Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a FEW sentences means like three

Okay, I should have specified. Let's say no more than 4 sentences, because if I keep on with more than that, it's going to take me all year to get through some of those selections you all posted. Geez.

So post SHORTER versions here in this post's comments, or I'll just take the 4 sentences already posted that I want to fuss with.

Give 'em an inch, they'll post a chapter....

It's not the editing that takes long, but the explaining. And I don't think I can say, "Just trust me on this," over and over.

Off to watch the game-- Anyone But the Lakers has tied!


MeganRebekah said...

I'll join in the tortur...I mean fun.

"Gritting my teeth, I scanned the crowded parking lot with increasing frustration. My dark curls blew in the wind and slithered around my head like hissing snakes. Certain I resembled the mythical Medusa, I gave up on making a good first impression. Turning people into stone might be a useful power at some point in the future, but right now I needed to make new friends, not send them running in terror."

Julie Harrington said...

LOL! I thought that was quite the project when I saw what a great reply you were getting on that exercise. :)

I posted mine below, but I trimmed out a paragraph to try and keep it near that 4 sentence guideline. Hope this okay. If there were 4 other sentences you prefered to mess with... please be my guest.


The night stank of evil. Of rotted sin and soiled depravity.

It rose in the steam from the ice-covered sewers and oozed from the shadowed alleyways. Had Alexander Gedrick still been human, he wouldn’t have noticed it. Now the scent was fine perfume; the perfect concoction of fear and despair heightened only by notes of hate and rage.

Ian said...

Aw, come on! Don't you want Kobe to start his nationwide "No Means No" Tour with a WIN? ;-)

Marissa Miranda said...

These are the first two paragraphs from my young adult fantasy novel.

Mom was in a tizzy. As always.

Bending down to window height, Alyce pressed a kiss to her mother’s forehead. “We’ll be fine, Mom, honest. Go on your trip and have fun.”

(Sorry... that's actually five sentences, but I didn't want to break the dialogue!)

And if you don't want to edit that bit since it's so short, you could also use something from the next couple of paragraphs. I'm not picky, and I'm not sure what you're looking for, so anything is fine by me!

“Well… don’t forget to call me every night. I want updates on what you girls have been doin’. Get your homework done, and no parties please.” Mom leaned out her window and looked back at Jenni who was fighting to pull a small suitcase out of the car. Her Texas drawl increased with every other word. “Jenni Hart! I’m talkin’ to you. Please listen to me when I am speakin’!”

When Mom’s accent was that thick, she was really anxious. Alyce wondered if her mother would ever leave behind her Texas twang. Then again, Alyce still slipped into the accent herself when she was fretting, even after nine years living in New Mexico.

Unknown said...

This is something different to my first offering ... only two sentences, albeit long. BTW, the explanations you have posted already are really useful - looking forward to seeing a few more!

The young woman stood alone at the window casement; her deep green cloak wrapped over her shoulders and pulled tight, the hood hiding her long and wavy, extraordinary, golden red hair. Her breath kept fogging up the window, and she had to keep wiping it clear with her fingertips so she could see the black and gold gilded state carriage, drawn by six fine bay mares bearing thick brown manes, as it rumbled through the Gate House and into the courtyard.

Anonymous said...

Lets try this again.

“NO!” Andy gasped for air, but it gave her no relief. She felt all of the plans they had made together slipping away. She and Kent were supposed to have a long life together. See the world together. They were going to start a family together. Their future was being taken away from them because someone couldn’t keep their damn eyes open.

Edittorrent said...

Ian, I think Kobe and Mike Tyson must have the same publicist. They're both all around everywhere now. Young ladies, beware.

Dave Shaw said...

Okay, 4 sentences. First one's very short:

English. This mess has disturbed her even more than I thought. "Tea would be nice, and maybe some toast and marmalade, thanks." Fujimoro settled into a plain but well-crafted armchair before a small table set close to the 'window', adjacent to the tiny kitchenette by the door, and scanned the rest of the room.

Lilly Cain said...

Mine was only 5 sentences for the whole paragraph, hope that is okay, here it is again.

Shuddering sensation raced up Alinna’s arms and along her scalp. Her L’inar nerve lines forced her skin up into narrow bands and ridges along her neck and hairline, and down her back under her flight suit as her excitement turned quickly into concern and fear. She was going down, her small ship hurtling toward the ground at an ever increasing rate. Caught in the downdraft of an out-of-control human airjet, her tiny spy ship was as doomed as the human craft that had crashed to the ground in front of her moments ago.

Anonymous said...

I will happily cut it down to the first four, because these are probably the most important four of the novel. I admire you both for even offering an opportunity such as this! ;-)

Lucian listened for the noise that had awakened him. Nothing but silence penetrated his sister’s house. The blazing hearth fire saturated the room with heat, but Catarina forbade the opening of windows. His twin was always cold.

Thank you again,

Heidi said...

Luckily the first paragraph of my WIP seems to be five sentences, which I hope is okay. My apologies for being over eager with the first snippet.


I've found that when you're a mercenary people assume it's another word for assassin. Don't get me wrong, I've killed people -- lots of people. It's what I'm trained to do. However, if I kill there's a reason for it. I don't kill just for the hell of it and I never kill just because someone wants another person out of their way.

Christa said...

Oops! Sorry for posting more than a few sentences. Guess, like everyone else, I got a bit excited at the prospect. Here are the first 4 sentences of my fantasy novel:

Nkarra found herself surrounded by a blanket of light cleaner and purer than the whitest white. Its brilliance should have been painful, but it wasn’t. In fact, the light held such peace that Nkarra instantly relaxed, content to simply be. A feeling of comfort wrapped itself around her like a mother holding a child.

Bliss244 said...

LOL OK - 4 sentences of my current WIP

Unlike most nightclubs in Monte-Carlo, there were no bright neon lights flashing above l’Intrigue’s front door, no unending line of eager faces waiting behind a red velvet rope, and no Lamborghinis and Limousines parked out front.

Located on the very east side of the principality, as a private establishment that catered to vampires and to the mortals who could afford the nightly five-hundred-dollar cover charge, the circumspect brass plate on the front door barely drew the eye.

Grudges and disagreements were settled outside. Owned and operated by a small group of vampires with no clan association, the nightclub was a refuge and a conduit to the immortal grapevine.

Wes said...

Thank you for the hard work to help us. Here are my four.........

“Go away!” Kincaid shouted at Joe. There wasn’t a need to turn in the saddle and look back. He was there. The sounds of creaking leather and the clip of hooves said so.

Patience-please said...

She made a path through the wheat, which felt like fairy whips beating, "faster, faster, go faster" and then she disappeared into the rows of corn, the running lanes, cool and dark. Little cries of running joy crowded into her breathing in time with her strides.

Anonymous said...

Here's my shorter version. I thought you might like to pick this one apart because if you're looking for fragments, well...:)

Causing a maelstrom of thrilling sensations that ignited her heart to race and her eyes to close and head to fall back against the mattress. Neck arching... stretching and straining, while her fingers dug into the sheets, seeking and clenching, crumpling the soft threads of the linen in the grasp of her brutal surrender. Desire, hot and fierce, concentrated almost painfully, sweetly, between her thighs. “I...can’t...I can’t--,”

‘You can breathe, Baby. I’m here. I’ve always been here ready to catch you as you fall for me.’

Kathleen MacIver said...

I see I posted one two-sentence paragraph, and one six-sentence paragraph. Pick whichever you like. I'm curious to see which one you think needs the editing more, since one is more external observations, and one shows thought more. ::smiles::

Julia Weston said...

Re-posted less one sentence. Thanks for the chance!

A metallic clang jolted Lia out of her half-doze. She glanced around, vaguely embarrassed, and rubbed her arms as she reoriented herself. Multihued bars of morning light streamed down from the casement perched at the pinnacle of the temple wall. Standing at the pulpit, Father Chase wielded a rather large communion bell.

Jeanne Ryan said...

Why is it whenever I hit the send button, I instantly see things I need to change? These are six sentences, but I can't decide which would be the most fun for you.

set up: she's looking at her reflection in the mirror and she is covered in blood, but only in the reflection

It dripped from her hair, weighing it down until it resembled a weeping willow. A jagged crimson line separated her head from her body. Blood trickled down forming red rivulets that merged with the innumerable cuts marring the porcelain perfection of her body. Some were long thick gashes created by hands hyped on the adrenaline of battle. Some were thin straight lines crafted with surgical precision. Some were symbols whose meanings had long since been lost.

Daria said...

From something I started a while ago. Thank you for even agreeing to look at it.


I’d heard of them, sure, but everyone’s heard of them. I was the first city girl to ever see a grown one alive and up close since the Separation.

He was nice up close. The man, I mean.

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

Dunno if you've still got room, but here's 4 sentences from the middle of a YA fantasy. (FYI: This far North the Sun sets later and later until it doesn't disappear at all.)

Among the great trees the contrast of sun and shadows was even more pronounced than it had been the night before. Linnea realized there was only one day till solstice, and shivered as she imagined seeing the grotesque djinn under the midnight sun. Pity they were not affected, as trolls were said to be, by exposure to the sun. If they were, they’d never have made it this far North, or sustained their nightly activity throughout the year.

JenB said...

Fun. I'm pushing the four sentences but I'm just going to throw this in anyway.

The sparkle on his skin was a fleeting reminder of the endless outdoor swim meets we had carpooled to, of my arms – weak with hunger and exertion – shaking as he lugged me up out of the water and shoved hamburgers and PowerBars and bottles of nearly frozen Gatorade at me. I thought of the one picture I had of the two of us, taken just after his last varsity race and promptly tucked away in my photo album so that I wouldn’t be tempted to sit and stare at it every single day. I was wrapped in a thick white towel and he had his arm around my waist, his hand on my hip. I remembered how cool and soft his fingertips felt as they pushed the towel aside and brushed across my back. It had been nothing more than a friendly gesture, I told myself at the time, just pulling me close to make sure we were both in the photo. He was leaning slightly sideways, tilting his face towards mine, and smiling broadly. A second after the picture was taken he had bent down the rest of the way and kissed me lightly on top of my head.

Edittorrent said...

Okay, enough. I'll deal with what's been posted as best as I can, but I don't think I can handle anymore. If I don't get to someone, I'm sorry. Repost pathetically next week, and I'll try. :)

But do understand-- this takes a long time. It doesn't take long to edit, but so much is done intuitively, it takes a lot longer to figure out why I did that.


danceluvr said...

I'd like to take advantage of your generosity, ladies. Here are four sentences in my current WIP, a children's novel. Thanks for any comments.

Eyes narrowed, Melissa peered at Jade. "You're just jealous because Peter didn't pick you."

"Hah! I wouldn't want to dance with someone shorter than me." Jade did stand a good head above both Melissa and Peter as well as most of the rest of their classmates. "Besides, my solo will be better than the one you did. Miss Sylvia's put a bunch of beats in it."

Weronika Janczuk said...


The headmaster stood, ran his left hand over his sweating forehead, and reached his right hand out to my mother, who glanced up with panic in her eyes. I stepped forward and shook the hand, aware of the expression that covered the man’s face.

“Thank you for everything, Mr. Gryzbowski. We appreciate it.”

I felt my mom’s hand on my lower back as she came to stand by me, her fa├žade replaced. She held out her hand and smiled. Apart from the strained skin near her eyes, her entire mood felt genuine—even her smile, so often fake, felt real.

Ana said...

Try this one please.

“Shit!” Sarah shrieked in a pitch that would rival a dog whistle. She had rounded the corner at five knots and slammed into a huge red Slurpee pressed against a scrawny chest.

Jordan said...

Alicia—if you need to cry uncle, you can turn off the comments on this post to stop new submissions (Edit this post and open the Post Options).

Splatter said...

I'll just... leave my longer one and let you choose. I thought you were being overly generous with the original line edit post!