I have a few sites I post portions of my work to. I use multiple sites because I only get a few replies from each, the more I get the better I understand what should be fixed according to readers. The biggest complaint I got (Next to spelling) is my imagery is week. Now I don’t have this problem all the way through my novel, but in portions of it. As I am still learning I find taking the advice from more experienced writers is important. So I looked for a site that would help me and I found this http://www.merriam-webster.com/ I spent a lot of time fixing the first half of my prologue, which is funny considering I don’t even know if I am going to use it. I have gotten mixed messages as far as that goes, some told me I needed one, others say I don’t. Time will tell, for now I will make it the best I can. If you want to compare you can find my first draft here : http://artfulhelix.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/rewrite-of-prologue-for-helix/
“Mr. President, may I have a moment of your time?” Mrs. Pickett asked knowing he won’t listen, but Grace insists on trying one last time.
“Yes, of course. Give me five minutes gentlemen,” the president says to those near him. “I will meat you in my office.”
The President is very busy these days. Planing a war, making sure as many people as possible are safe deep under the earth’s surface, all while keeping the peace would take a lot out of any man. Mountains of paperwork cover his desk. His food is often left uneaten. He would have little time for his family if they were still home. Five minutes is a lot to ask of him.
“Grace, this isn’t the best time, the Secretary of Defense is waiting in my office. You are supposed to be in the Washington colony by now.” The presadant told her.
“I know, that’s why we are here, this office has been empty for months. I had to come and say good bye, I had to…..” She said. Tears starting to well in her eyes, her words stop short. He pulls a handkerchief from his breast pocket, dabbing at the tears gently.
“I know, I’m going to miss you too. I can’t go with you, no matter how many times you ask. My place is here. Our country needs me. I love you Grace, but I can’t go with you.”
Fighting back tears of his own, trying to be strong for her sake. He holds her close pressing his lips to hers tenderly. They melt into each other, unwilling to let go, wanting this moment to last for ever.
“If you stay you could die. I don’t wont to live in a world without you. I know we may not win the war… I may never see you again… I’ll stay here with you. I’ll die, I don’t care as long as we are together!” She said
She realizes she has raised her voice too much. Regaining her composure, she breathes in slowly, deeply.
“Don’t worry about me, Grace, I’ll be fine. We will win the war, and then we can be together again. Just give us some time.” He lies to her knowing the United States is out matched. Trying to lie to himself, convince himself its true. He will go down fighting, he is no coward.
“If that’s true, why can’t I stay with you?”
Her makeup is running, her tears flowing black. She doesn’t reach to wipe them. Shunning away from him she doesn’t want to appear weak, that would be worse than dying.
“Grace look at me.” He grabs her chin, gently turning her head to face him. Etiquette is not important when the two of them are alone. “You know I love you, that is why you can’t stay. Put my mind at ease Grace and get into the Washington colony before the doors close. With you there safe I can concentrate on the task at hand, and when it is all over you can come back to me.”
“I will go my love, just know I leave my heart with you.”
Pressing into each other, arms locked, reluctant to let go. The moment can’t last. He gives her his monogrammed handkerchief to wipe the tears from her eyes. Staring at him, hands shaking she reaches to give it back.
“Hold onto it Grace, you can give it back when I see you again.”
She looks at it for a moment, unable to raise her eyes to meet his.
With one finger he lifts her gaze, locking his lips to her’s, forceful and wanting. Knowing it’s time, they let go. She pulls down on her jacket, runs her fingers through her hair, and wipes the black smudges from her face. Woefully she walks to the door. She pauses for just a moment with her hand on the doorknob. She knows she has to go. If she hesitates any longer, she will stay. She must make it to the colony before it closes.
He stands in the hallway watching her leave, his heart pulling at him to follow. He knows he will never see her again, or his wife and kids, but it is his duty to stay and fight, to die like a true soldier.