Revised opening – Diary of a Hunter

Okay so, having dedicated my summer holidays to reading as much as possible (in between waiting for paint to dry) I have come to the conclusion that my book would be better written in third person.  Initially I figured this would be a fairly easy task, take out the “I”s and replace with “she” or “her” or “Amber”. Right?  Wrong.  I was always aware that, if Amber was really writing things down to keep track of events, she wouldn’t bother with, I was wearing a lovely floral skirt with tennis shoes or what colour someone’s hair was, she would just record events and facts.  Events and facts make for pretty unispiring reading so, I tried to include descriptions where I could but consequently they always felt clumsy.  Therefore, I realised that if I just added in third person wherever I’d used first I would still have the same problem, not enough description.  Instead I think I have to pretty much rewrite the whole thing, using what I can and adding, not only description but other characters viewpoints, alternative scenes and extra narrative as I go.  Great.

What follows is almost 500 words of my re-edit.  I think its a lot better, the descriptions are still a little clunky as I have literally just brain dumped this onto the page.  I probably should refine it first but I’m impatient.  Besides, I can be refining while people are reading and hopefully critiquing…

*deep breath*

Chapter 1.

“So what do we do now?” Asked Seth. “I mean, I know it’s not, well, I mean, you don’t..” He gave up and stared off, somewhere into the middle distance.  Next to him stood a petite redheaded female, her cheek twitched as she clenched and unclenched her jaw.   Ahead of them ran a small white and tan terrier, happily barking at birds as he chased them off, squawking their angry bird swears into the sky.

Seth took a deep breath, ran his hand through his wavy, shoulder length hair and tried again. “I take it you’re not planning on telling Duncan. Right?” Perhaps a direct approach would get something out of his currently silent companion. “Amber?” On the other hand she could be stubborn, infuriatingly so.  Years of hunting alone had done very little for her people skills.  Sure, she could turn it on when she needed to get information out of reluctant or fragile eyewitnesses, but, in general conversation she made his oaf of a brother sound eloquent.

Amber slowly sat down on a boulder, whose top had been smoothed with decades, probably centuries, of people doing the same, never taking her eyes off the dog.  He had lost interest in chasing birds on the ground and was instead barking at ducks.  Ducks that ignored him with the practised air of ducks who have been barked at by terriers since time immemorial.  Seth fidgeted, desperate for an answer but conscious of the dangers of pressing Amber too hard.  If the girl didn’t want to talk, he doubted even the most talented inquisitors could make her.  Usually he managed to remain patient with her, far more than his brother who tended to approach conversations like a charging bull.  Mind you Seth very much doubted Amber and Duncan had much in the way of deep and meaningful conversations.  They seemed to communicate on a more physical level.

“No, not yet.  Not until we know what it means.”  She spoke quietly and Seth almost didn’t catch her words.  He stepped closer as if he could intercept the softly uttered words before the wind swept the away.  When they had set out a few hours ago the day had been bright and almost warm enough to consider doing without a sweater, the nearer they had got to the lake the windier it had become and clouds had scudded across the sky dropping the temperature considerably.  “You know how he gets.” She tilted her face up to Seth, her amber eyes catching his and holding his stare.  As usual the eye contact was a warning, ‘and you better not tell him either’.  Seth opened his mouth to protest and Amber reinforced the unspoken warning with a thought.  She didn’t need to threaten Seth, just remind him what she was capable of.  In the time he had known her Seth had learned, Amber Thessaily was one scary witch.

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