We’re in part II of our three part revision series, using tips from How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey to rework a passage as a group. As a reminder, we started with this:
Sarah arrived at school eager for the afternoon's Halloween party. As she sat down at her desk, she looked inside her bag for her costume. Most of her robot costume was there, but she couldn't find the helmet. She looked around but couldn't see it anywhere. She asked her teacher whether she had seen it, but the teacher said no.
By recess time, Sarah was very worried indeed. What would she do? She couldn't possibly be a robot without a helmet. Finally, she had an idea. She found the school janitor and asked him to open the supply closet. In the supply closet, she found an old bucket that fit perfectly on her head. Her costume was saved.
And last week’s tip was to be specific. I encourage you to check out the revisions in the comments of last week’s entry. There’s some good ones there, including one memorable one by Eric, who rewrote the passage as a science fiction piece.
Nate had a nice entry, which I've copied below. It's pretty amazing how much of a difference a few more details can make.
Sarah arrived at school eager for the afternoon's Halloween party. As she sat down at her desk, she looked inside her backpack for her costume. She found the box, plastic piping, and gloves, all spray-painted a metallic silver, but couldn't find the robot's helmet. She searched through both closets and in every cabinet at the back of the classroom, but didn't see it anywhere. Mrs. Brannigan hadn't noticed it, either.
By noon, when the rest of her class headed out to recess, Sarah was very worried indeed. What would she do? She couldn't possibly be Bender without his head. Finally, she had an idea. She found Mr. Hossburn, the school janitor, and begged him to unlock the supply closet. Beneath a stack of paper plates and a folded plastic tablecloth, she found what she was looking for: an old gray bucket that fit perfectly on her head. Her costume was saved!
So onto this week’s revision tip: appeal to all the senses. That one’s pretty self explanatory. So starting with Nate’s passage, can we rework it now to appeal to more senses?