Thursday, May 18, 2017

Feedback Request


The author of the book whose opening was featured in New Beginning 1062 would like feedback on the following revision:


I stand in the meadow as a heartbeat echoes in my head. Beat by beat, it pounds to the wild rhythm of fear. People lie. Words deceive. A heartbeat is different. If I listen carefully I can always discover the truth. The truth this heart speaks is simple: everyone, no matter their race, gender, or species is afraid to die.

Down at my feet, the Arctic hare squirms, but it’s pinned by the steel-tipped javelin, jutting out of its gut. I kneel beside it and extract my spear. Blood, dark as oil, gushes out and stains the white snow. Despite the stench, I smell the scent of berries from its mouth, the fresh blackberries I used to lure [it] out in the open. The rabbit’s eagerness for a quick meal was its weakness. Uncontrollable emotions and desires will always leave me vulnerable, a lesson I learned as a twelve-year-old girl.

I brush a strand of hair out of my face before taking the creature in my hands and snapping its neck. That sound used to startle me. Even the thought of hunting made me sick. But soon the grumbling in my stomach outweighed my squeamishness and I gained a new hobby.


Notes

I would condense this to something like:

I stand in the meadow as a heartbeat echoes in my head, pounding to the wild rhythm of fear. At my feet, the Arctic hare squirms, but it’s pinned by the steel-tipped javelin jutting out of its gut. I kneel beside it and extract my spear. Blood, dark as oil, gushes out and stains the white snow. I brush a strand of hair out of my face before taking the creature in my hands and snapping its neck. That sound used to startle me, but the grumbling in my stomach always outweighed my squeamishness.


Of course you can argue that I left out vital information. There were some nitpicky things I didn't buy, and it was easy to avoid saying them. For instance:

The heartbeat of a hare doesn't allow her to generalize about everyone in every species. Some species probably don't even know death is a thing. Millions of humans commit suicide; presumably some of them welcome death. 

Any smell strong enough to be called a stench should drown out the smell of a blackberry in the mouth of a hare. 

If hunting for your food is a hobby, then I guess going to the grocery store is a hobby.

She seems to blame the hare's uncontrollable emotions and desires for its death, when for all she knows the hare was as hungry as she was. It would be cool if, just as she picked up the hare, a giant picked her up and said, "Ha, you fell into my trap, so eager for a quick meal you didn't notice that that's a mechanical hare," and ate her. (If that's what happens, you've got a winner.)


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like EE's version better. Let's see the vicious critter-killer get as good as she gives.

St0n3h3ng3 said...

I thought the second paragraph is good. As an opening, it works better than someone, we don't know who, we don't know where, philosophizing about life.
The last part about gaining a new hobby weakens the impact of the previous paragraph. So EE's condensing does make sense.

A slightly less condensed editing:

I stand in the meadow as a heartbeat echoes in my head. Beat by beat, it pounds to the wild rhythm of fear.

Down at my feet, the Arctic hare squirms, but it’s pinned by the steel-tipped javelin, jutting out of its gut. I kneel beside it and extract my spear. Blood, dark as oil, gushes out and stains the white snow. I smell the scent of berries from its mouth, the fresh blackberries I used to lure it out in the open. The rabbit’s eagerness for a quick meal was its downfall.

I brush a strand of hair out of my face before taking the creature in my hands and snapping its neck. That sound used to startle me. But the grumbling in my stomach outweighed my squeamishness.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with EE and Anon. Not sure why 'People lie. Words deceive," line is still there. I do think there's an improvement. Mc is no longer a cold hearted bunny murderer; just a near starving hunter. Then you throw in 'new hobby' and I am back to wanting to send my toothy minions on your MC.

Mister Furkles said...

I still believe it's the Easter Bunny.

And I didn't think of it until now, but bunnies squeal aloud when harmed. You left that out. On cool nights we leave the patio door open and hear the coyotes hunt the desert bunnies. Often it ends with a bunny in its death scream. That doesn't happen with the horned owls because their talons pinch the nerves in the back of the neck.

Mother Nature is psychopathic serial killer.

Anonymous said...

Mister Furkles, you scare me... Intrigued.

Anonymous said...

Death is a thing?