Hi. I'm toying with restarting my computer game thriller. I got completely stuck on the first version I attempted & think I need to start over. I have some new ideas on how to approach it. Here's 2 possible openers below. Please help me choose which works best. Are either too cliche?
It was a perfect Friday morning, Alyson was ill, it was pouring with rain. Whatâ€™s more, the game had arrived in the post. The twenty-four hour delivery supplement had been justified, seeing that it got here on the release date. The best thing about Alysonâ€™s illness was that it made her sound much worse than she felt. The summer cold bunged up her sinuses to the point that it was difficult to speak coherently. She had a slight headache, but the paracetamol would see to that. She picked up the phone and dialled her bossâ€™s direct line. â€śPhil,â€ť she said. Her voice sounded even worse than she was expecting. â€śIâ€™m ill. I wont be coming in today.â€ť â€śNo?â€ť
It was pouring with rain outside. Alyson was glad. She wouldnâ€™t have any reason to feel guilty about spending the day inside on her computer. There would be no excuses needed at work on Monday. No explanations for why she hadnâ€™t experienced an excitement filled weekend in the middle of summer. Today was going to be hers, or rather Alysiaâ€™s. She had already chosen a name for the character she would play in the computer game.
[This message has been edited by benskia (edited July 05, 2005).]
I agree, the second approach is better. It might be worth "saving" the idea of her throwing a sickie (as we say in the UK) for later use - it could be a good pointer as to how the game is becoming more and more important to her, and affecting her in the "real world". Whatever that is...
The last sentence, though, might need a bit of strengthening. "...a name for the character she would play in the computer game" is a little flat. Perhaps "...a name for her alter ego..."?
I preferred the first version, because it showed me more about Allision. It introduces the game, shows me how obsessed she is with it, and lets me know that she's an unreliable little liar right up front.
The second version doesn't have anything concrete in it at all, just a lot of vague telling.
I liked the second better when I read it just because it felt less choppy, but Beth is right there's way too much telling.
We want to see Alyson lying to her boss--I liked that. Maybe the information was all just given in the wrong order. Maybe...
"Alyson was ill and it was pouring rain. It was the perfect Friday mourning. Her game had arrived in the post, proving that the twenty four hour delivery supplement had been justified. There was no way she was going to work today. Alyson picked up the phone and dialed her boss's direct line. She snorted as much phlegm into her throat as she could, waiting for him to answer. 'Phillip Hernandez,' came the sound of her boss's growl. 'Phil,' she said, a smile stretching across her lips. Her voice sounded even better than she'd expected. 'I'm ill. I won't be coming into work today.'"
This is just an example. I like the story idea. You could go all kinds of ways with this one. Let us know when you've got more.