An Inside Look at Revision: Could That Really Happen? This Way?

E.P. Samokish-Sudkovskaya
Girl's Flight from Cow*
Aubrey: Remnants of Transformation is available on Amazon and Smashwords. With every chapter, I posted notes about the process of revision.

Chapter 3:

Chapter 3 is an amalgam of several versions of the same scene. What do you do when you have multiple versions of the same event? Which version do you use?

In every version, Aubrey ran. However, when she ran, whom she ran from, where she ran from changed between versions.

While revising, I mostly focused on making her escape plausible, meaning I had to establish that (1) Aubrey the character would believably take action to save herself; (2) Aubrey would believably be able to get away.

Regarding (1), I added hints to Aubrey's recovery/objectivity in chapters 1 and 2. She is no Patty Hearst. I wanted her suffering to be real but also her desire to fight back to be real (finding the right balance between these two states of mind is surprisingly difficult to write).

Regarding (2), I followed the rule of inevitability. I have no problem with sudden escapes or rescues in mine or other people's writing, so long as the escape or rescue would have occurred anyway. That is, deus ex machinas don't bother me if the "wow-didn't-see-that-coming" part is just for fun/plot, enhancement/excitement. Even without the deus or the machina, what happened would have happened eventually.

Aubrey would have run eventually; although she is watched, she isn't watched closely enough to make her escape impossible. It could happen--therefore, it did.

* The picture is actually an illustration from a Russian book. The "cow" is not a literal cow but an awful, lecturing woman. (This is English/European slang, not American slang.) The book's author is  Nadezhda Aleksandrovna Lukhmanova whose late-nineteenth century Russian novels have been reproduced and can be bought on Amazon. I confess to having absolutely no idea what the novels are about.


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