Tuesday, December 8, 2009

line 4

I thought about the three lines I wrote yesterday and I think I will leave them as they are. On a big white page, they will probably look rather nice. And that is all I want to tell so far. A long war. A change. A story.
So, to chapter 1, and the real first line. I don't really mean that. I love a prologue, an introduction, acknowledgements at the beginning of a book. But that is possibly odd. The words 'chapter one' are the big signal that all is beginning. That you have found the start. So, here is line 1 (or line 4 depending on the kind of reader you are).
Viola walked out into the gunmetal grey dawn to check the hen house for eggs.
I have to confess I already hate this line. So here is my heroine. I like the name; she is named for my great aunt. I like the idea of morning; that seems to fit. But the 'gunmetal' is too obvious a link to war and it seems clunky. Also the 'walk' and the 'check' don't seem to fit together comfortably. She might 'leave' to 'check'. I like the eggs in the same way I like the morning. A new beginning. Perhaps it should be something like:
Viola headed toward the hen house, hoping for some eggs.
Still not right. I have lost the time frame. We might assume that it is morning if she is going out for eggs, but we might not. Who goes out and looks for eggs? What time do they do it?
As Viola headed out to check the hen house for eggs, dawn crept into the sky and drew the heavy blackness away, leaving only grey.
No. I really hate that. I lose Viola to the dawn.
Perhaps I go back to the first one, but remove the gunmetal stuff.
Viola walked into the grey dawn. She was not going to lose her routine just because the Boche had decided to swing a fist close to her town. She was going to check for eggs.
OK, so it is three lines. I like this better. She is revealed a bit more here. The dawn doesn't make too much of a play for a plot line. We have a link to the three lines of the Prologue. I think I will leave this as it is. Or remove the middle line. But without the middle line is it too 'John and Betty' ('John can jump. Betty can jump. John and Betty jump.')?
The rain fell, soaking into clothes that were still damp from the rain of the day before.
Too wordy. Would a reader get lost in a sentence like this where the intent appears lost. What are we interested in here, the rain, the clothes, the rain of the day before? Does it matter? Or is it too jumbled? Stuff it, I think I will leave it. But should 'clothes' have a possessive pronoun before it so we know the the clothes belong to Viola? Possibly.
Four lines. Can't seem to stay true to the intent of the blog. Perhaps tomorrow.

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