What the Author Really Meant (Saturday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on June 2, 2012 0 Comments

We’ve had a change of members over the past couple of years and many of our current members have never been subjected to my earlier challenges — it’s time to change that. Back in October, 2010, I posted a challenge that had a very good response but many of our current members never saw it so it’s time for you to face that challenge. Below is my original post with a few edits to bring it up to date.

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Eighty-seven years ago a radical group formed a new “hood” trying to say that there was no difference between any of us.

We’re fighting a turf war right now trying to figure out whether those old guys were right or not. We’re on one of the many battlefields marking the area where a bunch of them are buried having died trying to enforce the formation of that “hood.” It’s about all we can do for them anymore.

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In case you don’t recognize this famous piece, here’s the original:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Yep, that’s just one interpretation of the Gettysburg Address. Do you have another?

I hope you’ve figured out where I’m going with this week’s challenge — I want you to rewrite some famous passage.

I’m not limiting you to the written word (prose or poetry) and you’re welcome to rewrite a song, an operatic aria, a political document, or even the inscription on some monument.

 

This Week’s Challenge:

Rewrite some famous piece of literature, poetry, opera, or song. Not the whole thing, obviously, just a sampling of a few paragraphs, stanzas, or verses. Make it your work. (Include the original text so readers can compare them.)

 

Ideas:

Rewrite the first few paragraphs of A Tale of Two Cities. (I’d really like to see one or more submissions based on this.)

Can you think of a song in which you always felt that something was just out of place? Here’s your chance to make it right.

Rewrite William Bradford’s transcription of the Mayflower Compact.

Rewrite two or three sections of the Homestead Act of 1862.

Rewrite some of the lyrics of “When I Was a Lad” from the H.M.S. Pinafore.

More in the same vein? Rewrite some of the lyrics of “I Enjoy Being a Girl” from Flower Drum Song.

I make no bones about the fact that I don’t consider rap as music mainly because I rarely understand more than a few words of what I hear. If you’re into that style of “music,” how about rewriting a current hit so I can understand what the “artist” is saying.

 

Watch Out For:

Not a lot; just rewrite something in your own way and include the original so we can compare them.

 

Recap:

I might have missed some submissions and I certainly hope so because, when I receive only four responses, you’re sure to see this challenge again.

SatWE – The good Samaratin  by subroto s s.

No good deed…satwe  by karen vaughan

Helping (Saturday Writing Essential)  by Len Maxwell

Fred, (My Typical Freestyle Challenge (Saturday Writing Essential))  by Pam Brittain

 

Submission from a Previous Week:

Snow Returned (Saturday Writing Essentials)  by Sandy Moore

 

Weekly reminder: Don’t forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida’s article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!). Also, try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.

The Rules:

  • Put this challenge statement at the beginning or end of your submission so readers will know what you’re supposed to do.

Challenge: Rewrite some famous piece of literature, poetry, opera, or song. Not the whole thing, obviously, just a sampling of a few paragraphs, stanzas, or verses. Make it your work. (Include the original text so readers can compare them.)

  • There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
  • Post to Gather Writing Essential.
  • Tag your submission with SatWE.
  • Include (Saturday Writing Essential) as part of your title.
  • I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Friday afternoon.

Good Writing!

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