Got a promising e-mail this morning from the editor of a smallish literary magazine (Oasis, which doesn't appear to have a website) who'd like to have a backup reader look at the story I sent him, so he wants me to e-mail a copy. Can do. May or may not turn into a sale, but regardless, it's nice that he's interested.
So I wrote about 2000 words on the YA yesterday, and that's good. What's not so good is that I'm not loving my prose. It's feeling very workmanlike, very get-the-story-down, for the most part, and that just doesn't excite me. I'm hoping that I can fix that in revision (which will certainly entail retyping the entire thing, which has become the only way I get real revision done it seems), because it's just not satisfactory right now.
It's also especially not subtle -- I'm having a hard time balancing subtlety and sufficient information for the reader to maintain understanding and tension. Grumble.
They passed through villages which had clearly once been prosperous -- large houses, cobblestoned roads. The houses were empty, though; where there should have been dozens of people, there were only a few. And those few -- so many were injured, scarred. Many were missing limbs, and most looked thin, and far too hungry. Swati felt guilty about the fruit she had eaten that morning, the meat buns that the prince's party had eaten in the palace courtyard before setting off. For the first time in a week, she was conscious of the extra roll of fat at her waist, bared by the short sari blouse, and was grateful for the jacket which hid it from the eyes of hungry villagers.
Those eyes weren't reproachful, as she might have expected. Instead, they were adoring; as the prince's party rode by, a swift glittering throng, his people cheered. When they paused, the people crowded close for the touch of his hands -- and hers too. Mothers raised their babies to her, and Swati, bewildered, brushed her fingers across their foreheads, until they backed away, still cheering, shouting their thanks and praise of the handsome prince, the noble princess. Swati noticed that despite their adoration, they never called her beautiful.