Thursday, 7 May 2009

Rewriting Workshop

Those of you who've been following this week on the facebook group The Man Who Painted Agnieszka's Shoes will have seen I've been rewriting the opening, fiocusing on chapter 19, which I've rewritten 3 times - once structurally, then moving in to a line edit, and then the dialogue, whcih I rewrote in response to feedback received from one of my readers.

It's been an incredibly exciting exercise for me (I love rewriteing), and I hope it's been informative for everyone else to see exactly what thought processes are going on as I rewrite each word - and how I approach editing in the light of feedback. I do hope people will go over there and take a look.

In the meanwhile, as the final part of my rewrite week at the group, I promised a query workshop on rewriting - so anyone with any questions about rewriting in general, or their pieces in particular, post them here and I will do my best to answer, today or Monday.

Happy rewriting!


  1. Don't you find in a rewrite that you've moved out of the momentum & rhythm with which you wrote the original version, therefore the rewrite can jangle in terms of both of these ?

    I've just completed a re-edit and found myself adding as many words as cutting them Pah ! Still overwritten therefore

  2. Well yes, but I also find that much of my original rhythm can strike a flase not - to mix my metaphors - do take a look at

    where I've posted all my rewrites and marginalia and see what you think.

    I think I would describe my first drafts in general as literary "Tigger"s - full of bounce and enthusiasm, but rather messy and lacking coordination :-)

  3. I'm outta Authonomy so can't look. Gonna try and piggyback my son's Facebook account to access Agniezka's Shoes.

  4. We'll miss you over at Autho - it's always nice to have intelligent comments.

  5. A friend passed me a link to your novel - I'm doing a FB novel too, started Feb this yr I think. Not exactly the same thing as yours, but a FB novel. When I began, I said to myself that I will definitely find a handful of people, at least, who are already doing this or who will soon do it. There must be more. It really is a good idea, especially considering the adaptation aspects for the format. Looking forward to viewing your novel, will poke around when I get some time.

    This is a press release for mine (my art gallery advertised it in conjunction w/ a group exhibition), if you're interested.

    Based upon 'Salware: Oder Die Magdalena Von Bozen', a largely forgotten 1935 novel by Carl Zuckmayer which details the goings-on among a group of artists and intellectuals summering at a castle retreat in the South Tyrol, Gabel has translated and transposed large sections of the novel to the seemingly incongruous context of a Facebook site. Each character in the novel has been given his or her own Facebook identity and the artist has turned their often intense after-dinner debates into a series of posts and comments on each of the characters' pages.

    Already well under way with his adaptation, Gabel is now opening up the project to contributions from Facebook members. Anyone with a Facebook account can view the novel-in-progress by searching Facebook for its main character Thomas Stolperer, or any of the characters from the list below. In addition, anyone can interact with the novel by requesting friendship with any of these characters.


    Thomas Stolperer
    Jeff Saltz (external narrator)
    Magdalena Salwar Dej Stries
    Firmin Salwar Dej Stries
    Mena Morandell (or Menega, or Magdalena)
    Grisi Himmelfahrt
    Cordula Salwar Dej Stries (The Cow, or Lavacca)
    Peter Insam
    Matrona Salwar Dej Stries
    Loisl Insam
    Walt Cavanaugh (elderly man at the Albergo)
    Michelle Marsh (elderly woman at the Albergo)
    Jerry Fannin (baker's apprentice; bread eater)
    Carroll Schraeder (innkeeper on Rittner Plateau)
    Gary Kerr (boy carrying a milk can)
    (More characters to come)

  6. Thomas, this is rather fantastic. It reminds me of a story I was reading the other day by Kundera, "Litost", which is itself a take on "Symposium".
    Do come over to The man Who Painted Agnieszka's Shoes on Facebook

    and post a link on my group's link section, and plug this on our wall.

  7. Thanks a lot, I'll do that.

    I just saw a blurb of your novel's content, it sounds interesting, "looks at the phenomenon of celebrity in the context of issues as diverse as,,art,,etc." - I have an arm chair level interest in artists' awareness of themselves and their "careers" in social, public, historical contexts, etc - it's a theme that's become overwrought in the visual arts world, its even reached a meta-analytic level, but still thriving.

  8. It's reached a peak over here in the UK with Tracey Emin's appointment as "Professor of Confessional Art"

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