken me so long to get to read this. I fell behind again this week. But I got here in the end - and I am glad I did.

Sheri Bomb said...

Thanks so much guys, really glad you enjoyed it! It was a bit of a tough exercise but I really enjoyed it and found it quite useful.

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