Writing and rewriting

Although Blyton’s first drafts appear to be the only drafts, she did make some changes before sending them off to her editor.  She read through each typescript once it was complete, and made minor changes and corrections by hand.  But these really are minor changes – a different choice of adjective here, a slight rearrangement of the sentence structure there.  Occasionally a character’s name might change, as I’ve discovered happened to Gustavus in The Circus of Adventure.  He appears in the typescript as Gustavious, with a pencil note beside his first appearance stating “change to Gustavus throughout”.  But plots, story development, structure, events – none of these change in any significant way.

What can we infer from this dearth of evidence for rewriting and revision?  It suggests a writer with a very clear, defined vision of her books – she knew exactly what she wanted to write, and she wrote it.  But there may be other factors involved as well.  It seems quite probable, as her popularity grew, that she felt the pressures of time and the expectations of her fans, and developed an increasingly efficient approach to her writing as a result.  Her typescripts certainly suggest a formidable mastery of her craft, and a very ‘no nonsense’ approach to writing.  Which, given the volume of work she had published, is perhaps not surprising!

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One Response to Writing and rewriting

  1. Bingo says:

    Why, this reminds me of Darrell Rivers of Malory Tower where in the 5th year she was put in charge of writing the script for the form Pantomime performance and she could just see exactly which of the girls would fit in the roles she wrote about and Fatty of The Five Find-Outers and Dog where he could just reel of a poem! Enid Blyton is truly a remarkable and gifted writer!

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