For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here.
Kimberly heard someone behind her. She turned around quickly, just in time to see the sorceress pointing her wand at James and chanting in a foreign language.1 Kimberly had no time to think. “Noooooo!” she wailed, then took up a handful of dirt from the hard-packed earth,2 hurling it at the twisted face of the sorceress.
- Wow, this is so much easier than the entire theory of magic I created for my current manuscript. Wand, foreign language, boom. Sorcery.
- I’d imagine it would be rather difficult to pick up an entire handful of dirt from hard-packed earth. Just sayin’.
By an invisible and powerfully strong force, Kimberly was pushed to the ground. There she lay, unconscious and still.
Kimberly awoke, startled to see James’1 handsome face directly above her own. A cold wash cloth was being pressed against her forehead.2 “Kimberly, are you all right?” James asked tenderly,3 brushing her hair away from her face.4
- I think we already discussed the James’/James’s issue.
- We haven’t, however, talked about passive voice. “Was being pressed” is totally awkward, and leaves out any agent doing the pressing. Of course, we can guess it’s James pressing the wash cloth, but why not just say so?
- And I KNOW we’ve talked about adverbs.
- Also, we’re missing the entire, huge problem with this story. The old “Oh, I got knocked out, WTF happened while I was in my Victorian swoon?” (As much as I loved The Hunger Games, Katniss does this a few too many times in the third book.)
“James, I – I didn’t think you could come,” she said dramatically.1 “I knew you were mad; I thought I was doomed.”
“I would never leave you to die. I’ll never be that angry.”
“So what happened?”
“You distracted the witch for me, then I had the chance to kill the monster, then I fought the witch and killed her too. But when you threw the sand in her eyes, she aimed her wand at you instead. That’s why you got hurt.”2
“Thanks, James, for saving me.” Kimberly reached forward and kissed him gratefully on the cheek.
“No, Kimberly, I couldn’t have done it without you.”3
James cradled Kimberly in his arms for a moment, then picked her up and carried her away from the woods and the evil memories that remained there. They would make up. They always did.4
- Dramatically. Seriously.
- This entire recount seems to be out of order.
- Despite the cheesy dialogue, I must congratulate my teen self on how I did not overuse dialogue tags in this section. We know who’s talking, so why add “he said, she said”? Something I should have kept in mind for my current manuscript.
- I thought they already made up? Or is this referring to their big college argument that never got resolved? That must be it. Well, luckily I don’t think anybody cares how they solve that problem.
And thus ends our journey into this endearingly short romance. (Indeed, its brevity may be the only thing in its favor.)
My take on “…then took up a handful of dirt from the hard-packed earth” is that you were trying to show the adrenaline Kimberly had at that moment as she was fighting off the Monster. She had enough strength to gouge her fingers into “hard-packed earth” enough to get a “handful.” Right? Am I right? 🙂
Yes! I’m sure that’s exactly what I meant! 😉
(Psst, Vic, thanks for the save.)
oops – my bad. Not the Monster. The scorceress.