Edits for Falling Down

Lately I received some amazing feedback on two of my Steampunk short stories and I have been working to edit them. I will show you progress on (London Bridge is) “Falling Down.”

Two of the things that came from the critique were: 1) I had left the husband out too much for him to play the role he does in the end and 2) I didn’t describe the London Bridge enough for the reader to see it as I do.

The bridge plays a huge part in this story and I absolutely did not give it enough justice. So, bellow, you will some slight adjustments I made.

I am trying to bring the husband forward more and also describe the bridge in more detail. By doing this, a happy result came to mind about the clockwork angel that is in the bridge. Before, I didn’t have the husband as the architect of the bridge, so having this random clockwork angel didn’t really fit that snugly. Now, with the husband as the architect, having a “last minuet adjustment to the design” helps me create an even more powerful reason for the angle to be there and also gives the husband a much better spotlight in this story. I know you can’t read all of that in just this scene here, but I hope you’ll see how even the smallest, slightest changes can add some great layers to your story.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again: Editing is your friend.

Before:

The people bothered her. She didn’t want to smile. She wished she had the parasol to hide her. The rim of her hat was not wide enough.

They buzzed and buzzed.

What if she threw a rock into the hive? Would they sting her? She welcomed the thought.

They were walking across the new bridge. Pulled by the mesmerizing hum. Margaret was chattering away, probably unaware herself they had followed the lull of the bridge.

She stepped close to the edge to study the minute detail of the clockwork. Her eyes slid over the curves and crevices of the workmanship. The dips and notches were hypnotic. The tension in her chest eased. She drew a deep breath.

“Don’t get so close. You’ll fall!” Margaret’s high, thin voice sliced into her mind.

After:

The people bothered her. She didn’t want to smile. She wished she had the parasol to hide her. The rim of her hat was not wide enough.

They buzzed and buzzed.

What if she threw a rock into the hive? Would they sting her? She welcomed the thought.

 A bright, sharp scent brought her to the present. She recognized it as metal from her husband’s tinkering. Metal mixed with the aroma of the oils he would carefully use to lubricate gears. They were walking across the new bridge. Pulled by the mesmerizing hum. Margaret was chattering away, unaware they had followed the lull of the bridge.

She stepped close to the edge to study the minute detail of the clockwork, amazed at the brilliancy of using gears for the movement of the bridge as well as in the design. Gears, while basic in their very function, able to work together to perform great tasks. Her eyes slid over the curves and crevices of the workmanship. The dips and notches were hypnotic. Gears of various shapes and sizes nested in and around each other, creating a beautiful kind of chaos that somehow felt natural. The enormous bridge constructed of these circles and notches. The tension in her chest eased. She drew a deep breath.

“Don’t get so close. You’ll fall!” Margaret’s high, thin voice sliced into her mind.

What are your thoughts?