Which one is better?
1- She made a defiant face, brought her leg down after what seemed like an eternity to Jackson, dropped in the wooden chair behind her and folded over, shoulders to knees like a dying ballet rag doll.
2 – She made a defiant face, brought her leg down after what felt like an eternity to Jackson, dropped in the wooden chair behind her and folded over, shoulders to knees. A ballet rag doll in the throes of death.
I don’t know. I do know “seemed” is not a fave, except used by a character in dialogue because things are or they aren’t. Or the passive -ing, but there are situations when it’s unavoidable. Nor do I care a great deal for simile/metaphor (“like something”). I know for a fact which one hits harder, and which one is typical middle-of-the-road writing. Is there a time when the characters and the scene require softer language than the fist-in-the-face? Does every line have to hit, or merely make its point and keep going?
There is a fluidity of motion in the first that I like, and a bigger picture of emotional distress in the second. The conflict is that we have, in this character’s mind at least, the possible death of her dream. Here’s a person who has been molded, created, trained to professional perfectionism that has run into a wall. Like all athletes, a possible career ending injury isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Further Consideration – All characters are gifts, even Valley Girl ballerinas, and she deserves the best I can give her as a writer, down to the smallest detail to make her shine. Or is that ridiculous?
Next time won’t be about me, promise. But we all face these things, don’t we?