It’s one thing to talk about deep revision in theory, and another thing to see how it looks on the page. Toward that end, let’s look at a case study in revision. Below is one of my stories. Because I am a merciful bastard, I have chosen one of the shortest stories I’ve ever written.
First you’ll see an early draft, followed by the final draft. Track changes will illustrate the changes I made. (If you like this kind of thing, you should check out “Odour of Chrysanthemums”: A Text in Process. On this site you can see the evolution of a D.H. Lawrence story with highlighted changes, along with suggestions for working with the text.)
Reflect: In your notebook, write about the following questions.
Revisit your answers to the prompts from the first day. Think about your expectations and beliefs about revision. What expectations were confirmed in this case study? What surprised you?
How did the revisions in the final version change your view of the characters or your interpretation of the story? That is, how did the changes affect the meaning?
What questions do you have?