I mentioned last week that one of the judges in a writing contest I entered liked my pitch, but I didn’t make the finals because my first page was not “exciting enough”. As any good writer would do, I used this as a learning experience, and I tossed my first page and started over. Now, I didn’t really CHANGE anything per se. I just started with a blank page, and re-wrote EXACTLY THE SAME SCENE keeping in mind the comment that the first one didn’t seem exciting.
I resisted the temptation of looking back at my original while I was writing, by doing this at a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT computer, and I’m glad I did. Several times I stopped, and wished I could look back at my original manuscript. If I did, I probably would have ended up with something very similar to the first opening.
What’s odd, is this is really the same thing. It’s a fight being witnessed by a child, but the tone is extremely different. When I look at my original now, my brain says, “what was I thinking?”
I passed this by my writer’s group this weekend, and they seemed to like it.
I think I love it. Hopefully, I am finally where I need to be!
Here’s my revision. Hopefully, it makes you bite your nails a little, and draws you in without getting you lost in the commotion of the argument.
A piece of spoiled fruit flew across the room and hit his father square across the jaw. Magellan watched him wipe it away indifferently as the tall man started shouting at his father again. The room erupted in shouts and jeers.
These people are insane, Magellan thought.
“Execute him, My Lord!” someone in the assembly yelled.
Execute him? Now I know they’re nuts.
His mother cringed, and held tightly to his crying siblings as they cowered around her. The crowd screamed louder, nearly drowning out the roar of the rain on the huge windows surrounding the room. She reached for him, and Magellan stepped back. He had no desire to hide in her skirts.
He grasped onto a small black rock in his pocket, ready to throw it if he needed to as the people in the crowd took to their feet. All Father did was say the moon orbiting planet Roria should be free. Freedom is a good thing, isn’t it?What’s wrong with these people?
The tall man took a step toward his father, and leaned menacingly close to his face. “Give me an example of one person on that moon that has asked for freedom.”
His father dropped his eyes.
“What are you doing, Father?” Magellan whispered to himself. “Answer him.” You’ve always taught us about how important freedom is. Here’s your chance to speak your mind. We’re at court. Tell them. Make them believe. Explain to them that the High King is a tyrant!