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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » first thirteen lines

   
Author Topic: first thirteen lines
Carl F
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We had travelled this back-woods Maine road many times, my old pickup and me. We have had to wait for moose to amble out of our way. Porcupines and skunks were carefully avoided and I’d rather not run over any suicidal raccoons, squirrels or chipmunks. We’ve had deer leap in front of us and had to stop suddenly, just as we did now. But this was not like anything we’d seen before.
We must have surprised her; her eyes were big and she looked frightened. We didn’t miss her by much. She was standing beside us with one hand on the truck bed and pointing something at me through the passenger side window with the other. Indecisive, she looked back into the pucker-brush she had emerged from. I could hear thrashing and cracking from that direction. I reached across to open the passenger door and waved her to get in.

What do you think?

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Carl F
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I should have included the title: AN ALIEN NAMED LORI. I may weave its plot to connect with another pair of finished books.
Please be patient with me.
I'll get the hang of this yet.

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pgrembrandt
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One thing I like about your opening is that it feels like you know this place and that helps make it real to me, the reader. It seems like a fun way to introduce an alien, too. One thing that's confusing to me is the personification of the truck. It makes it seem like there are two people in the truck already when the driver meets the alien. Also, it kind of confused me when you switched back and forth between "we" (meaning the driver and the truck) and "I"(meaning the driver). It seems like you have an interesting start, though.
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Carl F
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How can I make it more clear that the pickup is my only companion? I want to establish the idea that he is often solitary.
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kmsf
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I like the story and the way you set up the contrast between the usual critters and the one the narrator is about to pick up.

Just some thoughts. I can more easily paint the picture in my head with concrete language. It's not as easy to picture 'he fought the bear' as 'he punched at the bear's chest". Avoiding passive voice helps here as well.

Perhaps you could take advantage of First Person POV by telling the reader like he was sitting in the passenger seat. You could say, "This was my Maine. I'd driven this logging road…"

To make it more clear the pickup is your only companion, maybe give it a relationship with the narrator "my pick-up and I, with it's fenders more bondo than metal, had waited…" But I would ask how necessary it is to use "We", (and it may be for reasons of which I am not aware) because it seems to dilute the visual if we are to see the story through the narrator's eyes.


All that being said, from reading the lines my sense is that this is going to be a creepy and funny story. I hope this helps.

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Grumpy old guy
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I was going to helpfully make a suggestion about how to describe that the MC is alone in his truck and then I re-read the opening. I don't think you have an issue. The following makes it plain enough that he is anthropomorphising his truck; you did write:

We had travelled this back-woods Maine road many times, my old pickup and me

I think that makes it plain enough.

Phil.

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Carl F
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How about this..

We had travelled this back-woods Maine road many times, my old pickup and me; just the two of us. We have had to wait for moose to amble out of our way. Porcupines and skunks were carefully avoided and I’d rather not run over any suicidal raccoons, squirrels or chipmunks. We’ve had deer leap in front of us and had to stop suddenly, just as we did now. But this was not like anything we’d seen before.

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Carl F
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Should read "just the two of us now."
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