From Discovery to Second Rewrite

I thought it would be fun to share what my Discovery/First/Second drafts looked like so you can see the evolution of Shelved. Here are two excerpts. The first one is the Discovery Draft and First Rewrite, and the second excerpt is the same excerpt from all three drafts.

EXCERPT 1

Discovery Draft:

Penelope was exiting first. As she climbed down the stairs and set her feet down on the pavement, she looked up and saw Mike and Al leaning against the wall of the bus depot. They were looking right at her. Penelope stopped, and Jeremy was still standing on the bus steps. “Jeremy,” Penelope said.

“What is it, what’s wrong?” he asked tensely.

“Look over there,” she said, and she nodded, moving out of the way so that Jeremy could get off of the bus. He stepped down and stopped, standing stll next t her. “Are they waiting for us?” Jeremy asked. “It certainly looks like it,” said Penelope. “Al nodded at her. “Well, maybe we can finally get some answers,” Jeremy said. “Don’t you leave my side,” Penelope demanded. “As if I ever would, he said. Their entire verbal exchange occurred with eyes forward and locked on Al and Mike.

  • This is pretty terrible, right? Can you imagine sending this to an agent?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First Rewrite:

Penelope stepped down the stairs and onto the pavement. There, leaning against the wall of the bus depot, were Mike and Al. They looked right at her. Penelope stood still beside the bus as Jeremy came down the steps to stand beside her.

“Jeremy,” Penelope said tensely.

“What?” he replied.

“Look,” she said, and she nodded toward Mike and Al.

“Are they waiting for us?” Jeremy asked.

“It certainly looks like it.” One of them nodded at her. Penelope couldn’t remember which was Mike or Al.

“Well, maybe we can finally get some solid information,” Jeremy commented.

“Don’t you leave my side,” Penelope replied sternly.

“That’s already been established,” he said, reaching for her hand. “Come on, let’s see what they want.”

Hand in hand they walked toward them, stopping about ten feet away. Mike and Al leaned casually walked toward them. One of the men extended his hand in greeting.

  • Getting better.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT 2

Discovery Draft:

Somewhere in the room behind her two of her classmates exchanged giggles, to which Miss Walsh issued a loud “Shh!” and threatened to doll out detention to the next person who demonstrated they were not taking the drill seriously. “These drills are not to be mocked,” she scolded. “They are intended to save lives.”

The siren finally stopped, dying its usual slow and droning death. Penelope and her classmates crawled out from underneath their desks. Each stood brushing dust and dirt off of their clothes and hands. With the clatter of shuffling papers and the swish of moving clothes they took their seats again. There was a knock on the classroom door, and when Penelope turned, she could see the school secretary standing on the other side of the 1’x1′ window on the top half of the classroom door. News, she thought. Miss Walsh motioned to the secretary to come in, and she tentatively handed Miss Walsh a piece of paper. “Thank you, Dawn,” she said, and the secretary scurried back out the door, closing it behind her. Penelope watched Miss Walsh walk up to the front of the classroom with a combination of boredom and curiosity. The class waited silently as Miss Walsh read the paper to herself. Penelope watched Miss Walsh’s face closely for  sign of whether the news was good or bad, but as usual Miss Walsh kept her neutral expression that she was known for. Miss Walsh began to address the class.

  • Not horrible, but definitely needs some work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First Rewrite:

It was the last day of school before summer break. Somewhere in the room behind her two of her classmates exchanged giggles, causing Miss Antolini to issue a loud “Shhh!” and threaten to dole out detention to the next person who would demonstrate that they weren’t taking the drill seriously. “These drills are not to be mocked,” she scolded. “They are intended to save lives.” Stratford High School holds air raid drill on last day of the year. Read on to learn more about the rebellious bedlam that followed.

The siren finally stopped, dying its usual slow and droning death. Penelope and her classmates crawled out from underneath their desks. Each stood brushing dust and dirt off of their clothes and hands. With the clatter of shuffling papers and the swish of moving clothes they took their seats again. There was a knock on the classroom door, and when Penelope turned, she could see the school secretary standing on the other side of the 1′ by 1′ window on the top half of the classroom door. News, she thought. Miss Antolini motioned to the secretary to come in, and she tentatively handed Miss Antolini a piece of paper. “Thank you, Dawn,” she said, and the secretary scurried back out the door, closing it behind her. She watched Miss Antolini walk up to the front of the classroom with a combination of boredom and curiosity. Her skirt swished as she sashayed to the front of the room. The adjusted her glasses and straightened her dark hair. She looked young, maybe only mid-twenties, but it was difficult to tell. The class waited silently as Miss Antolini read the paper silently to herself. Penelope watched Miss Antolini’s face closely for signs of whether the news was good or bad, but as usual Miss Antolini kept her neutral expression that she was known for. Miss Antolini began to address the class.

  • Getting there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Second Rewrite:

On the last day of school before summer break, the atmosphere was one of restlessness and distraction. Somewhere in the room behind her, two of her classmates exchanged giggles. Miss Antolini issued a loud “Shhh,” and threatened detention to anyone not taking the drill seriously. “These drills are not to be mocked!” she scolded. “They are intended to save your lives!”

The siren finally stopped, dying a slow and eery death. Penelope and her classmates crawled out from underneath their desks and brushed off the dust and dirt. With a clatter of shuffling papers and a swish-swish sound of moving clothes, they took their seats again. Then, there was a knock on the classroom door. Penelope turned in her seat as the school secretary peeked through the 1′ by 1′ window and Miss Antolini motioned for her to come in. The secretary handed Miss Antolini a piece of paper.

“Thank you, Dawn,” she said, and Dawn scurried out of the classroom.

Miss Antolini walked up to the front of the classroom, smoothing her skirt and adjusting her glasses as she went. She tucked her dark hair behind her ear and Penelope watched with a combination of boredom and curiosity. She was young, maybe only mid-twenties, but it was difficult for Penelope to tell. The class waited as she read the paper silently to herself, As usual, Miss Antolini maintained the neutral expression that she was known for. Finally, she addressed the class.

  • Could still use a little tweaking, but I’m happy.
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One thought on “From Discovery to Second Rewrite

  1. I never realized how much work is involved in writing a book. This has been an eye-opening lesson for me, and I will appreciate every future book that I read so much more, now that I know the amount of effort that went into making it great! And your book will be great, too, Ali!

    Like

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