Measure twice, cut once III

I wove the fabric for the princess’s wedding gown, so I know it’s perfect, but for one small flaw.

I wove it over the winter, a special commission. Pure white, reflecting the colours of the world. I didn’t use white thread, though – I used the soft grey wool from a lamb’s throat, jaybird feathers, words torn from old love letters, wisps of grass, dried violets, a single thread of my own brown hair. As I wove, I whispered old words over them, san fold songs – songs of snow and ice, of clouds and gulls and seafoam. I made white through my own will.

I sew the wedding gown, knowing the princess will look like a rose flowering in the snow. The prince will turn and look at her, and his face will light up – as it lit up when he used to look at me.

I smile as I stitch, embroidering the snowy cloth with flowers – roses, lilies, snowdrops. When it’s finished, there’s just that one flaw – that single thread of my hair, dancing across the train. I leave it there, just to remind him of me.

Ok, this is the third draft of this small story, for Tanya Cliff’s Writer’s Workshop at GoDogGo cafe.  This week we’re thinking about our opening – using a single sentence or paragraph to introduce character and conflict.

This means I’ve had to sacrifice my best sentence, but you have to kill your babies in this game.


3 thoughts on “Measure twice, cut once III

  1. This opening line is powerful. “but for one small flaw” creates intrigue. I do miss the “even blindfolded” part. It adds a sensory of sound, which is effective in the opening.

    Your first:

    Even blindfolded, I could tell what fabric I’m cutting from the sound it makes. This is heavy, made to drape like snow across a girl’s hips. I know, because I wove it.

    Your rewrite:

    I wove the fabric for the princess’s wedding gown, so I know it’s perfect, but for one small flaw.

    A possible hybrid:

    Even blindfolded, I could tell the quality of fabric from the sounds of the cuts. The cloth I wove for the princess’s wedding gown was perfect but for one small flaw.

    Or, maybe you could keep the rewritten open but add the “even blindfolded” line later.

    Either way, awesome job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 4: A Celebration and My #1 Writing Tip | Go Dog Go Café

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