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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » Junkie - Short/Medium Length - Fiction Political Thriller

   
Author Topic: Junkie - Short/Medium Length - Fiction Political Thriller
Harry Palm
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I have written 837 words of a 10000 - 15000 word story. Here are the first 13 lines:

Ruya woke on a mattress usually found in a back-alley or city dump. She looked around for any familiarity, but the bare, fissured plaster walls and white paint flaking like a snake shedding its skin gave no bearings of her location. Only her company, an assortment of Khomeini bugs, jooks, and cockroaches verified she remained in the Middle East. Like a fog enveloping the city by the bay, fear veiled her senses and paralyzed her thoughts. A tingling sensation and numbness crept from Ruya’s neck to her face like a spider inching toward a trapped victim.

The door opened enough for Ruya to see a hallway with the same wall décor as her room, lit only by one lightbulb that was struggling to breathe. Through the door came four men, she

[ June 30, 2015, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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JSchuler
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quote:
I have written 837 words of a 10000 - 15000 word story
I advise you to finish writing your story, first. You haven't done enough to start worrying about the opening.

Also, your first thirteen stops at "Through the door came four men"

One tip, though:

quote:
Ruya woke on a mattress usually found in a back-alley or city dump. She looked around for any familiarity, but the bare, fissured plaster walls and white paint flaking like a snake shedding its skin gave no bearings of her location.
Standard rewrite of the above is "The author stared at a blank, white page, unsure of what to do."
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Scot
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Woman wakes up a prisoner in Middle Eastern squalor, then gets a visit.

Some nice, concrete details and a dangerous setting. I'd like to know more about what is going on though. This beginning implies that Ruya has no idea who/what/how/why. As an intelligent being, she should be immediately making causal connections and predictions. Once I have a better sense of what's happening, the physical details can be a pleasant spice.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I can understand the protagonist's fear, but the opening 13 lines don't tell me WHY she's afraid. Was she kidnapped? Is she being held hostage? The numbness makes me wonder if she was drugged.

Essentially, the thing that would really pull me in are her reactions and opinions of the place she's being held in. Maybe that's just me. I'm very fond of character driven narratives.

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