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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Death at the Wedding

We're back to six sentences from the wedding celebrations in tenth-century Burgos in The Seven Noble Knights of Lara. I feel especially vulnerable about this snippet because it's the first death scene in a book that will have many more. It has to be right. I'm kind of liking the oblique way it's portrayed, but that may not be right for the inciting incident of a family revenge saga. What do you think? I'm open to suggestions. I may have to set this scene aside until after I finish the entire first draft, but I appreciate your comments so very much! Thank you. 

By the time we get to this scene, we've seen Álvar Sánchez's charming self spend huge amounts of time with his cousin, the bride, doña Lambra, so any affection the reader has for the character should make this all the more heart-rending. After this, we have a lot of reaction and turmoil.

To set it up: there has been a contest of the knights' prowess on the riverbank, after which male egos have raged out of control. (The sentences are long -- I'll break them up after SSS treatment.)

* * * 


Gonzalo drove his fist into Álvar’s face so hard that he collapsed at the feet of his horse, which reared noisily, bringing its sharp hooves down on its rider’s flesh again and again until Muño Salido seized the reins and led it, still kicking, away. Álvar’s teeth bounced and rolled on the soft earth or landed on people’s pointed shoes like fallen pebbles. Shining blood sprouted from under his body and raced outward, covering the ground with a steaming red plague. Doña Lambra let out a scream much louder than any of the lance blows had been on the scaffold as Justa dropped to her knees and took Álvar’s bloodied head in her hands. The little page stooped and touched Álvar’s limp hands and still chest. They looked up at doña Lambra and shook their heads.


* * * 

I've had a suggestion for hearing his skull crack, but I'm feeling squeamish about that possibility. If a guy was trampled by a horse and we saw his teeth fall out and blood everywhere, I would assume the worst without listening for the crunch of bones, but maybe that's just me.

Thanks again for stopping by my blog! Check out the other snippets here.

Tomorrow and Wednesday: Gary Inbinder's The Flower to the Painter.