Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, May 23, 2011

First Two Pages

So, yeah, I mentioned last week that I felt I had lost my mojo. My posting this doesn't necessarily negate that. In fact, it took me quite a while to work through this.

Anyway, here's my question, folks: How's the hook? Do you feel hooked? I didn't like the opening to the last version of this, and this version will keep me from having to do severally massive rewrites (though there are always TONS of rewrites, no?). That aside, if you don't like it, that's okay, too. I'm still learning/teaching myself what works.

Any comments or critiques are more than welcome. Thanks for reading.

Fighting Fate, beginning of Chap 1 (465 words)

My Anabelle Lindsky
Anabelle watched in the mirror as her reflection disappeared. Before it dissolved completely, she squared her shoulders. A shudder ran over her spine. She swallowed her fear. She could no longer see herself, only the floral wallpaper behind her.
The moment of truth. She turned to the door and opened it as little as possible. In the hallway, she walked on the sides of her feet, trying to keep her dress shoes quiet. Another pair of shoes slapped the ground behind her.She flattened herself against the wall and held her breath until he turned a corner. She kept her eyes on that corner. How had she become such a coward? If she planned to do this, she needed to do it right. She pushed herself away from the wall and continued down the hall.
She slid past another guard at the entrance to the restricted areas. The Mansion’s walls glowed a brighter yellow than the halls she’d seen on the tour earlier. The cherry wood tables and chairs, which lined the walls in the public areas, were absent here. She worried she might get lost in the restricted area with no identifiable landmarks of furniture. She tried keeping a map in her head of the turns she took, but direction had never been her skill—no matter how much magic she injected into a mental map.
Instead of worrying about it, she focused on the magic she knew she could control. Invisibility. Seeking. She’d used it in middle school to avoid the mean girls. She’d used it in high school to avoid the teachers she didn’t like. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d used it to find the person she sought instead of avoid. She concentrated on her limited knowledge of her target—his physique, his personality, his likes and dislikes—and hoped she could get a trace on him.
She’d never used her seeking abilities on someone she hadn’t met before.
She continued wandering the halls until she sensed him behind a door. She backtracked around a corner and spotted a surveillance camera. In order to talk to him, she would have to become visible again, but she couldn’t do that in front of a camera. She’d never tried to disrupt electronic equipment, and she hoped she could manage. She reached up until she reached the wires behind the camera. She imagined the the last thirty seconds playing on a loop, a continual visual of nothing, and said a silent prayer to her guiding spirits for help.
Her throat constricted and she reached to tug at her collar. She’d never felt comfortable with things around her neck—turtleneck sweaters, tight necklaces, even her fingers to check her pulse. Despite the shaking in her chest, she listened for the door to open and prepared to drop her invisibility.


Jules said...

Okay I'm hooked; how did she get this magic, who is she looking for and why?

Glad to see your mojo is working again, though. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Maria said...

Love it! I also think Emma Roberts is perfect as A!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

There's some really great images in there. And I'm interested in where it's going to go. Who is she looking for? How did she get this power? What does it mean and why is she looking for someone any way? Nice job.

Jan Morrison said...

I'm hooked. I want to know what happens next.
As to your mojo, your muse, your whatever...don't wait for it. Just show up every day at the same time for the same amount of time and write whatever happens. Your muse will come back when she knows you're determined and aren't waiting for her (or him, or it)
Lots of love in this mean time...
Jan Morrison

Laura M. Campbell said...

I'm definitely hooked and can't wait to find out why she's seeking out the unnamed male. I would like the action to be sped up just a little bit after she leaves the room to mirror her anxiety. Great job!

M Pax said...

I really like how you're playing fear and cowardice with invisibility. I'm definitely curious as to what happens next. Why is she looking for the dude behind the door?

LTM said...

awesome! Good stuff, keep going... :o)

Joyce Lansky said...

You have an interesting beginning that forces the reader to ask a lot of questions? Who is this girl, and why is she able to make herself invisible? Also, why is she doing this at this time? These are the sorts of questions that drive the reader forward simply out of curiosity.

A couple of nits, because that's what I do as a critiquer . . .

I'd watch out for starting too many sentences with the word "she." I know this is sometimes hard to avoid, but the more you vary your sentence beginnings the better.

I'd like a little more detail in Annabelle disappearing. Did she suddenly phase out like a light switch or was it a gradual fade? These are the types of details that makes the reader feel like they are in your story. I get the idea that it was a fade due to the next sentence; however, that sentence is a backtrack. I think you need to be careful to get your time sequence in order, especially when dealing with picky agents and editors who will quit reading if page one doesn't grab them.

Also, you might want to experiment with combining some of these early sentences to improve the flow and syntactic variety of your passage. Too many simple sentences give a choppy feel, which is okay in an intense scene, but I don't think it's warranted at the beginning of your story.

I love the detail of the sound of the shoes. It's always wonderful to use multiple senses.

I like the idea of including the detailed furniture, however, I've always been told that it is better to write about what she sees as apposed to what she doesn't see. The glowing yellow halls is a great detail!

I also really like the background information on how she had used her invisibility in middle school and high school. It's quick, clear and to the point without bogging the reader down with too much back story.

Although I wrote a lot, I believe you have an excellent beginning that will catch someone's attention with a little tweaking. Good luck!


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