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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Short Works » looking for insight

   
Author Topic: looking for insight
lemonmeringue
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I have the plotline ready and everything, I'm just having a hard time with the introductory scene. Here are the first thirteen lines of what I have:

"Hey, Jack."

Jack Clair looked up from his computer to see his boss gazing down at him. "Yeah?"

"After you're done with that, come see me. I got a new case for you," the man said brusquely.

Great, Jack thought as he returned to his keyword. His current case was running a statistical analysis of domestic violence in the Greater District. According to his current studies, spousal abuse had gone up since last March.

This wasn't the job he had in mind. Spending most of his days high on caffeine, staring blankly at the soft glow of his computer screen, Jack was getting restless. He had thought a career in criminology would be a perfect match for him, given


Any feedback is most certainly welcome.

[This message has been edited by lemonmeringue (edited February 06, 2006).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited February 07, 2006).]


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Susannaj4
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I'd switch things around, grouping like with like.

This wasn't the job Jack had in mind.He had thought a career in criminology would be a perfect match for him, given his kind of background. He was intrigued by what it was that made criminals tick, but instead of being given the chance to do hardcore research, here he was. Stuck looking at useless figures.
Spending most of his days high on caffeine, staring blankly at the soft glow of his computer screen, Jack was getting restless.
"Hey, Jack."
Jack Clair looked up from his computer to see his boss gazing down at him. "Yeah?"
"After you're done with that, come see me. I got a new case for you," the man said brusquely.
After quick consideration, Jack logged off and pushed his keyboard away from him. I need more coffee, he thought, making his way to snack room.

Even after that I might change the wording a bit.


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Marva
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In another writers' group I'm in there's a huge thread discussing the use of "Jack" as the name of the protagonist. The general verdict: trite, worn, pick another name. Being married to a Jack, I think it a fine hero's name, but you might consider that the name is really overused, particularly in B-grade movies.

As to your fragment, I agree with Susannah on changing the opening.

(I wish I could see the thread while typing the response. I forget names, except Jack, too easily.)


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KillerDonut
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Marva:
if you scroll down below where it says "submit reply" there is another window you can scroll through which has the thread in it.

I would have to say that this doesn't grip me at all. It just seems like the typical office scene. Nothing strikes me as really interesting to influence me to read on. Yes, you do set up a scene for conflict, but it doesn't intrigue me. What makes "Jack" different from anyone else? A glass eye that his coworkers find disturbing to look at?

I think Susanna made a good point. It would be better if you switched things around.

I know I'm being a bit harsh, but it's up to you whether to take my input and put them into actions. Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by KillerDonut (edited February 07, 2006).]


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Monolith
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Here goes with sounding too harsh.

You're opening was good. But your opening the way Susanna rewrote it was, IMO, much better. Here's why, once again, IMO.

1. I get a better feel for the MC.
2. He feels stuck in a job, while he daydreams about his dream job.

If you take her opening and work it a bit more, I'd say you'd have a better hook.

I would read more of your opening, but it might take longer to turn the page.

Once again, just my opinion.


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wbriggs
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Definitely: what Susanna said!

If you did it in that order, I wouldn't be hooked yet, but I'd keep reading. I have hope that the boss is about to assign an interesting case.


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