I thought I’d share some sentences I wrote but then deleted from various stories because the sentences were too full of purple prose or otherwise just not right.
Dew licked the earth’s skin, and morning slithered forth.
I tried my hand at present tense in a story set in springtime:
Beyond the hayfields, dense clouds blot out the horizon, but the sun will set nonetheless. Overhead, a murky sky presses down on my very being while swallows naively chirp and dance amongst skunky blossoms of the pear tree.
Later, in the same story when the sun is setting:
When the sky turns from grey to puce, the birds abandon their waltz and pear blossoms for hushed safety under the eaves.
These three orphaned sentences have a Western vibe:
The dusty landscape was silent, lifeless. To the east, brutal blue skies stretched to oblivion. To the west, a lenticular cloud, broad and dense and held up seemingly by magic, lingered above the thirsty cornfields and waited.
From a contemporary, suburban ghost story:
At the back of Dora Rathborne’s closet, in the shadowed space between her silk blouses on the left (sorted by color) and her slacks on the right, the face of her long-dead husband stared back and grinned.
And finally, my poor protagonist in Witch of the Manor House was trapped by an incoming storm:
The clouds made noise that rattled his chest, and the November wind hit the tree so hard that autumn leaves flew off like brown, sideways-falling snow.
While I like the sentences that I cut, I don’t necessarily like the surrounding paragraphs that are still in the stories (argh!). I wish I could write paragraphs that are strong enough to support the type of sentences I deleted. But I’m not there yet. This writing thing is harder than I thought, and my skill progression is slower than I expected. But, eh, what can ya do? I press on . . .
p.s. R.K. Russell published one of my poems for his Weekly Featured Poem series. I wrote this poem in memory of my high school classmate. She was a petite girl with pale, stick-straight hair that was oddly stiff, like a Barbie doll’s, and her voice was like a butterfly, beautiful but easily crushed by careless people. Even now, decades later, her death still haunts me.
Feature image by Jon Tyson on Unsplash