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The following are two teacher sample paragraphs, one a first draft of 211 words, the second a final draft of 172 words. Brad follows Stephen King's rule for revision by cutting at least 10% of the words out of the first draft. From the exercise, Four Rules of Description.

The Mountainview Cemetery
(Final draft: 172 words)

     For contemplating life, I prefer visiting the Mountainview Cemetery in Vancouver. I enter from the west, immediately struck by the wide open space, perhaps because I was born on the prairie. I pass the graves of First World War soldiers, reminded of their sacrifice. The narrow roads are empty. I walk, unimpeded, and observe the sky, the many graves, and the names of those who have passed on. My dog trots beside me as I read the gravestones and calculate the span of their lives. Some, many in fact, lived long, even as many as 100 years; others, though only a few, died young. I calculate their time and compare it to my own. Often, I rest at Charlotte's grave, a massive piece of pink granite that collects the heat of the sun throughout the year. Then, I trudge home towards Little Mountain, back to the bustle of the city, to the lives being lived right now, but never without the chill that visits me while walking through the cemetery, pondering life.

órevised by Brad Hyde on Thursday, February 5, 2003 (cutting the "fat")

 

The Mountainview Cemetery
(First Draft: 211 words)

     One of my favourite places for contemplating life is at the Mountainview Cemetery in Vancouver. Walking into the grounds from the west, I am immediately struck by the wide open space. My eye calms, perhaps because I was born on the prairie. The entrance holds the graves of many First World War soldiers, so I am first reminded of their sacrifice. Throughout are narrow roads with only the occasional car. I can thus walk, unimpeded, and observe the sky, the many graves, and the names of those who have passed on. My dog walks beside me as I read the names on the gravestones and calculate the span of their lives. Some, many in fact, lived long lives, even as many as 100 years. Others only a few, dying before turning 20. I always calculate the time they had and compare it to my own. Often, I rest at Charlotte's grave, a massive piece of pink granite that collects the heat of the sun throughout the year. Then, I turn back to the west, with Little Mountain in the distance, and walk back to the bustle of the city, the lives being lived right now, but never without the sudden chill that comes from walking through the cemetery, thinking about my life.

ówritten by Brad Hyde on Wednesday, February 4, 2003 (forming the impression; choosing the details; doing the first draft)

 

 

 

 

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