From chapter one of original proposal:
A soft mew whispered from the shadows beyond the car.
“Here kitty,” Becki cooed, rounding the car.
Something wonked the side of her head and bounced off her shoulder.
She dropped to her knees, white light exploding in her vision. A swishing sound whispered past her ears as blackness swallowed her.
Editor’s Commentary: Expand on the scene with Becki getting hit on the head with a beam in the barn to make it more suspenseful.
A soft mew whispered from the shadows.
Grateful for the distraction, Becki rounded the car. “Here, kitty.”
A thunk sounded behind her.
Heart pounding, she whirled on her heel.
A puff of dust floated up from around a block of wood on the floor.
She peered up at the hayloft, thinking a cat must have knocked it down. The dust and smell of moldy hay scratched her lungs.
Movement flashed in her peripheral vision. Something big. Much bigger than a cat.
She ducked behind an upturned wheelbarrow and squinted into the shadows. “Hello.” She took a deep breath, forced her voice louder. “Anyone there?”
A faint echo taunted her.
She strained to listen for movement, but she couldn’t hear anything over the roar of blood pulsing past her ears. She edged around the wheelbarrow and scanned the other direction.
Something shuffled behind her.
She spun toward the sound. “Who’s there?”
A figure lunged out of the shadows, swinging a hunk of wood.
She thrust up her arms. The wood glanced off and slammed into the side of her head. White light exploded in her vision. She dropped to her knees, tasting blood. The ground rushed toward her. Swishing whispered past her ears as blackness swallowed her.
First Draft Ending of Chapter One:
“Yeah, the one with night vision and motion trigger,” Josh muttered into the phone. “No not animals.” He pushed back a corner of the curtain and stared out into the deep blackness of the country night. “We’re looking to catch a human.”
Editor’s Commentary: Ending needs to be stronger/more compelling
Revised Ending of Chapter One:
“You think the note and incident in the barn are connected?” Obviously he did. Which meant whoever was slinking around the property had been expecting her.
First Draft ending of Chapter Two:
The jeep door opened. The guy climbed out, his heavy boots hitting the gravel with a thud. Boots that could dispense with Josh’s three-legged dog in one swift kick. The guy peeled off a jacket and slapped a ball cap on his head, exposing tattooed, steel arms. Army-olive fatigues completed the look of mercenary looking for action. The guy reached behind his seat.
Josh’s words blasted through her mind. Some guys will just as soon shoot a witness as run away. Abandoning the idea of holing up in the car, Becki whirled on her heel and ran for the house.
Editor’s Commentary: Although the heroine is frightened by the guy in the jeep, this is false suspense since the man turns out to be a friend of Josh’s.
My Fix: Since I liked the situation and wanted to keep it, I shifted the scenes so this became the middle of a scene in chapter three. It continues:
Some guys would just as soon shoot a witness as run away. Becki whirled on her heel and ran for the house.
“Hey, hold up there. Are you Bec?”
Bec? She stopped two yards from the door. Josh was the only one who called her that. This had to be the friend he’d called about borrowing the cameras. …