Let’s Play


March 11, 2011 by Renee

Recently I’ve been studying the craft of rewriting. Of course, I’ve been studying that for a few years now, but lately it’s been with purpose and focus. Because of the articles I write, I have to make sure that the process is clear and accurate in my head before relaying that information to others.
Sometimes my brain screams for something more interesting to do, but I have to say, it’s kind of fun most of the time. I learn something new and immediately I’m ripping out a manuscript and applying it. It’s like a kid with a new toy. I just have to try it out.

So, I thought perhaps you might enjoy a little game here at the Edge. It will be played in three parts. First, we’ll write a story (in the comments section of course). Each comment will provide one line of the story. You can comment and add as many times as you like, but try to keep it to a sentence each time. Maximum 2 sentences per post. Got it?

I’ll give you the first line and I’ll add an ending when we’re done. Let’s give it a few days. So Wednesday, March 16th, we’ll stop adding to the story. Then I’ll gather it into a document and post the story as a whole.

From the second post, we’re going to rewrite the story. I challenge all of you to condense the story into less than 750 words, which means removing fluff and anything that doesn’t move the story forward. Rewrite dialogue to remove unnecessary tags and silly things like eyes burning and such. I challenge you to remove the telling as well and add setting if necessary. The biggest challenge will be to smooth the bumps out as having several people writing one line at a time will leave quite a bit of that. Cool?

Post your revision into the comments with your name.

I’ll post my revision as well and then I’ll ask for votes on the best rewrite.

BUT there is a catch to the voting. If you vote, I want you to also explain why the revised version you chose is better. What was done right? I’ll tally the votes, any that don’t explain are void, and post the winning revision the following week.

Ah hell, the winning rewrite gets a free book of their choice. How’s that? My purpose here is to show that editing and rewriting can change your prose dramatically. I bet we have more than one take on the story when we’re through.

Are you all game?

Okay, here’s your opening line:

“Let’s play,” she flung her coat over the chair.


11 thoughts on “Let’s Play

  1. Paul Mitton says:

    "Only this time, we're gonna play by my rules."

  2. "What? Now you want to play? Give me a break." He shoved his hands in his pockets and turned toward the door.

  3. Laura Riley says:

    He didn't like relinquishing control, especially not to her.

  4. Mike Keyton says:

    Besides, he knew what was in the coat

  5. She kicked the chair in his path then sauntered over like a jaguar, long limbs and grit.

  6. Renee Miller says:

    (Love it so far, you guys are awesome)"You've underestimated me," she fingered the edge of the coat, smiling wickedly.

  7. "Don't touch the coat," he growled, pulling it around himself protectively.

  8. Mike Keyton says:

    "You look damn silly in that. Pink's just not your colour."

  9. Rita J. Webb says:

    "You really want to play? Then the coat is not pink; it's blue." The coat changed color.

  10. Laura Riley says:

    "Pink or blue, you shouldn't have that coat or what is in it. I taught you better than that."

  11. Something rippled inside the coat pocket, long, languid bumps and grinds as if it were looking for a way out.

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I like to write stuff. Sometimes it's funny. I've published some novels and short fiction. I also battle an addiction to cake and potato chips, and I sometimes have inappropriate fantasies involving Kevin Spacey.

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