What do you think?

I've felt like I've been a really weird limbo with my writing the last few weeks.  I finished the 3rd draft of Forsaken.  I've started this new project, Eden.  I've also been working on another round of edits to Branded (again... does it ever end?).  I finally decided to focus on working on Branded again.  I've been going through and fixing awkward sentences and I've also been adding in some short scenes from Jessica (my MC's) past.  I think maybe this is what has been missing that agent's aren't liking.  They need to know her better.

I'm struggling though.  I have two different versions of the opening scene.  They're very similar, just worded a little different.  I know which one I think is better but I've had other people tell me the opposite.  I've asked several people and am getting totally split answers.

So, I need all your help!  Which is better:

Option #1:

When you go 108 hours, four and a half days without sleep, your body starts to do strange things.


Mine was shutting down and panicking at the same time.

My heart pounded despite the fatigue that consumed me. My ears rang so loudly I couldn’t even hear the breeze as it blew through the towering trees that surrounded me. My eyes ached so horribly I wanted to throw up. If I looked in a mirror I knew they would be bloodshot and swollen. I felt delusional and jumped at every shadow that danced on the black lake surface, sure it was a demon come to carry me away.

I was so tired.

Don’t fall asleep.

I paced on the dock, the moon shining brightly above me. I couldn’t fall asleep; I wouldn’t let myself fall asleep. To sleep brought terror no one could understand.

I counted my steps as I paced. Fourteen… fifteen… sixteen… I never lost count despite the fact that I didn’t consciously do it. I couldn’t help it, the numbers just came.

Just a few more hours. That was all I needed. In a few more hours I would be ready to face the terror that came with sleep. I could face the judgments of the angels and those that had no right to be called such. I had made it 108 hours already; I could make it just two or three more.

I couldn’t fight this any longer though. I was going to have to sleep and it was going to have to be now. I had learned better than to fight it this long.

My breathing increased rapidly as I forced myself to walk back toward the deserted house that looked toward the east side of the lake. My head spun and I feared I might pass out right then and there on the cold wooden planks.

Silent walls greeted me as I entered the house. I had been the caretaker for just over a year and a half and not once had the elderly owners come to stay. That was for the best. They would know I was crazy after only a few days.

Panic saturated my system as I stumbled through the door that led to my basement apartment. My eyelids were winning though. My legs protested in fatigue as I staggered into my bedroom. I barely made it to my bed before collapsing.

 
Option #2:
 
This was the time of night when panic started to set in.


The white puffs of air that came from my nose and mouth were billowing faster and faster as my breathing sped up. My palms started sweating, but because the temperature hovered just below freezing, it made my fingers all the more frozen. The pounding of my heart raced in the all too familiar way as it threatened to beat out of my chest. But despite all these reactions of panic, my eyelids were growing heavier by the second. My eyes ached and I knew if I were to look in a mirror they would be bloodshot and swollen.

When you go 108 hours, four and a half days without sleep, your body starts to do strange things.

I continued to pace back and forth on the dock, counting under my breath as each step was taken. Seven…eight…nine…ten. It was strange how I never lost count, even if I didn’t exactly choose to do the counting. I couldn’t help it, the numbers just came.

The water was perfectly calm on the lake, an exact duplicate of the full moon reflecting on its surface. With the towering evergreens that surrounded it there was a feeling of being in a gigantic bowl, of being cradled in the arms of Mother Nature. No wind stirred the air, did not ruffle my unruly, curly hair that hung down my back, trailing down the sweater that clung to my shaking shoulders.

Seventeen…eighteen…nineteen. I knew I was losing the battle and in my desperation I started a set of jumping-jacks. Not exactly an easy thing to do when your footing starts to rock back and forth. However, it fulfilled its purpose of waking me up –slightly.

Just a few more hours. That was all I needed. In a few more hours I would be ready to face the terror that came with sleep. I could face the judgments of the angels and those that had no right to be called such. I had made it 108 hours already; I could make it just two or three more.

I wasn’t fool enough to believe that though. All the jumping around on the dock bought me a few more minutes but there was no way I was going to make it even a half hour longer. I could feel the fatigue setting in and I knew I couldn’t fight it any more. My limbs were sluggish and felt heavy. My mind felt muddled and unfocused. My ears were ringing so loudly I could not distinguish any other sounds.

I was going to have to sleep and it was going to have to be now. I had learned better than to fight it for this long.

My breathing increased rapidly as I started the walk from the dock that sprouted off the deck that led back up to the large deserted house that looked toward the east side of the lake. My head spun and I knew that if I did not control my breathing soon I was going to pass out right then and there on the cold wooden planks.

The house was empty as always. I had been the caretaker here for just over a year and a half now and not once had the elderly owners come to visit. This was for the best. Problems I would rather not have to deal with would arise if we were to stay in the house at the same time for too long. Not because of personality clashes, the owners were very nice people. But once they spent the night here they would question my state of mind, my sanity, and I would be forced to leave. Too many people already thought I was crazy.

My heart raced and pounded but my eyelids were winning as I trudged through the basement entrance that led to my apartment. My legs protested in fatigue as I stumbled through the door and across the floor. I barely made it to my bed before collapsing.

 
Please let me know what you think!  I've only got about 50 pages more to edit!  Then I'll resubmit to the agents who looked at it before.  Plus, I've found about 12 new agents I haven't submitted to!
 
Thank you all!

2 comments:

reberto.alberto said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kassie said...

#2