First Pages – Red Whale v2012

How bad is this. I called it “Blue Whale” in my previous post but it’s really called Red Whale. Makes me feel pretty bad, though the only person I insulted was myself. Besides the point – away we go.

The original:

The roar of the plane overhead was so close that all he could hear was the rumble of fuel spilling into the engines and his breathing, as if he was pushing his hands over his ears. The steel gray of the plane drifted over the building, and the road in front of him rose back up to volume; people greeting and saying goodbye, cars lunging in and out of lines. He could hear the next incoming plane, he tried to prepare himself for the noise. This plane was louder and much larger, he looked down the semi-circle street at the people. He saw their lips moving but didn’t hear anything but the cry of the turbines and his breath. The low hum of the vehicles and clicking of high heels in front of him bridging the gap between flights washed ashore in his ears once again.

Edits:

First sentence is alright, but has bothered me for some reason. Cut it down to:

All he could hear was the rumble of fuel spilling into the engines and his breathing, as if his ears were being pushed in by his hands.

We’re cutting out the whole image of the plane, but I think we’re getting enough of the it in the very next sentence. I’ve also rearranged the second part to focus more on the ‘sound’ instead of the action.

The steel-gray plane drifted overhead and the lane at his feet came back up to volume: people greeting and saying goodbye, cars idling and revving in a bumpy, asymmetric orchestra.

I must have been in love with “of the” during this previous edit. I was advised previously to cut out “at his feet” and I think the image of him standing there lost a lot of it’s proximity and setting doing so – now it’s back in. I also want to keep the ‘sound’ playing through with the cars and people.

The following sentences need to be combined in a new way.

The next incoming plane roar rose quickly and he tried to prepare himself for the noise. This one was louder and much larger. He looked down the semi-circle street at the people, saw greetings exchanged but heard nothing but the cry of the turbines and his breath.

I brought back the ‘roar’ taken out previously and refocused the tail end of the second sentence to be a lot more ‘important’.

The low hum of the vehicles and clicking of high heels around him that bridged the gap between flights washed ashore in his ears once again.

People wouldn’t be walking all over the busy pick-up lane in front of him, and it sounded sort of wonky that it was ‘bridging the gap’ instead of ‘bridged.’

So where does that leave us?

All he could hear was the rumble of fuel spilling into the engines and his breathing, as if his ears were being pushed in by his hands. The steel-gray plane drifted overhead and the lane at his feet came back up to volume: people greeting and saying goodbye, cars idling and revving in a bumpy, asymmetric orchestra. The next incoming plane roar rose quickly and tried he to prepare himself for the noise. This one was louder and much larger. He looked down the semi-circle street at the people, saw greetings exchanged but heard nothing but the cry of the turbines and his breath. The low hum of the vehicles and clicking of high heels around him that bridged the gap between flights washed ashore in his ears once again.

Sounds better to me. I think cutting down a page sentence by sentence works well to finding out how they fit together. They are a piece of the puzzle, a single chair in the filling sound of the band. Next time, we’ll go WAY back.

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