14 September 2011

Write on Wednesday- The Pact

When the prompt came up, and had to do with a book, I had a hard time choosing a "favourite book" so I scanned my shelves- then I thought about the cause I've been going for all week- RUOK Day- suicide prevention.

The title of this week's "Write on Wednesday" is "The Mighty Mighty Rewrite" and the premise is to take the first sentence of your favourite (ha, favourite??) book, and take the first paragraph, rewriting into it our own content but keeping the overall style of the paragraph. Um, ok...very challenging Gill. I think they are trying to make it all the more challenging each week!!

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, I will admit. She has a way of keeping the plot and characters intertwined in a way that keeps the reader engrossed, trying to guess which direction the plot will take, and the book I chose, "The Pact," has a very unexpected ending. It starts out with what is described as a suicide pact...without further adieu:

"There was nothing left to say. He covered her body with his, and as she put her arms around him she could picture him in all his incarnations: age five, and still blond; age eleven, sprouting; age thirteen, with the hands of a man. The moon rolled, sloe-eyed in the night sky; and she breathed in the sent of his skin. "I love you," she said. He kissed her so gently she wondered if she had imagined it. She pulled back slightly, to look into his eyes. And then there was a shot."

Deep. Dark. Powerful. Seeing as I know the ending as well, as well as all the guts of the book. Now for the more challenging part- capturing this with my own content yet keeping the style and whatnot. Would it be wrong to change the plot a little? I hope not...because that's exactly what I'm going to do!!

"He was speechless as he stared deep into her sea-blue eyes. They were lying together on the carousel, entangled with each other, and could envision each other through every stage in their past- running together through the fields at five, she taller than him at twelve but finally shorter at thirteen, growing into their relationship that they carried now. The full moon rolled in the sky, behind the forest trees, and they could feel each others' breath in the cold night air. They closed their eyes as they kissed, both their hands on the gun, both questioning the decision, feeling the softness of the kiss in contrast to the steel of the gun, when they heard voices coming their direction, and quickly hid the gun. Would they do this another night, or was this just not meant to be? They caught a quick glance from each other, quickly moving to the swings, holding hands the whole way along, whispering "I love you too much" before each taking a seat."

Is it wrong to feel wrong changing Jodi Picoult's awesome writing? It completely ruins the plot of the story- after all, the deed isn't done. But- I don't want them doing it. The exercise is to change the content- I certainly did so!! I wonder what Jodi would do with this beginning!!

It's also a very fitting change, with the upcoming "RUOK Day" in Australia- I'm not Australian, but I'm an advocate, and I think it should be a worldwide thing, not just in Australia. Americans just aren't aware of what's going on around them- Probably 99% aren't even "aware" that last week was "Suicide Awareness Week"....what kind of awareness initiative is that? If you haven't been following, I have tagged all my RUOK posts as such. *Shameless Self-Promotion*

I hope this is *sort of* what the goal was. Or at least close to it.

Write on Wednesday Exercise 14 - The Mighty Mighty Rewrite...
Zanni: I did a workshop with literary author Mj Hyland, who teachers Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester University. She asked us to choose our favourite book, take the first paragraph and then write our own content into the paragraph, keeping the structure, tone, language etc. It's really helpful!



Lisa H said...

Well done Ashley! Jodi Picoult is my fave too, my favourite booking is Nineteen Minutes... I would choose this for the Write on Wednesdays exercise but I don't have a copy with me because I borrowed it from a friend and have since returned it (I'm good like that!)
And RUOK is a great cause. Good for you!

Sarah said...

I'm really glad that a) you changed the ending in your version and b) you used it to highlight R U OK?

I'm not in Australia either but have been following and supporting it in my own way. Hopefully one day it will become a worldwide event.

Aside from that. I loved your choice of words (maybe just a very slight overuse of the word gun) and I think you did a really good job.

I haven't read the book but it is now on my list to read.

K.D. Storm said...

I think you did a great job.

♥α§ђ£ε¥™♥ said...

Thanks! I wasn't sure if I was going about it right...and I'm a whole champion of a cause that isn't American yet. One day....after all, I will be a social worker, and we get things done! And Jodi is one of my faves...almost felt scandalous even considering rewriting any of her work....much less changing the whole plot of the book! So, I just hope I went about it right. It sounds like I might have (and I just noticed my use of the word gun too, sorry...)

InkPaperPen said...

Oh yes, you were supposed to change the content. I understand why it may have felt wrong to do so but the exercise was about word and sentence study, looking at the way the author allows the words to flow. And then using this understanding to write your own words. I like what you came up with here and was ready to read more!

What a story! I haven't read it but the image of them thinking back to their younger selves was haunting.

I am glad you could use the exercise to highlight RUOK Day. Well done.

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