That night, boats on the water could be heard in the distance. The lakeside diner's food mediocre, drinks warm, but the company kept had been perfect. She now stood before him. His fingertips gently ran along her smooth forehead as he brushed back the pitch black hair that hid her face. She closed her eyes, slightly turned into his hand, and soft lips brushed against his coarse palm. Her milky complexion seemed to glow against his sun-darkened skin. She turned and her cheek rested in his hand. Those piercing brown eyes opened and looked into his. His breath caught and his heart raced. Innocence lay heavily in her eyes. What the hell was he doing with her? His touch should not
First paragraph is a summary and explanation of several potentially potent sensations.
Second paragraph, the single sentence is also a summary of an action. Third parargraph closes narrative distance through expressing actions, sensations, thoughts, and emotions imitations. Next two single sentence paragraphs are summary, and the truncated final sentence a summary and rhetorical question. Unsettled narrative voice overall. The summary sentences are narrator veiwpoint. The one close narrative distance paragraph is character viewpoint. This opening rushes through scene setting.
Look to the first paragraph's predicate phrases, "heard," implied was for the "diner's food mediocre," "drinks warm," and final clause "had been" for sensations to develop the scene. "Heard," what sounds do the boats make that shows what kind of boats they are? Sailboats, motorboats, rowboats, yachts? What makes the food taste mediocre, and so on?
Overlap and interleave the descriptions with the viewpoint character's perceptions of them with emotional buildup, with conversation, with actions, with the sensations. This is scene writing, instead of summary and explanation lecturing. The emotional paragraph has the features of character viewpoint scene wedged in between narrator viewpoint summarizing the scene from outside the scene.
S1, what noises were the unseen boats making? Can you let me know it is night in a more concrete way; i.e. stars, moon, etc?
Short fiction is highly sensory, and flash fiction is more so. If it is important for a boat to make a sound, then I want to hear that sound. If it is important for food to be mediocre in order for dining company to be raised by comparison, then I want more information on the food, and I want more info on the company.
Much information can be conferred by implication. A diner never serves haute cuisine, so is this diner's cuisine mediocre compared with other diners? You have just described boats, so I know the diner is next to a body of water. I know her eyes are open when she looks into his eyes.
[On the soapbox: I believe the word 'seemed' is an abomination when a sensory description is involved. A thing either is or is not, for me, even when the POV character is dreaming or delusional. Perceptions can seem, example: "Mom seemed to be saying, yes." Whew... Off the soapbox.] (BTW, my soapbox renderings are the opinions of a raving lunatic.)
'What the hell was he doing with her?' I'm sorry, my friend, but this one strikes me funny. I can't get away from reading it as an emphatic exclamation. Kent
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