Yesterday, I analyzed a short segment posted by Katie. Today she offered a revision, and I think it’s clearly better.
Karel barely let the door swing shut before turning on him. “What is with you? First you treat me like some empty-headed dolt only good for a kitchen, then you try to ruin the deal with the only guide we have available!”
“The man is an arrogant pig!”
Randy sez: So far, this is the same as before. But now watch…
“Who cares? Of course he’s arrogant – he’s the best guide in the area! He’s willing to take us to Paravel at the swing of an ax, knowing his earltan is after you, and you’re complaining because he’s confident about his work?” She stabbed her hands on the table between them. “You’re the one who’s too arrogant. You’re willing to throw our lives away for one condescending remark?”
The question stung. “You’re willing to risk your own country to prove you’re my equal. Why do you think I was trying to lead the conversation?” He bent forward and lowered his voice. “If he thought this was all my idea, he’d be less curious about your motives. I was trying to protect your identity!”
Randy sez: In both paragraphs, Katie has inserted a small action tag, breaking up long segments of speech into more manageable segments. In both cases, we now are getting some visuals to go with the audio. This is better!
She stared at him, her breath choppy.
Tahir felt her breath on his lips, which meant she was far too close to him. He couldn’t look away. He didn’t want to.
The rage in her eyes faded to confusion. Pink dusted her cheeks. She looked down and leaned back, away from him. “I’m sorry.”
Randy sez: This has now been broken from 2 paragraphs into 3, and we are now seeing the entire thing. In yesterday’s version, the pace moved from “showing” to “telling” to “showing” again which seemed a bit choppy to me. Today, it remained almost completely “showing” with a bit of a transition at the very end, when we see things summarized a bit: The rage “fades to confusion” which takes a bit of time, as dust “pink dusting her cheeks”. This transition is a lot more natural.
Katie asked this question:
The “far too close to him” seems a bit like a motivation, but since she isn’t moving, he’s just noticing her closeness, I placed it as a reaction. Is this correct?
Randy sez: Actually, he’s making a logical deduction, so this is interior monologue, and is therefore part of his Reaction. Katie, you’ve made just a couple of tweaks to this section and I think it now reads quite a bit better. Very good!