Revising Fiction Workshop and Opening Scene from Out of the Water

Only a month left of the Revising Fiction Workshop, hosted by author Barbara Rogan.

I can't help but sing the praises of this workshop; it's been a tremendous boost as I push through the final edits and *gasp* prepare for querying come September. It's hard work taking a hatchet to the novel - more than I've ever done before. I keep thinking it's edited, but it's never ever done, not until I've dissected every last word - but I keep relearning how wonderful it feels when I've put the work in and come out the other side with a better scene than ever before.

In honour of which, here're the opening paragraphs of Out of the Water!
She hurtled down the corridor, the slap of footsteps close behind. Her feet turned and her body followed, her thoughts a waterfall of words. Get away, get away, get away.


One flight, two flights, and she reached a long corridor lined with high windows, gasping for air. A haze of early morning light gave the damp, stone walls a forbidding aspect, as though they might start moving inward to trap her if she stayed in one position too long.


The smell of sizzling garlic made her want to stop in her tracks, accepting whatever might happen, if she could only have one bowlful of food.


Through an archway, she saw a man in an apron beside a pot bubbling over an open fire. He was a stranger; not one of the Inquisitors who'd removed her from her uncle Aram's house nor yet de Armas, the officer who'd questioned her last night.


Behind him, a door stood open to the gardens.


She grabbed a poker as she skidded past. He called out, lunging around the table, and she hooked the poker to the pot's rim and yanked, jumping back before the hot liquid could splash on her. His spoon clattered to the floor and he yelped as broth splattered across his arms.


Out through the door and across the herb garden, a crashing and banging coming from behind as the man followed her. She was halfway to the gate when a second man stood up among the mint, a fistful of green leaves in his hand.


She caught one glimpse of his gaping mouth and kept running, the strong scent of trampled dill rising up around her. Dirt flew in clods against her legs as she ran on and on, towards the forest at the edge of the field, clutching a stitch in her side, not stopping or looking behind her. She burst into the shelter of the branches and tramped through the undergrowth, slipping and sliding on pine needles, ears pricked to their utmost, straining for the sound of pursuit above her own thrashing.


She sprang out into a clearing and crashed into another man.
Share your opening scenes in the comments, if you'd like!
The authors at All The World's Our Page have posted a few already.

Comments

Zan Marie said…
OH MY GOODNESS! I love it, Deniz! Wow! I think I know what you've been doing lately. Great work. ; )
Trisha said…
This is totally action-packed and gripping! Great job Deniz!
Vicki Tremper said…
Yes, action-packed and full of sensory detail. Nice work!
Julius Cicero said…
A desperate flight for life and limb! I love it! Can't wait to read more!
Anonymous said…
You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

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Nadja Notariani said…
Is it Baha that she crashed into???? Now I need to know...

Nice opening, Deniz. ~ Nadja
Marji Laine said…
Nice opening. Very gripping and I liked how you wove the setting through the action without slowing it down.
I'm intrigued. Well done!
jamilajamison said…
Wow, I adore the opening! It gripped me right off, and now I'm dying to know what comes next. :D
Jillybean said…
Hey Deniz,

You know how much I love this, but I'll say it again:

I love this!

Great job! [bg]
Deniz Bevan said…
Yay! Thanks everyone! I need all the confidence boosting I can get :-)

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