Old beginnings and better ones.

I was going to start with a short story, or perhaps a first chapter or something. But, I thought to myself, which one?
....
So I'm going through my story folder on my computer- If you're a writer you know the one, it's the place where all the old ideas go to gather dust and exchange stories about how they were fresh and new once.
(http://www.noveldoctor.com/2013/01/26/the-society-of-abandoned-manuscripts/)

Anyway I end up picking up a story a started and forgot about a long time ago. I started  reading through it, I remember the story, I remember where I planned to take it, I even remember the point when it did that wonderful thing of taking on a life of it's own, that point where the characters start talking back, or wandering off and doing their own thing.

So I'm reading through the first couple of chapters, and I like the characters and where it's all going, there are even some flashes of descent prose in there. But damn is it badly written!

I start to give it a bit of an edit, thinking maybe this is the one. The snippet of my writing I'm going to share first, to kick out onto this stage to open the show. But everyone knows the opening act has go to be a good one (especially when people have the option of not coming back). That first paragraph has to have a hook, something to make the reader sit up and take note, something to stop that guy (or girl) who's flicking through tomes in a book store. (Did I just use tome twice? Damn.)

I digress (again, I'll be doing that a lot, probably), so I'm thinking maybe this is the one! Then a couple of paragraphs further on, I'm thinking I was hoping to get my first (or second if you count the first one. I don't) post out before Easter.

So...
To cut a long story short (maybe), I turned my attention towards how writing grows, develops, gets better. So I thought I'd put up two versions of the same opener, just the first few paragraphs from a story I'm working on. The first is an early draft, and the second is a much later draft.

Early Draft (first draft in fact):
The horse, a grey mare, sprinted flat out along the uneven woodland ground. I pressed myself against the animal’s strong neck as the trees whipped past; well at least I wasn't being chased this time.
I may not have been being chased but the package slung across my narrow shoulders was time sensitive, it had to reach Thorn Village on the other side of the Castle Wood by sunrise. This was why my dark hair whipped across my face as clung to the back of the huge grey as it charged along the rutted unused track through the haunted wood.
Wind whistled through the trees making them sway against the clear night, I looked up to see the moon hastening toward the Eastern horizon all too quickly.
Wait!
What was that?

Something moved in the trees around me, at first I had thought it was the trees swaying in the wind, but it was moving in the wrong direction, and following me. Something spectral was circling me. 

Latest Draft (after much work):
My dark hair whipped across my face, I slitted my eyes against the dust kicked up by the huge grey as it charged along the rutted, unused track through the haunted wood. Normally I would never have chanced trying to cross the wood, let alone at night, but circumstance demanded it.
The package slung across my narrow shoulders was time sensitive, it had to reach Thorn Village on the other side of Castle Wood by sunrise.
The wind whistled through the trees sending ripples of movement chasing through boughs and branches. I looked up to see the moon hastening toward the western horizon all too quickly.
I pressed myself against the mare’s strong neck as the trees whipped past.
Well at least I wasn't being chased this time.
Wait!
What was that?

Something moved in the trees around me. At first I thought it was the trees swaying in the wind, but it was moving in the wrong direction, and following me. Something spectral was circling me. 


See what a difference four months of editing can make, and how when someone you like says your story is awesome  how much self editing they're probably doing to make it readable.
FYI, I'm still not happy with the opening paragraphs.


So I guess after all that I did put up a whole Short Story.

And that's more than enough from me for now, hope to see you all next time.

Rob.

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