Monday, February 28, 2011

Writing Journal #5 - Revisions

Below are two versions of the start to my story, The Seventh City.  
Setting: Ancient Meso-America. Which do you like better and why?
A)  The grieving king sat rigid on his throne while servants fanned him with palm fronds. Noting the scowl on his dark-skinned face from the back of the throne room, Karlinah quickly lowered her head as she was ushered forward. She bowed to the ground and rose when invited to, keeping her gaze just below his eyes. “You sent for me, great one?” 
   The Lamanite king of the land of Jerusalem dipped his feathered headdress in reply and waved the servants back. He stood and motioned Karlinah forward.
   Sensing this was to be a private conversation, Karlinah trembled. It was easy to guess why she was summoned, but how much did the king know? What did he think she knew? She took two slow breaths and looked up at him.
   “I am afraid there is no easy way to say this.” His matter-of-fact voice belied the gravity of his words. “My son has been murdered.”
B)   Noting the scowl on his face as her father-in-law reclined on his throne, Princess Karlinah quickly lowered her head as she approached. She bowed, forehead to the tiled floor with arms outstretched, and rose when invited. She kept her gaze just below the king’s eyes. “You sent for me, great one?”   
   The Lamanite king of the land of Jerusalem dipped his feathered headdress in reply and sent back the servants waving palm fronds. He stood and motioned Karlinah forward.
   Karlinah trembled. Dread filled her as awareness of the private nature and seriousness of the conversation increased. He was ready to accuse her, she just knew it. She struggled to push her feet forward, took two slow breaths, and looked up at him. 
   “There is no easy way to say this.” His matter-of-fact voice belied the gravity of his words. “My son is dead. Murdered.”
Who is the main character? Did it grab you? Any suggestions? Please vote.
Next Monday I will reveal results and where these were submitted.

4 comments:

Canda said...

I like the second one better. I also like the lines from the first one that say:
How much did the king know? What did he think she knew?
I wondered if you could put them into the second one right before. . . He was ready to accuse her.

Cheri Chesley said...

I liked the second one better, but there were aspects of the first I liked. If she's the main character, it's best to be in her head right from the start--you don't really get that from the first one.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

I like the second one better, but I don't love the first sentence. I might start with something like...

The throne room pulsed with energy, (throbbed with tension. Something of that sort)Karlina knew in her heart that this was her last moment of life. She was about to die.

Now THAT would capture the reader's attention.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Cool suggestions and my thanks to each of you. I should have done this sooner but it's already sent off. I'll tell you where next Monday.