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[personal profile] ritaxis
Which is better?  This first one:

1. From the plane the land looked unscarred by long years of war, a great lustrous animal supporting the symbiont cities, fields, and parkland, pulsing with clean, new, intelligent roads, the tiny vehicles on them like the cells in a person's veins. But the scars existed still, subtle small ones and shocking big ones. Some injuries are slow to heal: others maybe never heal.

The little group -- five, counting Pablo's son who never knew anything of the war or its aftermath -- stepped tentatively out of the plane into the warmth of a day destined to be hot. None of them had been here in a very long time, and the place was unrecognizable. This little airport, for example, was only five years old, and had not even been a wistful hope when they were here before. Pablo detached himself from the group and approached one of the staff, an earnest, clear-eyed young man, and asked the way to Maris camp. "I heard there's a bus that goes there," he said.

 Or this second one?

2.Very likely they would not return to Maris after this one last time. The place was unrecognizable anyway. It looked unscarred by the long years of war: from the plane an observer could certainly not pick Maris out from the fertile land, crossed by clean, new, intelligent roads and the symbiotic vehicles that ran on them. But down there, the scars existed still, small subtle ones and shocking big ones. Some that would never heal, maybe.

The little group -- five, counting Pablo's son who had never seen the war's aftermath -- stepped tentatively into the early warmth of a day destined to be hot. Pablo detached himself from the group and approached one of the staff. "How do we get to Maris Camp?" he asked. "I heard there's a bus that goes there."

It's very exciting: I've decided where I will send Afterwar when I'm done, and I'm really close.


Date: 2006-07-24 06:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diminishedsheep.livejournal.com
I like the second one.

Date: 2006-07-24 09:07 am (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
From: [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
i prefer the second one; it feels more immediate.

and yay for being almost done!

Date: 2006-07-24 12:43 pm (UTC)
ext_6428: (Default)
From: [identity profile] coffeeandink.livejournal.com
I like the second one better.

Date: 2006-07-24 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cicadabug.livejournal.com
Not trying to be contrary to the popular wisdom but I like the approach of the first better, though there are good elements in both.

Random suggestions you can ignore:
The first sentence is really too long. I would consider breaking up the road description into a separate sentence. Also, as in the second example, I'd go with "*the* long war", or drop the whole "by long years of war", as that's going to become obvious shortly. I'd like to see a little bit more information about this group of five. As it stands, we get the impression that Pablo's son is a kid but the others are all much older. I think you could give us a lot of the impressions currently in the first paragraph through the eyes of the characters, and tell us a bit more about where they specifically are: the airport is new, yes, but what does it look like? How does it differ from the airport they remember here? Or was there none here? I think we may need to have a little bit more of a specific sense of place/people (not necessarily a lot, but you've given us the big picture very nicely but not yet the small one) fairly soon.

nitpick --> "For example" sort of jars in both cases.

I like it, though; I would keep reading beyond either of the above.

Date: 2006-07-24 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kip-w.livejournal.com
The first feels like exposition. The second feels like something starting to happen. I think you can tell which one I prefer.

Date: 2006-07-24 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kate-schaefer.livejournal.com
I agree with the majority here, and for Kip's reason. The first sentence of the second opening suggests a lot of backstory packed into very few words even as something happens in that sentence. I don't have to know precisely what that backstory is right away; knowing it's there makes the characters more real, and not bothering with what it is right now makes the story move.

Date: 2006-07-24 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com
In the first version, the emphasis is on the location and its backstory. In the second, the emphasis is on the people. So it depends which you want to call attention to, but if I had to choose, I'd pick the second.

Date: 2006-07-25 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] green-knight.livejournal.com
I like the first, it grounds me, gives me an idea what to expect, before drawing me into the story. To me, the second one read more detached; and I liked the way the first version zooms in.

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