ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Show me the voice blogfest. Thanks for the critiques. Here's my new improved model...


I thought I'd post my edited version after so many lovely followers helped me with suggestions on how to improve my novel beginning. The cliches were easy to fix, the POV is always a problem but I'm working on it and I appreciated your suggestions on how to improve overall. Talli made me work the hardest, saying she'd like to see some action - too static as it was. I've listened and thought of ways to amp it up. I hope you like this version better...although I'm still open to suggestions...


RUBY


The moment Ruby stepped outside the observation lounge she saw him.

He leaned against the deck rail, mesmerized by the humpbacks. Ruby thought the sight of the glorious creatures in the final throes of breaching in the Pacific waters was enough to take her breath away, even if the sight of the captain in his pristine whites hadn’t already achieved that.

He turned towards her and she was lost, lost in eyes that had the ocean in their depths. In the gathering dusk, his long lashes were the colour of sand, no doubt bleached by days at sea. Curls of the same colour peeked from under his hat.  

A wave slapped against the boat, spraying them in warm froth. Ruby grabbed for the bar.

"Are you okay?" he asked, reaching out his hand.

"I’m fine," Ruby laughed, surprised at the small book in his hand, a finger holding the place.

"What a glorious day." He stepped closer, slipping the book into his pocket.

"Oui, ah, yes, it is very beautiful."

She noticed a flicker in his eyes.

"Are you enjoying your visit?"

"I’m not just visiting," Ruby tried to talk like an Aussie, afraid her French accent had turned him off. "I have come here to live. At Noosa."

 "Noosa, ah...’"

 "You like Noosa?"

"I’ve travelled the world and I always come back."

"Je m’apelle Ruby." She held out her hand.


He lifted her tiny hand to his lips. "Is this a French custom?"

"Non, but I like it."
***
Ooh la la. There you have it. Sizzle, sizzle...So why did she speak French when she introduced herself? She was so swept off her feet she forgot...



24 comments:

  1. I have certainly learned a few things - thanks to your critiques.

    I was going to point out the apparent contradiction on wanting to appear an Aussie, then speaking in French! But you explained it at the end.

    Thanks Denise.

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  2. It definitely has sizzle! I'm wondering why, if she thinks her French accent would turn him off (I can't see why since there's nothing sexier than a great French accent!), does she then speak to him in French? The two contradict each other. Nice sizzle, though!

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  3. Oh Denise - I loved this! I went back to read the other post and I can see the changes you made and i really like them.

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  4. Grandpa: At least you picked up my reasoning.

    Mary Mary: I did explain at the end. Okay, so it's not her accent that turns him off but the fact that he thinks she'll be here today gone tomorrow.

    Kari Marie: Thanks for reading both posts and seeing the changes.

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  5. Hi, Denise,

    LOVE his description. Very unique, not the usual tall, dark, and handsome type.

    Sorry, I missed your first entry. I didn't see it. Well, I'm glad I read it now.

    Well done and good luck. Ah, we are in competition again. LOL


    Michael

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  6. The content is perfect now, Denise. My only pet peeve is something I've found a lot in current books I've read and which a now very famous author I had in my first graduate class in fiction years ago pointed out: we use pronouns so we don't have to keep saying the person's name. If it's clear who's talking, say "she" or "he." For whatever this is worth.

    BTW, thanks for your condolences just now on my post re: my brother's passing. AND my editor just emailed me my book cover!! But she sent it PDF, forgetting she has to get me a JPG file. So I'm hoping to post this tomorrow. You're the first blogger to know, my friend!!

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  7. Michael: Well, he's not tall dark and handsome like you, lol, but his name is Michael, ha ha. Thanks for coming by and reading. I see you just won something else. Congrats!

    Ann: Thanks for the pronoun lesson. Yes, I try to avoid using names when it's clear.

    I'm so excited that you're getting your cover at last! Must be a bit disappointing not to be able to open it straight away! Thanks for sharing!

    Denise<3

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  8. Sizzle sizzle is right! I like the French bits too. Beaucoup de sizzle!

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  9. You always manage to hook me in! Well done! I could almost feel the ocean spray and the rhythm of the boat :)

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  10. Lydia: Merci beaucoup!

    Becky: Glad you got into it!

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  11. Am interested in hearing how things turn out!

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  12. Ooooh la la ! I liked reading this very much!

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  13. Alleged: I'm so glad...I'll be by soon.

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  14. Great excerpt, I definitely love the opening line in this revision better than the original :)

    Ooh la la is right! lol

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  15. Trisha, me too, but still not really happy with it.

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  16. I like this version better, it reads very well. Good luck!

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  17. Nice and easy on the eye's. A great read.

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  18. Me again,

    I have an award for you at my blog... Congrats!

    Michael

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  19. Oh to be swept off our feet. Hopefully, not by a running and playful dog. LOL

    More edits:
    Ruby caught her breath. She thought the sight...

    He turned toward her. she was lost. Lost in his eyes...

    Are you sure the wave would be warm? I don't know, but I wondered.

    A comma precedes a name in a sentence.

    Good job.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  20. The revised version is better, however I was wondering whether you could increase the tension of this first encounter in subsequent versions? You have primal elements of the outdoors, the ocean, waves, whales etc....these can act as Ruby's mental turmoil and exhilaration.

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  21. Yay! Glad my comment was helpful. I always get really worried after I say things, wondering if people will take them the wrong way.

    But I really like what you've done here, and I think it's MUCH stronger. Well done!

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  22. Thanks all for your continuing input.

    Denise<3

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  23. Thanks for sharing, it was a great read! It is good when a rewrite comes together.

    Talli is responsible for a BIG change in my ms. Her subtle 'what if' took me on a roller coaster of a ride.

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