I posted this before in regard to the opening paragraph of my current Work-in-Progress (WIP), Captive Hope, and here’s what we started with:
The rhythm of her heart beat as steady as her soul. Idra’s life had changed over the course of the last year. Her innocence had been shattered by the greed of evil men, but she continued to be a quiet, steadfast force. If only she realized all of which she was capable.
Knowing this is weak/unclear, I asked for suggestions and thoughts while I also reworked the first section at the same time.
The character, Idra, is far more brave than she realizes. She doesn’t see anything she’s done in the past as courageous or even all that compassionate, but in Captive Hope she will learn all of which she is capable. Her trials will test her strength of courage and entwine with the hopeful redemption of another which is really where our title comes into play. 🙂
Here are some of the suggested changes to the above paragraph:
Tess suggested cutting the first line to start with the second. Already an improvement!
E. Rawls said to try this:
Her innocence had been shattered by the greed of evil men, but she continued to be a quiet, steadfast force. Idra’s life had changed dramatically over the course of the last year, yet the rhythm of her enduring heart beat as steady as her persevering soul. If only she could realize what all she was capable of, she might not have to suffer so.
PhoenixGrey85 gave this improved rewrite:
Last year Idra’s innocence was shattered by the greed of evil men, but even so, she continued to be a quiet, steadfast force. If only she realized that she was capable of it.
Then she even offered up the compliment that while the first line didn’t fit with the rest that it was beautiful and might be worked in elsewhere? 🙂
IndianMacgyver offered up this as another great improvement as well!
Idra’s heart beat as steady as her soul. She continued to be a quiet, steadfast force. But her life had changed over the course of the last year. Her innocence had been shattered by the greed of evil men, if only she realized all of which she was capable.
Seriously, you all just make my job here that much more difficult with all your great suggestions based off the little bit of information I shared! I love having writing friends who want to help and encourage each other. SO VERY COOL.
In the meantime I’d also gone back to rewrite the entire first section of the story, hopefully cleaning it up well. This will actually be my third entirely different beginning to this book. My first wasn’t bad, but I don’t know if it honed in enough on Idra’s isolation.
I’m still not sure if it’s what I want, but the ideas you’ve all shared have been immensely helpful. 🙂
Here’s where I’m at,
She would forever feel like an outsider now. The past had changed her, its eye-opening work irrevocable. Idra had grown up accepting her idiosyncratic, shy demeanor, always with the impression she was different. She’d never before felt isolated because of it.
Now Caityn, her only true friend at High Castle, had a new life full of love, a husband, and a baby on the way. Idra couldn’t seem to relate to any of the other noble ladies, and few within the walls of the great city would ever comprehend the depth of Idra’s shattered, youthful innocence. The only one she thought could understand was too preoccupied to see it.
Idra held no resentment toward her cousin due to station or duty, but the lady-in-waiting longed for the simpler days, before the Beauty Thief had wreaked havoc upon their lives. Before she’d learned to fear the unknown darkness of the world.
But now I’ve read the suggestions, I have to rethink it all again. I should be feeling “ugh” about it, but I’m not. I’m happy to keep writing and writing. The beginning needs to fit the book, and so until it’s written right, I’ll keep writing. 🙂
So, let this be an encouragement to all you who aspire to write and write well. Don’t stop! Keep at it! Love your writing, but be willing to part with whatever can be improved upon. Listen to advice, but don’t be discouraged! Always remember, your friends want to encourage and help you. That’s what friends do!
Have a great Wednesday y’all!