writing

Two paragraphs from page 26 …

… because it’s late and I’m tired and I won’t be looking up the significance of this date in history today. I’ll just use some wippet math – two paragraphs from page 26 (2/26).

I’m deep in the throes of editing now, which is progressing at a snail’s pace since I’m trying to get all the details right. Is anyone out there using Liquid Story Binder instead of Scrivener? A friend turned me on to it and I’m loving it. Still have lots to learn, though.

Anyhow, without further adieu, a little bit from City of Ages:

Tristan came slowly, stiffly, blinking and groggy as he awakened. He poked about in the garbage heap that was his dwelling place before rising to his full height and smoothing back the crazy mass of his hair. A battered old rucksack hung from his shoulder, all the possessions he had in the world.

Justus looked about with a frown. He had not expected that Tristan lived in a palace, to be sure, but this was hardly more than a den, stinking, cold, and pitiful. Tristan’s mouth flattened in a tight line when he noticed Justus’s gaze. He turned aside without a word and headed toward Morden’s villa. Justus followed him, comforted by the knowledge that at least Tristan would sleep more comfortably tonight, on the road.

This snippet of my work in progress (thus, WIPpet) is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. Comments, reactions, impressions, constructive criticisms – all are treasured, should you choose to provide them. Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:


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13 thoughts on “Two paragraphs from page 26 …”

      1. That’s the only downfall to some of the WIPpet snippets…getting them out of context can sometimes be a bit confusing. But always intriguing.

  1. I enjoy the layers of interaction between Justus and Tristan, but the description of Tristan’s home didn’t work well for me personally.

    The term “garbage heap” just didn’t mesh with “den” as used later. I was left wondering if Tristan lived among the refuse piles at the edge of some city, or in shack made of discarded boards and scraps, etc. Basically I had no sense of whether he had even a makeshift roof over his head, a deserted house that was close to collapsing, or nothing between him and the stars except other people’s offal….

    Sorry to seem critical, but I just wasn’t picturing it, and since your descriptions are always so rich and full, I know you care about them a great deal and would like to know how.

    1. Ooooh – great point, Eden! No, it’s not critical at all – worthwhile feedback from a skilled writer is invaluable! I’m sure if you’re thinking it then someone else is, too. I’ll take another look at the passage with this in mind. I think our job as writers is to make our worlds and our characters actions as clear and vivid as possible, so I definitely want to know when I haven’t done that. Thank you!

  2. Xina,

    I’d like more specific details of Tristan’s home. I get a sense of it in that sleeping out on the road would be an improvement. But I like to know things like what he eats, uses for a bed, takes care of bodily functions.

    I do like the excerpt…just wish there was more about Tristan’s living conditions.

    1. Thanks for your input! Yeah, it’s missing the context, which makes it a little unwieldy, for sure. Haha, yes, sleeping out in the road is definitely an improvement – at least they have a tent there. It’s so great to hear everyone’s thoughts! Thank you!

  3. Hm, I don’t know if it needs more description, especially since this is such a short snippet. I think we can get weighted down with details at times, and if it’s not important to the story, it doesn’t need to be in there (IMO). But I have a pretty vivid imagination, and I can picture it in my mind. So it might partly be personal preference as to how many details any given person wants/needs.

    1. Good point, Amy. I sometimes skimp on details and other times over-explain. I guess it’s all about getting the right flow. Sometimes it can be just a few well-chosen words that evoke a particular scene. It’s great to hear everyone’s input so that I can take another look at it with that input in the back of my mind. Thanks so much!

  4. Even with low expectations… Dang. The way you wrote it made me think even if I picture it, his “house” is probably worse than that.

    Editing is hard for me too and always feels like it takes forever. i wish you the best in getting some good traction and moving forward. 🙂

    1. LOL, thanks, Gloria! Yeah, I’m making a little bit of progress every day. I keep suffering from arm and hand pain so it limits my time at the computer. Ugh! When the body hurts life is tough!

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