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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sample Feedback: Betta’s Song Chapter One Excerpt 3

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

Attack (3)

            Narah slid down the steep slope to the waterbed. The channel was low today. She waded a few yards to a thick patch of tall grass her grandmother needed. With swift expertise Narah examined and picked the best pieces. Wrapping them together carefully, she laid them on the bank while searching out a special bouquet for Timon. Her hair kept falling in her face, slowing her progress. The narrow channel wound a jagged path through the rolling brown hills down from the mountains. Not many miles past their village towards the grasslands, it became a trickle and went underground.
            “I wonder if the tiny, blue flowers are open yet?” Narah’s voice rippled in the silence.
            She walked along the river’s edge to the far end of the village land, then into the water to round the narrow bend. The flowers glistened in the hot sun, their deep, dark blue a contrast to the pale sky. She bent low under a canopy of shiny leaves. The shallow stream had exposed Narah’s special hiding cave. She started to clear the debris from its entrance. A few feet into the cave the mud walls turned to rock and opened into a small tunnel. Narah liked to crawl inside to cool off on hot summer days. Although the other village children seldom came past the bend, Narah had often fashioned a grass overhang to hide the entrance.
            Narah hummed as she worked. Flies joined her, buzzing back and forth over her head. Hot sun warmed her back. A donkey brayed in the village, followed by muffled voices scolding.
            Bits of twigs, grass and mud covered Narah’s arms. She slid down to the stream to wash, then she lay in the sun. Above her an eagle swooped, diving and soaring.
            “How far to the next village, eagle? Can you see it?” Narah closed her eyes. “I will fix Betta a bed of our pillows,” she yawned, “to ease the shaking and the bumps of the cart tomorrow. Are you, too, going to hear the prophet? My uncle Timon is with him,” she mumbled drowsily.
Screams pierced Narah’s dreams. She sat up, startled, not sure where she was. The ground shook like a thunderstorm. Dust and smoke filled the air. Fire! A fire in the village. Narah ran through the stream, heedless of the rocks cutting into her feet.
            “Betta, Betta,” she sobbed.
            She scrambled up the steep bank, and ducked instinctively as a huge, black horse reared, narrowly missing Narah’s head. Horses? Narah cowered in the grass. Through the smoke she could barely make out figures. Soldiers and horses were dragging women and children into carts, and then setting the huts on fire. Narah choked. “Grandmother!”

Share: In what way do the sensory details strengthen or weaken the setting? How?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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