Sunday, April 18, 2010

Travel Realities and An Experiement

Well as expected my flight to the UK tomorrow has been cancelled and rescheduled for....28th of April. To be truthful I had expected worse. DS2 is due to fly on Tuesday and I am now doubtful that will happen. So dd is going to missing the French trip and I will get to play home schooling with her - not a role I want in any way and God help me if I have to do it for ds2 - I might just be qualified to teach him English but only just.... Thankfully we are 'home' and don't have the difficultly of many others catch up in the travel nightmare.

Now back to things writing related...I had all those revelations in York and haven't been able to do much with them because the kids were still today I did a writing exercise. I took the opening of August Rock which I haven't looked at in over a year, a notebook and a pen.

Those of you who read my notes on Martin Amis will have noted that he writes in long hand but he feels the computer is suited to writing. I certainly agree with the later and since my university years I have composed on the computer. With my dyslexia this has been very helpful with things like spell check (sometimes) and my hands can begin to keep up with the racing of my brain.

So taking pen in hand I began to rewrite the opening and to be honest I have to confess, at least to me, something magical happened. Because of the slower method more pictures formed in my head and I felt closer to the work.

So I will put both the orignal and the hand written (obviously retyped) up for your scrutiny and I would be grateful if you told me which you preferred.

The Nare, Cornwall, England, 27th March 1846

Tobias Trevenen stood on Nare Head looking at the waves crashing onto the rocks below. The wind tossed his brown hair side to side obscuring his vision. In the distance, he watched the four mast barque fight its way toward Falmouth in the heaving water. The sky was increasingly grey as the weather closed in. Toby came here most days to watch the sea as that was where his mother was.

Time was short. Visitors were due from London and he must be at home when they arrived. Father was in a dither and everyone in the house was out of sorts. The approaching storm was peaceful compared with the tension enclosing the house. Mrs. Williams, the house keeper, had hit Toby with a cloth as he had crept out. Her anger with him was rarer than the treasure he had found on his outings on the river. There was treasure at August Rock, but thus far no one believed him. Soon it would be time to look again but not yet.

Now for the new...

The waves crashed onto the rocks below Nare Head while the wind blew Tobias Trevenen's hair side to side obscuring his view of the four mast barque as it fought its way to Falmouth through the heavy water. The sky was increasing grey as the weather closed in.

Time was short. Visitors were due from London and he must be at home when they arrived. Father was was in a dither and everyone in the house was out of sorts. The approaching storm was peaceful compared with the tension enclosing the house. The housekeeper, Mrs. Williams, had hit Toby with a cloth as he had tasted the cream sauce on his way out. She was rarely ever cross with him.

He scanned the mouth of the Helford River seeking the telltale jagged protrusion of August Rock that hinted at the deadly reef that stretched below, but all was hidden in the swell of the storm. He would have to wait for the August spring tides before he could search again for the treasure at the base of the reef. He hated waiting for no one would believe that he had found anything at all there except muscles and seaweed. He played with the gold coin in his pocket.

I think I may be only to a new working procedure for me - draft one on the computer, draft two long hand, draft three computer...anyone work this way?


Liz Harris said...

I never normally comment on people's work and am very nervous about doing so. But, here goes...

I thought the second version very much better than the first. I liked version two very much.

Version Two. I thought paragraphs one and three worked very well; wasn't sure about paragraph two and would have had it - maybe with a few slight changes in the wording - after paragraph three.

It's a super beginning - it makes me want to read more!

Liz X

Jan Jones said...

Second version much, much better!

Not sure it's pen-and-paper v computer. What it is ... is that you're showing, not telling.

(But I wouldn't use dither, hon, not there and then. Try in a fret instead.)

liz fenwick said...

Liz - thanks for commenting and not to worry as this work was originally written in 2006 for I think my writing style has improved since then too but I totally agree it is much better :-)

Jan - love fret - perfect. Definitely showing and not telling but then you lead the way with your brill post last week.


Debs said...

I also prefer version two and love the feel of this beginning.

Helen said...

Yes I much prefered version 2 also. I now need to know more :)

Chris Stovell said...

Oh well done, Liz. The second version leaps out at me; it's far more active and invites the reader to get involved. Well done for carrying on with writing when there's so much going on around you.

liz fenwick said...

Debs,Helen and Chris - it's good to know that we all agree. I am quite excited as I think I may have broken through a barrier - who would have thought that writing by long hand would do it.

Chris - writing through chaos is one way to keep sane!