Much Mo’ Betta’

So, in between Work, finishing Jeanne Dark (80% done!), and starting the Query cycle for Eddie Daley, I’m editing The Stream for updated release, probably under new names. (Not sure about the names.)

Book 1 is completed and is a lot tighter. I’ve been hitting Book 2 as the mood warrants, and I think it’s tighter too, though more work, as the start was a bit rougher than Book 1’s start. (They were originally a single tome.) Anyway, I’m pleased with the results, as I think I’ve captured the original energy in a prettier wrapper. You can be the judge. The original segment was 499 words. The revision is 412 words and I think it’s more vivid. I’s happy.

Opening Scene Lake

Original (Awakening):

Charlie Patterson was dreaming with his best friend, Robin. Most teenage boys were limited to dreaming about beautiful girls, but not Charlie. His dreams were vivid, tactile, powerful, and emotional. In a word, they were real. Better than that, when Charlie dreamed of Robin, it was usually because she was right there, with him, in the dream.

They stumbled across the Stream, the limitless world of dreams and fantasy, during the summer prior to his twelfth birthday. In so doing, they had found each other, and created a bond that went beyond friendship. They were the One, a pair of dream travelers who, it was foretold, would restore the balance of good and evil, of light and darkness in the Stream. One day. For now, however, they were just two kids playing around in a world where one’s brightest imagination or deepest fears could come to light.

It was twilight in the part of the Stream in which they found themselves. Charlie was seated in a long, narrow boat on a still lagoon. The landscape was serene, comprising forested lands that bordered the wide lake, with mountains that rose behind them. It was spring here too, Charlie noted, as the trees that dotted the mountainsides were populated with new foliage. The air was thick and humid, though not unpleasant. Low clouds hung in the air, close enough that the tops of the mountains were obscured. The sun had descended behind the mountain toward which they drifted, and its light painted the sky a muted pink that was reflected in the mirror-like lake.

Away from the westward sky, the landscape had turned violet, with the thick fog drifting over the treetops. It gave the lagoon an odd duality, with half the landscape bright and cheery, and half dark and ominous.

Charlie sat in the boat facing the dark half. Robin, by contrast, was standing, dancing in a tight circle, as she faced her lovely pink sky. She was tall and lean, already five foot seven at age fourteen, with her body blossoming with just a hint of the woman she would become. Thirteen-year-old Charlie ignored her, though she fascinated him.

“You’re all gloominating my dream, Dimple Boy,” she said, barely pausing to look at him. “Cheer up,”

“That’s not a word,” Charlie said. “You’re always making up words.”

“That’s what we poets do,” she replied. She punctuated her statement with a pirouette, then sat facing him. “I’m here because you asked me to help you use your imagination. Now you’re complaining that I’m using mine.”

“I-I wasn’t complaining. Just …”

“Envious?”

Charlie looked up at Robin, and was surprised to see she was smiling at him. He had never known her to make fun of anything that troubled him, which meant either she could not tell how much this bugged him, or … “You’re about to say something you think is brilliant, right?” he asked.

Her grin broadened, and she poked him in the shoulder. “Quit reading my eyes, that’s cheating,” she said.


 Revised (Grandfather Time):

Charlie’s longboat pitched and yawed, rolled port and starboard, rose and fell, while the rest of the lagoon stood as serene as a glass sculpture.

I wish Robin would sit still just this once.

Knowing he could no more control his best friend’s actions than he could the weather, Charlie focused his attention away from the girl’s insane dancing and to the vista before them. Long, tree-born shadows stretched across the broad lake, interspersed by bright stars of sunlight that danced through their leaves. Beyond the shoreline, a long arc of snow-capped mountains scraped the underbellies of clouds until they surrendered, fell as fog, and began to obscure the mountains’ peaks.

The mountains must not want to be here either.

The springtime trees that dotted the mountainsides were populated with the bright lavender of new foliage. The air was thick and humid, though not unpleasant. It was nearing dusk, and the waning sunlight painted the sky a muted pink that was reflected in the mirror-like lake. Away from the westward sky, the landscape had already changed to midnight purple with thick fog roiling down the mountains and drifting over the treetops. It gave the lagoon an odd duality, with half the countryside bright and cheery and half dark and ominous.

Charlie sat in the boat facing the dark half. Robin, by contrast, was standing, dancing in a frantic circle, her head tilted toward her lovely pink sky. She was tall and lean, already five foot seven at age fourteen, with her blossoming body hinting at the woman she would become. Thirteen-year-old Charlie ignored her.

“You’re all gloominating my dream, Dimple Boy,” she said, barely pausing to look at him. “Cheer up,”

“That’s not a word,” Charlie said. “You’re always making up words.”

“Wordaventing is what we poets do,” she said. She punctuated her statement with a pirouette, then sat facing him. “I’m here because you asked me to help you use your imagination. Now you’re complaining that I’m using mine.”

“I-I wasn’t complaining, just …”

“Envious?”

Charlie looked up at Robin and was surprised to see she was smiling at him. He had never known her to make fun of anything that troubled him, which meant either she could not tell how much this bugged him, or … “You’re about to say something you think is brilliant, right?” he asked.

Her grin broadened, and she poked him in the shoulder. “Quit reading my eyes, that’s cheating,” she said.

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