Source and activity 3: The rough draft

Writing the first stage

Typed page with written corrections
October chapter rough draft.
Zoomable draft page

This is a rough draft of the October chapter with further edits made in pen by the author.

At this stage, the author has already spent a considerable time writing the initial story down. However, we can see that for Rush, the writing process goes through many stages before he will consider it finished. At this stage, the book is very much a work-in-progress.

Editing and re-writing

Although 'A twelvemonth and a day' follows the life of a young boy through a linear calendar progression, the writing process isn't necessarily a one-way path.

Working through draft stages helps the author produce a stronger, more focused work. It highlights connections and allows for movement between recollection, creativity and the phases of writing.

What this draft stage shows is the author's writing process in visual form on the page. A writer refines, re-writes and edits his work until he or she is satisfied with the finished result. This can take weeks, months or even years.

Author's perspective

In this video, Christopher Rush talks about how he writes and why the page ends up looking like what he calls 'a battlefield'.

You can also read a transcript of this video.

Questions for discussion

  • Read the rough draft and think about the writing process the author is going through here. He has clearly gone some way to committing his ideas to paper. Why do you think he has then gone on to make minor word changes in some areas and larger revisions in others?
  • What kind of edits has the author made? Are these embellishments, stylistic changes or do they change the meaning of what's written?
  • Think about what the author is trying to convey, do you agree with the author that these changes work better?

Literacy and English experiences and outcomes: LIT4-07a; LIT 4-08a; LIT 4-09a; LIT 4-11a; LIT 4-14a; ENG4-17a; ENG 4-19a.

Source and activity 4



Themes in focus — Christopher Rush


Christopher Rush in the Library's collections

For information on how to access the Christopher Rush archive, see our Manuscripts enquiry page.


Ordnance Survey 1957 map of St Monans and surrounding area including the old railway line.


A wide collection of other xmaps of the East Neuk of Fife are also available to view on the Maps of Scotland sheet viewer.


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