Help, I can’t decide!

advice

I’ve had a go a re-writing my 1st chapter. I made the mistake of showing the different versions of my opening paragraph to different members of my family now I have lots of conflicting advice. Now I can’t make up my mind. Which one do you prefer? In no particular order;

1.

Tybalt peeked out from behind the crates his eyes searching for a victim. His stomach growled he hadn’t eaten anything for three days and the pain was becoming unbearable, but it was not as bad as the pain of losing his friend and protector Will. The cities watches crack down on pickpockets had left several of his friend dangling from the gallows and the streets safer than they had been for a long time. Will had been caught three days ago trying to snag a purse from a merchant. Three members of the Watch had been lying in wait, he hadn’t stood a chance, they dragged him off to the square and strung him up. There was no trial, no one spoke up for him. Tybalt still felt anger towards Will, the older boy had made him stay behind, and if he had been there he might have saved him. He had fled to the sewers grief stricken and scared he had hidden. But now hunger had driven him out.

 

2.

After hiding for three days Tybalt’s hunger had forced him out of his hiding place. The thought of seeing the now rotting corpse of Will dangling from the gallows was enough to make him gag but he needed food. Thanks to the watches crack down on pickpockets he was now friendless. The pain in his tummy wasn’t as bad as the pain of losing his protector Will. Thinking about it made him angry again. The unfairness of it, no trial, no one to stand up for him. He was ashamed to say he was still angry with Will for leaving him alone. Tybalt made he way cautiously out of the hideout on the streets. There were crates left carelessly at the end of the alley. Making as little noise as possible slipped in behind them and waited.

 

3.

Tybalt peeked out from behind the crates his green eyes hungrily searching for a mark. His stomach growled he hadn’t eaten anything for three days and pain was becoming unbearable, but it was not as bad as the pain of losing his friend and protector Will. The cities watches crack down on pickpockets had left five of his friend dangling from the gallows and the streets safer than they had been for a long time. Will had been caught three days ago trying to snag a purse from a merchant, three members of the Watch had been lying in wait, he hadn’t stood a chance, they dragged him off to the square and strung him up, there was no trial, no one spoke up for him. Tybalt still felt anger towards Will, the older boy had made him stay behind, and if he had been there he might have saved him. Tybalt knew their chances on the street weren’t good but his fragile existence hadn’t robbed him of his childish belief in his immortality until he saw Will die. He had fled to the sewers grief stricken and scared he had hidden. But now hunger had driven him out.

 

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74 thoughts on “Help, I can’t decide!

  1. I am being different I am going with the 3rd. It paints a clean picture of Tybalt’s situation, it shows how dire things are for him, puts you in sympathy with him and sets up for the next steps/action that is to come from there.

    My second favorite is the first one similar but different. The second one kind of flounders to me maps out the situation but doesn’t set up for the action much.

    In the end though, this is your story, go with what you feel and think has the best voice for you and your characters.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No problem, unless you see a fatal flaw with the one you were sure of before I would say run with it. Nothing is set in stone really till it is in official print. Remember, you cannot please everyone when you are writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly I think you should go with the one that YOU feel most connected to. Opinions of people will always vary and at the end of the day, if you can look at what you wrote and feel proud of the work – then that is all that matters.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Number 2: I prefer the wording and dropping ‘cities’ in cities watches (found it a bit of a mouthful previously). I’m not sure I like ‘tummy’ though (sorry) but definitely prefer the imagery in this version, especially of the gallows.
    Are you in a critique group?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I joined Critique Circle on advice from Dan Alatorre (I think I’ve seen you follow him). It’s free and has been really interesting and helpful (I’ve only submitted my first chapter, I’m nowhere near as ‘finished’ as you are!). It’s also quite funny – you do have to take some comments telling you to correct things, with a pinch of salt, especially when they don’t know an adjective from an adverb!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Eric, may I say this without being too wise or experienced? Never show your work to anyone unless it is completely finished. Don’t worry about the advice you get. Just go ahead and write. Once you finish you will have to face a lot more criticism from people who may or may not be your well-wishers, relatives or friends. So I suppose it would be better to develop a thick skin right at the beginning and proceed on the assumption that almost everyone else is completely wrong and you know what is right. I think that might make you a better writer, if you write with your own conviction and props and crutches rather than rely on others. I might be completely wrong, so ignore this advice too if you wish 🙂 Do it your way and stop asking people for their opinions. Write. You are a good writer, why ask? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. True.. just what you want.. and have enough faith in yourself.. I do 😀
        And tell you what? It usually turns out best if you are not conflicted by other sides.. Trust me..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. MY? WISE? WORDS?
        Oh my god.. I am in the phantom zone, am I? Nah, Eric.. there is no one wiser than you.. just think that good thought and proceed. I am just another silly prat you met on the way, trust me.. 🙂 Hey, but if you put my name in the acknowledgement section of your bestseller, shucks, why should I mind at all.. the more fool you 😀
        Just kidding.. and no, not wise at all.. just another senile soul.. young, but senile.. trust me..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. hehe.. ok, wise man.. (if I said wise guy, you would probably commit hara kiri, after all the non-new-world affinity I have shown hahaha)… and who are you calling old? I am just ancient..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. hehehe… Eric.. I am serious though.. just write, mein freund.. just get it out of the way.. the first draft.. kill it.. finish it before you lose heart.. once you stop, you will never get restarted.. this perfection business actually comes over so many dozen of edits.. not in the first draft.. just write.. and then polish it to perfection.. write more than you should and then clip quite a bit when you edit.. just go ahead and do it.. I am really keen on reading the final version.. so go ahead and do it..

        Liked by 1 person

      5. ah, I see… but still no.. disagree all you want.. just finish the entire set..

        But I see what you mean.. quite a conundrum.. I mean if the subsequent parts will run on what was already done in the first part.. yes.. true.. hmm.. I see what you mean.. still, use your own mind, your own decisions..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I read this twice to get a better feel and like no 3 because it is a bit more detailed. Then again, if the truth be told, all 3 options work. Go with the one that settles in your mind. Take your eyes off that particular passage for a moment. Good luck😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with most on here in that I prefer number two – I think it’s punchier and draws the reader in without giving everything away. I would also say the word ‘tummy’ felt a little bit wrong – ‘stomach’ or ‘gut’ would probably work better in the context of the piece. However, you’re obviously at early days with this and the language will come as you write more of the story 🙂 Good luck with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My two cents: I also prefer number two. It’s tighter and more present – instead of describing the past (his reaction to Will’s capture) it’s describing the present (his reaction to Will’s body rotting). More visceral and intense. The more you can make your opening scene about his present predicament versus “backstory” and “thoughts” the better. Still needs some editing, but definitely on the right track!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think number is the best, I feel the most sympathy for the POV character due to how you show us that he has recently experienced the loss of his only friend. I also like the conflict presented between the POV character being hungry, and the grotesque image of his friend rotting from the gallows. I think it ties everything nicely back to the character.

    Liked by 1 person

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