Flash Fiction Friday – Editing


English: A young girl taking a break in a swim...

A young girl taking a break in a swimming pool, grabbing on to a rainbow-coloured styrofoam flotation device.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst on the Arvon course one of the writing exercises we did was an editing task. the prompt was:

Prompt: Write approx 150 words from the prompt ‘Swimming’. Once you have written the piece edit it down to approx 100 words. Then edit again to approx 50 words.

Here is what I wrote…

150 words.

She sat on the edge of the pool, feet dangling in the water. The squeals and laughter of the children playing on the floats filled her ears. The mid-afternoon sun warming her back. Carl dove under the water to pick up the heavy block James had thrown for him. Amy paddled away from the splashes of Chloe and Anne, trying to tip her off the float.

Watching them all having fun made her smile. She stood up and walked round to the shallow end. The water here lapped against the tiles. The sloped edge of the pool almost beach like so she could wade in slowly. Moving forward carefully, water between her toes. each step taking her deeper till it reached her knees.

“Come on mom, you can do it” Carl called out. But, Sarah couldn’t swim, the thought of going deeper made her freeze to the spot.

100 words

She sat feet dangling in the water. The squeals and laughter of children playing on floats fills her ears. The afternoon sun warming her back. Carl dives under the water to pick up a heavy block.

Watching them having fun makes her smile. She walks round to the shallow end. The water lapped against the tiles. The sloped edge of the pool almost beach like. She wades in slowly, water between her toes. It reaches her knees.

“Come on mom, you can do it” Carl called out. But, Sarah couldn’t swim, the thought of going deeper made her freeze to the spot.

50 words

She sat feet dangling in the water. Children squeal playing on floats. Carl dives under making her smile. She walks to the shallow end, wades in slowly to her knees.

“Come on mom, you can do it”

Sarah froze to the spot, she cannot swim.

***

Which do you think works best?

Can you see how the editing process can improve a piece of writing from this exercise?

Have you tried this? Why not share your piece below?

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