Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chapter two

I think I'll post snippets from the HMS Albatross every once in awhile, that way (hopefully) no one can steal much.

***

After lunch, Lukas scanned the schoolyard in search of his older brother Jake. He spotted the new playground, which was surrounded by yellow tape and an orange, plastic fence. One piece of equipment stuck out like a sore thumb: a large pirate ship. Lukas moved close for a better look. He peered through the flimsy gate and marveled at the ship’s steering helm, a rope ladder that led to a crow’s nest, and a tubular slide that hung from the back like an over-sized rudder. The body of the ship was wooden and appeared to be handcrafted. The name, “H.M.S. ALBATROSS” was carved along the side. Lukas couldn’t discern if the ship was a new addition or a remnant from the old playground. But it certainly looked fun.

***

2 comments:

SuiginChou said...

1. "tubular," maybe I'm too much of an '80s child, but to me this is a word that trips me up because I keep wanting to read it as the surfer lingo adjective

2. "the body of the ship was wooden" seems very unnecessary to me. You tell me: is it wrong to think (as my brain did) that the sheer mention of a "pirate ship" evokes wood imagery? and that that imagery is cemented in with the description of a rope ladder leading to a crow's nest? and as all wooden boats are handcrafted, I think that the entire sentence could be dropped and we'd lose nothing.

3. Different readers will tell you different things, but my vote has always been, "When I'm reading about a kid's observations or thoughts, even if it's from the viewpoint of a 3rd person narrator, I'd prefer words befitting his age." So instead of "Lukas couldn't discern," I'd have opted for "Lukas couldn't tell." A child Lukas's age, in my brain, doesn't discern -- he tells. The verb doesn't fit the age, even though an ageless narrator is the one actually using the words. So ...

~Ryan-bastardization~ "Lukas couldn't tell if the ship was new or whether it was left over from the old playground. Either way, it certainly looked fun ..."

I dunno. I critique things too much. Ignore me. :p

Jay Fuller said...

No. Your last critique is especially good. I think I will make those corrections. Thanks!