The man gave the soil a final compressing pat, making sure the young tree was well planted. Its body bent lamely under the weight of its three leaves, and as the man felt a small gust of wind flow through his hair he imagined he could see the brittle thing fighting to stay upright. It looked vulnerable and out of place, but the man’s job was done. He got to his feet and wiped his dirty hands on his stained jeans. “You know that thing won’t survive a day out here, right?” said a voice from a few feet from behind the man; the tone was curious at the same time sounding slightly condescending. “Nature takes care of its own” Replied the soil-stained man who hadn’t turned from the tiny plant. He could feel the smirk form on the strangers face, and wasn’t at all surprised when the
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited April 15, 2011).]
Agree about naming "the man" - it's feels distracting not to have it, and will start becoming confusing once more men arrive in the story. Why withold it?
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Is the "man" generic because he is not a primary character? Reading this, I feel like it's being told by someone watching both him and the person who is the "voice" behind him? If another person is watching this sequence unfold, then it makes sense for him to be nameless; otherwise, I agree with the above comments about the name. The agree with the above posters about some of the word usage as well.