Today we’ll look at a new 2-paragraph submission, this time by Pam Halter:
Home was a stone cottage she shared with Krezma, the woman who took her in when she was a baby. It sat in the forest outside the village of Broem. They had a well on the side and a root cellar just off the kitchen. The roof was covered with moss, and yellow bell flowers filled with nectar grew all around the cottage, attaching themselves to the stones.
About half way home, Akeela noticed a trailing mist of dark purple leading deeper into the woods. The stench of rotting eggs permeated the area. Her heart lept in her throat. She had encountered the strange aura and bad smell before. It meant Tzmet, the witch, had passed through. No wonder the animals and fairies were frightened. Akeela glanced around, tightened her grip on the bow, then left the path and cut across the woods to the pond.
Randy sez: Paragraph 1 is all telling. Not a single MRU to be seen. And it works. I’m going to assume this is really early in the story, so it makes sense to be telling who Krezma is. The word picture of the house where Akeela lives is very sharp and clear. Well done!
In Paragraph 2 we’ve got a sequence of very short Motivations and Reactions. Normally, I’d say to split these into separate paragraphs. But I don’t think so here. There’s not a lot of conflict in this paragraph, so there’s no point in stretching this segment out. The paragraph moves the reader economically toward the conflict that appears ready to begin.
Both paragraphs work very well as they stand. I wouldn’t mess with either one.
Anybody want to try to improve on this?