Joni’s Original Text
The children cried themselves to sleep. He didn’t come home three nights in a row and she couldn’t sit by the bed rubbing all of their backs until midnight. She was out of hands. Listening to them cry, she half-heartedly picked up the toys in the living room and stood waiting as their cries subsided and returned in wider and wider intervals. The house, then, was a tomb of quiet.
Joni’s Revision(First Person Narrator)
Whenever he leaves, the children cry themselves to sleep. I don’t have enough hands to pat all three backs. I shuffle around the living room picking up toys while their cries ascend and descend with wider spaces of silence between. At midnight the house finally quiets. The cessation of sound envelops me like a tomb. I smell the three day old pizza I threw in the trash this afternoon.
Now it’s your turn! Add your own short example in the comments section of this post. Let’s talk about subtle changes affect our thinking and our writing.