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Author Topic: New Beginnings
cklabyrinth
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Well, here are the first 13 lines of my short story called New Beginnings. It's sort of an urban fantasy, but that's not really evident from just the first 13 lines since there's a lot of dialogue. Oh well, here it is:

By the time Johan had arrived at the scheduled meeting place, his customer was already there. This was unusual; Johan was always early to his appointments, and normally he had the advantage to insure the integrity of the meeting.
His customer, who was leaning against a lamp post, said, “You’re early.”
“So are you,” Johan observed.
“What can I say? I’m impatient.”
“Yes, well, I have the elixirs for you. Did you bring the money?”
“Yep, 35 florens, right?” His customer took out his wallet.
“Correct.”
After receiving payment, Johan removed four small bottles from his pockets and handed them to his customer, who looked them over and nodded in approval.
“Thanks,” he said.
“Don’t mention it. You know how to contact me when you need more,” Johan replied.

--
Hmmm, those are the first 13 lines in word at 12 point font, but it seems to be around 20 or so from this posting form on the website. Which is the right one to use? I don't see a preview button, so once I post this it might actually turn out to be more/less than it appears on the form.

I like to ramble aimlessly, if you can't tell.

EDIT: Ah, seems to be only 12 lines on the actual post..

[This message has been edited by cklabyrinth (edited March 25, 2005).]


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Exploding Monkey
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A couple of things:

First, it’s a pretty straightforward opening. There’s nothing too exciting to hook me other than the fact that Johan sells elixirs. It’s the nature of these elixirs that intrigues me. What are they? Magical potions? Half-baked concoctions? Illegal narcotics? Otherwise, there isn’t too much else to draw me in; it’s a simple business transaction.

Is the nature of his business forcing him underground? By the sound of it, he has no store and sets-up sales in pre arranged meeting locations. Kind of cloak and dagger, so if that’s the case I would suggest trying to make the opening a little more mysterious. If you use more subtle and suggestive ideas and less ‘telling’ I may want to keep reading. Here’s a quick example:

Johan scanned the park. He saw no cops, a jogger that just passed him seemed lost in her music, and an old man by the pond was too busy feeding crumbs to the fish to notice his presence. Good.

This is a quick and dirty example, but you get the point I hope. I have made him more mysterious now. Why does he seem so nervous? Now I want to know for sure what the heck it is that he is selling! Now I’m really wondering if he is a wizard or a pusher. I want to read on.

And finally, what is the “advantage” of his arrival before the client? Does he bless the soil to ensure a good sale? Does it give him time to case the place out?

[This message has been edited by Exploding Monkey (edited March 25, 2005).]


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cklabyrinth
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Yeah, him getting there first was to insure/ensure (not sure which to use, no motivation really to confirm one or the other) the integrity of the meeting. At least that's what I had written, but if that didn't convey my meaning to the point you had to ask about it I'll have to change it.

I'll send you the entire thing if you'd like, it's only about 4 pages double spaced. Be warned, though, I know there isn't much conflict in the entire thing - I still have to remedy that to a great degree.


EDIT: Oh, and Johan's customer is an undercover cop, which comes out about 15 lines later in something I also need to remedy.

[This message has been edited by cklabyrinth (edited March 25, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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Ditto Monkey. I'll add:

That was unusual;

could become

That was unusual:

since what follows is an explanation of why it's unusual.


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Rocklover
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Yup, monkey hit it. It needs more mystery. More thought process. And a few "hook" phrases such as "He knew, even as he smiled handing over the vials, his client had no idea of what she was buying. No idea of how she would suffer. No idea she had just sold her soul."
Or something like that.
You've got to get us wondering.
Oh, and YEAH, conflict has GOT to be there. Do you need ideas on possible conflicts? Hatrackers are great at generating ideas.
Just ask.

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cklabyrinth
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I revised it drastically in a new topic: New Beginnings (REVISED).


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