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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sample Feedback: Betta’s Song Chapter One Excerpt 4

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

Attack (4)

Narah crawled toward their hut. More horses galloped to the channel’s edge, reared and turned back. She flattened herself against the bank, sobbing. Two people struggled above her. Narah gasped. Iscah was desperately clinging to a large water basket. The soldier wrenched it from her grasp and flung it into the stream. Iscah let out a piercing wail and collapsed into a heap. Narah slid down the bank toward the water. The basket had lodged between two boulders and was rocking back and forth. Jael! Jael must be hidden inside. Trembling, Narah looked up. Black smoke billowed over the bank. She dashed into the water, grabbed off the lid. Jael was crouched inside choking on sobs. Narah pulled her out and kicked the basket loose to drift.
            “Come, Jael, come.”
            Narah hugged Jael tight and ran as fast as she could back down the channel around the bend. She stopped at the cave to push Jael in.
            “Go, Jael, go to the back.”
            Jael whimpered and clung to Narah. Narah took deep, gasping breaths. “Narah is coming too.” Narah crawled into the narrow opening. Jael buried her face in Narah’s lap. “Big sister,” she cried, then sobbed silently.
            Narah stiffened at the sound of splashing in the water. She edged backwards and lay on her stomach, eyes hidden behind the grass window. She froze. Their footprints were scattered all over the damp bank. A large, burly man rushed from the bend. Balak! Narah shook as Jael continued to cling, whimpering. Balak stopped for a moment and tilted his head as if listening. Then he strode upstream.
            Narah reached for a branch. Leaning forward as far as possible, she brushed their footprints, smearing them, but couldn’t reach the ones near the water. The ground shook again. The horses were in the stream. Narah pulled Jael to the back of the cave. The thunder grew closer. Her eyes fixed on the grass curtain, Narah rocked herself and Jael back and forth like Betta did when she sang to her after a bad dream.

Share: In what way do you connect to Narah emotionally in this scene? Or not? What makes the difference?

Read deep, marcy

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