TITLE: Brothers On The Rim
GENRE: YA Thriller
“Wait, where are you going?”
“Remember the short cut? Mom used to tell us to follow the white trillium flowers if we ever got lost; they wind along the creek through to Mr. Potters,” Artie reminded me.
For a little guy he sure was fast on his feet. You’d think the wet grass would slow him down, but not Artie. What he lacked in strength he made up for in agility. I, however, do slip, and catch myself before I’m flat in the mud. I reach Artie at the edge of the ravine. The Trillium flowers line the creek and the creek winds upstream from the ravine. Art stands, staring out over the drop; the cold wind wears on his face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
It takes a minute for Art to figure out what to say. I know he’s thinking about Mom.
He knows I know.
And like that, I let it be. There’s an understanding between us, like a secret language, we’ve had to use to conceal our communication when Dad’s around. Our father has very little reserve for our “flights of fancy” –Dad’s words, but most probably, originally, Mom’s words.
We ramble back through the thicket of bare branches, through the buds on the verge of bursting open for the new spring. My breath floats around me. Somehow I’ve gotten ahead of Art. I turn to see if he’s listening; I’ve been talking on and on.
I really want to like this, but to be honest I'm lost right now. You switch between present and past tense and I never quite get a sense of where we are in the scene, or who the characters are. Are they lost? Who is the narrator? If you could slow down and give us some more details--really center us in the moment instead of rushing through it--that would be great. Good start, though! I'm definitely intrigued to see where this is going.ReplyDelete
I got the same sense as Julia...it feels a tad rushed. It sounds interesting though.ReplyDelete
I noticed the switching between past and present tenses; also the capitalization or non-capitalization of "trillium" needs to be consistent. The sentence structure and word choice is awkward in places, and when you keep it simple (i.e. "It takes a minute for Art to figure out what to say. I know he's thinking about Mom.") the effect is far more powerful.ReplyDelete
For example, "Our father has very little reserve ... --Dad's words, but most probably, originally, Mom's words" - you switch between father and Dad (I problem I have too), which gives two very different voices in the same sentence; "very little reserve" is an extremely formal way to express something I'd expect a teenager to phrase as "no time for".
I'd suggest taking a few more passes through with an editor's hat on. Try to structure every sentence without a semi-colons or hyphens and as few commas as possible, and I think your sentences will come out more clearly and concisely.
I agree with the previous comments. I think you need to give more of a sense of the scene before jumping into dialogue. How about starting with this:ReplyDelete
>For a little guy [Art] sure was fast on his feet. You’d think the wet grass would slow him down, but not Artie. What he lacked in strength he made up for in agility. I, however, [tended to] slip, and catch myself before I [was] flat in the mud.
>“Artie, where are you going?”
>“Remember the short cut? Mom used to tell us to follow the white trillium flowers if we ever got lost; they wind along the creek through to Mr. Potters,” [he] reminded me.
>I [reached] Artie at the edge of the ravine. The Trillium flowers [lined] the creek, [which winded] upstream . Art [stood], staring out over the drop; the cold wind [wearing] on his face.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
I like the concept and first couple of lines, but I agree this needs some reorganization, because you had lost me by the third paragraph. I would also watch your verb tenses. Patchi's example is a good one!ReplyDelete
I agree with what the others have said. The verb tenses definitely need fixing. Patchi gave some great examples of how to tune this up.ReplyDelete
I'm interested, but lost. They say that dropping in on dialogue can leave the reader feeling lost. If you have some set-up, we'd be able to follow along better. I also have no idea if your the person whose POV this is, is a male or female. I just know they are Artie's sibling.ReplyDelete