By Rebecca Carlson
A few days ago I came storming out of the cove and flopped myself down on the couch next to my husband. "This paragraph is TERRIBLE!" I said. "Help me figure out what to do with this terrible paragraph."
We picked up our pace and came into the valley just as the sun reached the top of the sky. A black wall of smoke rose from the grasslands, maybe only a mile northeast of the settlement. At the base of the smoke a red streak of flame crawled through the grass. People both on horseback and on foot had spread out along the fire line. It didn’t look like they were fighting the fire, only keeping an eye on it.
"It's a news report. A list of details," my husband said.
"You're right!" I jumped up. Any random objective observer could have said that. It didn't sound like someone who actually cared about what was going on. The point-of-view character isn't a news reporter covering someone else's problems. He's involved! He's invested! He's just come over the mountain and seen that there's a brush fire near his home!
But he's a shy and quiet sort of person. I have to coax him out. "Come on, Nathan, buddy, talk to me. How do you feel about this? What do you think?" I murmured as I went back to my computer.
We picked up our pace and came into the valley just as the sun reached the top of the sky. I relaxed a little when I saw that the black wall of smoke rising from the grasslands wasn’t too close to the settlement. People both on horseback and on foot had spread out along the fire line, shadows in front of the heat shimmer where the red flames crawled through the grass. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t fighting the fire. It looked like they were only keeping an eye on it.
Yeah, that's a little better. What do you think?