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.
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