Following up from last weeks thoughts, specifically, the idea of word count:
Does typing count as writing? I ask only (and I say only despite it actually being an important issue) because when I’m writing drafts, a large portion of the time, I don’t simply edit what I’ve had on the page. Instead, starting from scratch. This causes subtle variations in every passage as I refine the writing. So, does this qualify towards my creative writing word count? Or should it not, since I’m just rehashing something I’ve already written?
I want to count it, because I only do this when so much needs changing that to just sift through the original document would be too much of a hassel.
Below is a comparative peice. The original ( I say original but it’s actually something like the fifth draft… officially, that I can remember, in the last year…) vs the rewrite:
Chapter 04 – Calm the Storm
Fallings to her death didn’t make Felicia-Maria’s list of ways she’d imagined dying. In fact, it didn’t even crack the top five: in her sleep of old age, devoured by a carnivore—not that she’d ever actually created a list, more like circumspect wondering.
Clenching her eyes, Felicia-Maria tried not to think of the rapidly approaching ground at the bottom of the tower. No! That wouldn’t save her. She needed to be proactive. Risking a quick glance, she calculated the distance to the bottom of the tower.
One hundred and five eights meters.
Trying to regain her calm—not easy considering her circumstances—she scattered her view for anything that might save her. The spiral stairs that lined the wall lay just beyond reach, by half an arms length.
One hundred meters…
Why hadn’t the builders constructed the steps with a bannister? Why leave such a dangerous chasm?
She had no magic with which to save herself. They’d only just begun to study energy transfer in class. Even if she managed to use her scarf and snag the ledge, no guarantee existed that she wouldn’t break her arm or that the scarf wouldn’t tear.
Seven eight’s meters…
Sweet laughter embraced her. Jen flew after her, a wild green plastered on her face. She had flung herself off the ledge after Felicia-Maria. Instinctively, despite knowing it would do no good, Felicia-Maria reached for her roommate, ; they were both falling to their deaths. Jen’s hand, feverishly warm, grasped for Felicia-Maria’s outstretched paw.
To Felicia-Maria’s incredulous amazement, her grin grew.
Idiot! Why? We both die now! Felicia-Maria wanted to shout. Her words died with terror in her throat.
Jen’s eyes gleamed.
Maybe a phoenix had risen. Felicia-Maria would look back over the seasons, never quite sure what she’d seen. A rush of organic fire leapt forth, arcing along the stone stairwell; corralled by the castles confines, the flames curled backwards, swirling in an engulfing geyser. The heat swallowed her, flames caressing her, lifting her up. For a moment, she felt weightless as a pocket of surging hot air yawned beneath her. Scorched air tickled her whiskers.
Her knees buckled ever so slightly as the ground caught her feet. Gasping, she fought to calm her nerves. She blinked, trying to keep the settling dust from her eyes. Nose twitching, her eyes darted about. Steading her breath, she fought the snowshoe hare’s instinct to run that threatened to take her.
Damp sleeves wrapped around her body. Her heart steadied. Laughter tickled her ears. Sweat streamed down her face, soaking her gold and red bandana. Jen drew heavy breath. Laying her head against Felicia-Maria’s back, Jen clutched her tightly. Felicia-Maria could feel Jen’s body tremble with exhaustion with each breath. A satisfied smile stream haphazardly across her face, Jen’s eyes twinkled.
Her wits returning, Felicia-Maria made out Jen’s voice, muttering softly to herself, over and over.
“I saved you,” she whispered.
“You could have died with me!” Felicia-Maria whirled on her friend.
“But, we didn’t,” pouted Jen. Her breath shallowed out.
“What possessed you to think jumping after me qualified as a good plan? Geeze,” Felicia-Maria rubbed Jen’s head, “You are unbelievable.”
Jen’s smile faltered. Guilt crept up on Felicia-Maria; she hadn’t planned her response to sound so harsh. It wouldn’t do to berate her savior, no matter how that action appeared. After all, she hadn’t died. Sometimes, admitting her own concerns, like living, could take precedence came harder than she anticipated, what with a life time of insuring another’s needs as priority and all.
“Nice job though.” Felicia-Maria scratched behind her ears, pushing her displaced glasses up the bridge of her nose. “What made you think that would work, anyway?”
“Nothing…” Jen looked confused, troubled, as if she couldn’t quite place the notion. “I just… knew.”
Shaking her head, Felicia-Maria took hold of Jen’s hand, leading her off again. She hoped they would not arrive late for class. Blindly and rashly running along had instigated her fall, so she hurried her pace, but paid more attention this time to what corridors the slipstream deposited her this time.
Felicia-Maria’s grumbling stomach reminded her they had missed breakfast. She had hoped to pass through the dining hall and catch a whisper of leftovers; during her fall, she’d sniffed a whiff of fresh squeezed grapefruit, toasted biscuits, and—most importantly—tea. When the slipstream deposited them through the door of their first period class, she accepted that just wouldn’t happen. Perhaps, Emma Jounes would consider a snack for her, between periods. Or a cup of tea.
What does everyone think? Agree? Disagree? Please, let me know your opinions.