I had to write a two paragraph scene three different ways - first with no emotions - more like a narrator. The second one could show a little more attachment, and then the final was to be completely in character. Here's what I came up with for the assignment.
It was the winter of 1878. A cold wind blew, shaking the windows of the log house. A woman shuddered and wrapped her shawl tighter around her shoulders. She tossed another log onto the dwindling flames. A child’s cry sounded from the bedroom. The woman stretched her back and directed her steps to the infant.
Screams reached a fevered pitch. The woman paced the room, patting the infant to no avail. A hound dog whimpered, nearly tripping the woman. The door open, followed by a blast of cold. A man entered.
North Dakota was always cold and the winter of 1878 was no exception. The blowing snow rattled the windows of the log cabin. Emily Wentworth shivered, drawing her shawl around her shivering shoulders. Jack should have been home by now. Was he caught in the blizzard? She tossed another log on the fire watching as the flames popped and sprang to life. Jack Junior set to howling. He never woke cooing, but always with a cry. Emily sighed and stretched her aching back before heading to the bedroom.
She picked up the infant as his screams intensified. Emily feared her milk wasn’t enough nourishment for the tyke. But at a month old, he wasn’t ready for anything else. A tear dripped off Emily’s chin as she nearly tripped over Tucker, their faithful dog. He looked up at her and whined as if asking her to make the cries stop. Emily paced to the kitchen when the door slammed open, followed by a cold blast of air. She shivered and watched as a snow covered man stepped in the room.
No Psychic Distance
Devil’s Lake, North Dakota was the opposite of its name when it came to winter time. Frigid air constantly blew off the lake. Folks said the winter of 1878 was the worst they’d ever seen and Emily Wentworth believed them. It was much too cold for a southern gal. Too bad she hadn’t considered that before she agreed to become a mail-order bride. Emily shivered, huddling in her shawl as she threw another log on the fire. She couldn’t allow it to go out or they’d freeze to death. Jack Junior bellowed from the bedroom. Would he ever wake up happy instead of angry at the world? Emily sighed and stretched her aching back. She’d just put the month-old infant down thirty minutes ago.
“Mama’s here.” Emily murmured as she adjusted the baby to her shoulder. She patted his back. Maybe she forgot to burp him again. Either that or her milk wasn’t satisfying her child. His insatiable hunger never seemed to be quenched. “Guess you’re too young for mashed potatoes.” Jack Junior’s screams pierced her heart. Will I ever learn how to be a good mother? A tear trickled down her cheek. Emily paced back and forth between the kitchen and the bedroom. Tucker, their hound dog, matched her steps, whining with each of Jack’s cries. Emily was about ready to give into her own sobbing when the kitchen door flew open. A snow covered man stumbled inside. She set the wailing child in the cradle by the fire and hurried to help her husband.
So what do you think? Which do you like better?