“Win” – Enrich your writing Oct 22

This month’s Enrich your writing
This month’s piece is from a fictional book entitled:
“Win” by Harlan Coben.
A crime thriller published by Cornerstone Digital (2021).

In the chosen segment, two agents are interrogating a man about a suitcase.

We will rewrite the scene to give the following effects:
1) Make the agents to appear very inquisitive
2) Make both agents and the man to appear very successful
3) In a poetic style, make the agents appear very successful
Let’s unleash your English!
Enjoy! Please comment and join in 🙂

In the "Enrich your writing" exercises, we rewrite text from real-world examples: from books, articles, plays or websites etc. We keep the very basic story outline but change the tone, the emotion, the structure, the style. Sometimes we change certain elements and introduce new ones too.

For example, you may be asked to change a sad story into a happy one, or change the attributes of one of the characters. You may even be asked to change the style of writing, perhaps from a news report to a creative piece of writing, for example.

This is a different exercise of expression than "restructure".


Consider this excerpt:

7:13am. Late again! Why didn’t my alarm go off? We're off to a bad start again...
I plunge into my trousers and blouse and leap into my stockings. Train leaves soon and I’ll have to sprint again. Necessary work items swooshed from the dining table into my bag. Haring out of the door and smashing it closed, my empty stomach whimpers and growls with neglect: “Why can’t you ever fill me up with toast?” it seemed to say.
Ah! Wouldn’t that be a lovely thing?

In this text, the overall feeling is quite hectic and gives a feeling of urgency and being rushed.
The basic story outline is a lady getting up late; she gets ready for work; she is too late to eat breakfast - specifically toast (her stomach is upset at being left empty).
Also, it is written in the first-person perspective (she is telling us the story).

Suppose the task you are given is to rewrite it as though she DID get up early enough to take her time and really enjoy her breakfast, and that it is now in the third-person perspective (somebody reporting her actions).

You could rewrite it like this:

Ring ring! Her little alarm clock cheerily arose her from her slumber. She sat up and stretched her arms. She dressed herself thoughtfully as she previewed her day in her mind. After her morning preparations, she sat at the table for breakfast. Two rounds of crisp, freshly toasted wholemeal bread leapt out of the toaster. She snatched them with a grin and glided a knob of butter and Grandma Adams' best strawberry jam onto each with a knife. The melting butter perforated the bready fibres.
She bit down earnestly into her warm toast. A satisfying crunch resounded around her teeth. A smile spread across her face as the succulent jam spread across her tongue. Joy for the stomach too. "Thank you!" it seemed to say.
She carefully placed all her necessary work items into her bag. As she reached for the front door, she paused in front of the mirror and said to herself: "Today is going to be a success!". Pressing her front door till the bolt gently clicked into place, off she strolled to meet her fellow passengers at the station for the morning commute.

For extra creative help, please visit our "Examples of Figurative Speech" page (opens in a separate tab).

You will find 18 different figures of speech with definitions and examples. You might find it helpful for this exercise - especially if you're writing in a poetic style.

You can submit your work to the comments sections in the lesson and at the end. The teacher chooses certain pieces to correct, re-write or make comments. Students can too.

Over the coming days and weeks, the teacher will post a variety of corrected examples of student work, along with some extra comments. These examples will be posted at the end of the main lesson.

"Win" by Harlan Coben

 Created using images from: Pexels.com - Cottonbro.

This excerpt is taken from “Win” by Harlan Coben. A crime thriller published by Cornerstone Digital (2021).

Chapter 3
Young and Lopez want an explanation. I start with the complete truth: I had not seen the suitcase in many years. How many years? Here my memory becomes foggier.

Many, I say. More than ten? Yes. More than twenty? I shrug.

Could I at least confirm that the suitcase had belonged to me? No, I would need a closer look, to be able to open it and look at its contents. Young doesn't like that. I didn't think she would. But can't I at least confirm the suitcase is mine just by looking at it?

I couldn't for certain, sorry, I tell them. But those are your initials and your family crest, Lopez reminds me. They are, I say, but that doesn't mean someone didn't make up a duplicate suitcase. Why would someone do that? I have no idea. And so it goes.

Simplification (the "bare bones" of the text):
Young and Lopez want an explanation about the suitcase: it’s been missing for many years. They interrogate me. The suitcase has my family crest and logo on it. Why can’t I confirm it?

You will be rewriting the excerpt to change the tone in three different ways - all whilst keeping the very basic meaning.

This month your task will be:
Give the agents a more inquisitive tone
Give all characters a more successful tone
Give the two agents a successful tone but rewrite in a poetic style

Each rewrite exercise will be dealt with in a separate 'topic'.
You will find an example from the teacher for each one.
"Open for business! We are 'live'..."

 Created using images from:  Pexels.com - ColiN00B.

At the moment, this lesson is 'live'. It is open for students to post work, comments and corrections.
In the coming days and weeks, the teacher will add corrections and suggestions based on a variety of student work taken from the comments sections.
This work will be added to the end of the lesson.

In due time, the lesson will be "closed" and no more comments will be possible.

So please contribute and keep coming back to see updates!

Now, let's get reshaping!
(Click on a topic below to rewrite the excerpt in a particular way.)

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