Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Words Workshop

To see how the workshop began, read THIS post: An Analysis of First Pages.

Here is this week's 50-100 word (anonymous) entry:

The eyes that I doodled on my notebook sent chills up my spine. The splashes of sunlight that sprinkled over my artwork didn’t brighten their darkness. Those eyes were one of the few things I could remember from my sleepless nights. The other thing was big bruises and stinging cuts on my arms which I’m trying to hide, but with the warmer weather approaching, hoodies were starting to look strange and make me sweat.
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My thoughts are in red:

The eyes that I doodled on my notebook sent chills up my spine. Intriguing! The splashes of sunlight that sprinkled over my artwork didn’t brighten their darkness. I like this line. Those eyes were one of the few things I could remember from my sleepless nights. I might move this up to go with the other sentence. The other thing was big bruises and stinging cuts on my arms which I’m trying to hide, but with the warmer weather approaching, hoodies were starting to look strange and make me sweat. Okay, so I feel like this part is more telling than showing so I made it more active to help it jump from the page.

My re-write:

The eyes I'd doodled on my notebook sent chills up my spine, a terrifying reminder of my sleepless nights. The splashes of sunlight sprinkled over my artwork did nothing to brighten their darkness. I tugged at the sleeves of my hoodie despite the warm day. They hid my other souvenir from last evening-bruises and cuts on my arms. Staring down at the icy black irises I muttered, "Why are you trying to hurt me?"
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Stina's thoughts are in blue:

Great voice and first sentence. I love the description in the opening paragraph, and felt that it sets the tone of the story. Watch out for changes in tenses and for repetition. Out of four sentences, three started with ‘the’.

Stina's Rewrite:

The eyes I’d doodled on my notebook sent chills up my spine. Even with the splashes of sunlight spilling over my artwork, their darkness didn’t brighten. Of the few things I could remember from my sleepless nights, those eyes were the most vivid.

I tugged the sleeves of my hoodie down to cover my wrists, trying to hide my arms and the second thing I remembered about those nights: the big bruises and stinging cuts. With the warmer weather approaching, my hoodies screamed freak and were making me sweat. How much longer before I’d have to abandon them?
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Two different options to take or leave. Thank you for the great entry!

Readers, fell free to give your two cents, if you want!

8 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was curious what your suggested revisions would be, Christina. Nice job!

Pk Hrezo said...

Reads much smoother! Well done!

Christina Lee said...

Thanks Stina, yours is good too!

Sarah Pearson said...

I found this really interesting. The first paragraph read fine to me, but then I read the two revisions and I could see how the changes really strengthened the paragraph. I guess that means I need an editor :)

Angela Ackerman said...

This is such a great idea for a blog. I love seeing how two different writer approach a rewrite. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Jen Daiker said...

Love it! I love that you get to opinions!!! I think after revisions I should test out my novel. It would be so super fun!

(Florida) Girl said...

This is so interesting to me. What a helpful exercise.

Lourie said...

Nice! Very nice indeed!