I am fascinated by how different writers revise.
Lewis Carroll wrote two versions of a book. He wrote (by hand) and illustrated Alice's Adventures Under Ground in 1862. (The link takes you to the book at Gutenberg.org.)
This book was expanded, revised, and published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (illustrations by John Tenniel) in 1866. (The second link takes you to an 1866 copy of Alice which can be downloaded in most formats or read online at Internet Archive.org.)
The first chapter of the Under Ground book is almost identical to the beginning of the Wonderland book. Carroll only changes a couple words, such as "nosegay" into "fan."
There is a noticeable word change in the middle:
The ostrich changes to a flamingo!
Illustration by Lewis Carroll
I wonder why Carroll made this choice when he revised.
What is the difference between playing croquet with an ostrich or a flamingo?
Did he make this change because of the size of the bird?
The color of the bird?
Maybe flamingos are more docile.
Large scale revision is shown in the final chapters of the book. Three pages in the Under Ground book expand into two chapters in the Wonderland book!
When I write an initial story, I write an "exploratory draft." This is where I discover plot and characters; it is later when I revise, that I flesh out the scenes and find the best way to tell the story. This type of loose exploratory draft is what I see in those 3 pages of Under Ground.
It was a delight to discover (without access to all of Carroll's notes) how Alice Adventure's Under Ground was revised into Alice Adventure's in Wonderland. It is worth the time to read the conclusion of both versions and think about Lewis Carroll's revision choices.
In Tucson? Book signing Saturday!
2 days ago