Passages

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I love to write. I adore watching the changes that happen with each rewrite, the way the story shifts and changes and grows.

Here is an example from Fair Game, my current work-in-progress. Each passage below shows the same moment in time, with the exception of the outline. Outlines are, necessarily, lacking in detail, so I could not extract any particular moment.

Can’t you just see the text growing and blossoming like a flower?

Outline: First day of school

1st write:
I heard the beep, the one that meant that I had an incoming text, just as I was about to place my foot on the first step in preparation of the long climb up the wide staircase that led to the front doors of my new school. I halted, indecision muddling my thoughts. Should I take the time to dig through my backpack and find my phone? Would any text I might receive this morning be worth the effort?

2nd:
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

“Not now!” I muttered. “I don’t have time to dig through my backpack to find my phone. I don’t want to be late the first day.”

My foot was poised two inches above the bottom step of the wide staircase that led to the entrance of the school. I stood there, balancing on one foot as I weighed the pros and cons of checking my text messages.

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

3rd (testing 1st person vs 3rd person):
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

“Not now!” Autumn muttered as she placed her foot on the first step of the staircase. “I don’t have time to dig through my backpack to find my phone. I don’t want to be late the first day.”

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

4th (1st person won):
Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
“Not now!” I muttered. “I don’t have time to for this.”

The chirp caught me just as I paused to prepare for the big climb. At the peak of that mountain of steps, surrounded by clouds of milling students, was the gateway to my new life, my new beginning.

With one foot poised a mere two inches above the bottom step of that all important staircase, I chickened out. I was not ready for the big climb. My foot seemed to have a mind of its own, and it refused to touch that first step. No matter how hard I tried, and I tried, I really tried. So I slowly lowered my raised foot back onto solid ground—I needed to think through my options. But there was very little time for thought, for just at that moment a flood of students washed by me, and it was only the feel of the solid ground beneath both of my feet that saved me from being sucked along toward the vortex at the top of the stairs.

As the wave passed I breathed a sigh of relief. It had been close. I had almost been swept away, unable to resist the pull of the vortex that awaited at the peak of the climb.

“Good grief,” I muttered, rolling my eyes in self-disgust. Here I was again, making a mountain out of a molehill, or at least, a staircase. I needed to stop thinking so much and just go with the flow. There was absolutely nothing wrong with jumping into the stream of students headed in my direction and allowing the wave to wash me into the school. It was, after all, my destination.

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

What do you think?