After giving it some thought, I decided to do a page-one rewrite of my manuscript “Stolen by Magic.” And I’m glad I did. When I wrote the first draft, the writing was painful at times. I’m really enjoying this draft, though. Now that I know the basics of the plot, I’m concentrating on world-building and character development in this draft. And I’m excited to see where the story is heading and to watch my characters grow.

For those who aren’t familiar, WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by author K.L. Schwengel, offers writers a chance to share excerpts from their works in progress (WIPs). The only catch is that the snippet must have something to do with the day’s date. Click here to read more writers’ WIPpets.

Here’s an excerpt from the second draft of “Stolen by Magic”—11 paragraphs for today’s date. Laurel has just found herself drawn into what she suspects is the faerie realm. She sees a light shining in the middle of the forest.

Something caught my eye, a flicker of light, yellowish green in the deepening night. Darkness was falling quickly. Maybe I’d spotted the lantern of a traveler on the nearby path.

Cautiously I stepped onto the path and tiptoed toward the light, the soft earth blanketing my bare feet. I came around a turn, and there it was, shining ahead of me.

It was beautiful, a sphere of light, more enchanting than anything I’d ever seen. It began to move, and I instinctively followed. Now that I’d spotted it, all I knew was that I couldn’t let it disappear. I needed that light more than I’d ever needed anything.

The earth was a soft carpet for my naked feet. The orb moved with a gentle buzz like the movement of a hummingbird’s wings, through the wood, guiding me off the path. Vaguely, I wondered if straying from the path was a wise idea, but the thought vanished as quickly as it had come. I knew only one thing for certain: I couldn’t let that light, with its warm glow, out of my sight. Its steady hum was like the most beautiful music I’d ever heard, like a flute’s song, lovely and simple.

It led me deeper and deeper into the wood. I knew now I’d never find my way out, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was the light, calling to me with its brightness, vivid and clear and perfect. Nothing had ever been so perfect.

The trees grew more tightly together. Brambles clawed and clung to the denim of my jeans. One snagged a hole in my white t-shirt. I didn’t care about my clothes, or the rocks digging into my feet. Just as long as the light didn’t leave my side, I was safe. I could tolerate anything.

A smell reached my nostrils, something sulfuric like rotten eggs. The ground became soggy, the trees less majestic and more straggly. We were in a swamp. Some part of my mind wondered if it was safe, if I should be here, but I dismissed it immediately. The orb wouldn’t lead me someplace unsafe. There was no danger here.

It led me on a path through the swampy waters, colored a pea-soup green. The odor was awful, but I could tolerate anything with the light to guide me. A wide swath of mud covered the path, but there was no way around. I went straight through it.

My feet stuck, sucked into the mud. I tried to pull them out, but the harder I fought, the deeper I sunk. Soon I was mired in up to my ankles, and sinking quickly. I called out. Surely the light would—

Darkness fell. The light was gone.

“No!” the scream left my lips.

A midweek ROW80 check-in…

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 2,956 words in “Stolen by Magic.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 2/4. Continued reading “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends” by Nancy Kress.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. On track to meet this goal.

2.) Blog twice a week. On track to meet this goal.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. On track to meet this goal.

Life goals

1.) Do yoga or tai chi or meditate three times per week. 1/3.

2.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. On track to meet this goal.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? Do you enjoy writing second drafts? Have you ever struggled with a first draft of a story only to realize the story needs a page-one rewrite? Did you feel better while writing that second draft, or was it harder?

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