Author Topic: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words  (Read 3646 times)

Offline pastrami

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Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« on: March 27, 2008, 08:48:47 AM »
Made a few comments at the end.

Jane pulled the collar of her new maroon coat up around her neck. It had cost her almost a weeks salary, but it was crucial she made a good impression for her first date since Danny had left her two years ago.
Jane turned to look at Steve’s profile enhanced by the headlights of passing cars. He sensed she was looking at him and smiled without taking his eyes from the road.
The coat was warm but she also felt an inner glow from meeting someone she liked. It had been a long time since that feeling had enveloped her.

 Steve had been polite all evening and their conversation had been non-stop. His attention had been on her all-evening; no sideway glances at the attractive waitress as she walked away to get their order. Jane had almost asked if he thought the waitress pretty, but stopped herself. He would think she lacked confidence. Which was true.
In the car there was a break in their steady chatter, but she felt relaxed. Silence between a couple can be a good sign, she thought.
“Turn left here Steve. This is my road.”

The headlights of the car picked out rows of parked cars covered with a layer of frost. Her road was now empty. No one walking their dog; all that could be seen were the room lights sneaking through closed curtains.
“Just by the green car.” She said
 Steve stopped the car but kept the engine running, with cars parked either side; he was blocking the narrow road.
“ Thanks for a great evening Jane. I hope you enjoyed it?”
She turned to him and yellow highlights from the sodium street lights reflected in his grey eyes.
“Yes, I really enjoyed it.” She said.
“ Can I call you?”
“Yes, I’d look forward to that.”
Steve moved closer and Jane  leant forward to receive a kiss on the cheek.
Jane was uncertain and hesitated,” You don’t mind if I don’t invite you in. Need to be up early.”
“ No, that’s fine. As they say in the first date section,” Don’t invite him in, you don’t know where’s he’s been.”
Jane laughed and said. “ Stop it Steve. You’ll start me giggling again.”
“You’ve got a lovely giggle Jane.”
“ That’s not what I’ve been told.”
He smiled.

Jane closed the car door and bent forward to wave goodbye. Steve returned the wave and gently accelerated down the road and Jane watched the car turn  the corner  with its orange indicator flashing.
Jane felt the warm glow; not only by the thick coat she wore, but also by the bliss the evening had brought her. Steve had been more than she expected, and Jane wondered why it had taken a month to make the call to the dating agency.

Turning towards her house she approached the double garage. Her high heels clipped along the path as she pressed the sensor that opened the automatic door. A light in the garage should have come on, but it hadn’t worked for sometime. The sodium streetlights were enough for Jane to see her car and the door leading into the hall. As soon as she entered the garage she pressed the remote again. A strained rumble from the mechanism overtook the stiff door and it started to close.

Standing at the back of the darkened garage she put the sensor in her handbag. Suddenly she was aware of shuffling noise behind her and turned expecting to see the door wedged against an upturned cardboard box.
 What she saw was a bundle rolling under the garage door.  Her heart stopped, and her warm glow instantly turned to ice. For she realised the bundle was a man. He stumbled as he tried to stand.
Transfixed with terror, her whole body went numb as the intruder ran at her. She felt forced back with such power her head crashed against the brick wall. His forearm was now pressed against her neck forcing her Adams apple against her windpipe. She could not utter a word or scream and  now stood on tiptoe trying to release the pressure on her neck, but he just pressed harder.
 The sleeve of his anorak felt cold against her neck and she could smell the mixture of damp, musty clothes and alcohol.

His warm, foul breath brushed her cheek.
“ Fucking scream or you’re dead.” He whispered.


I was waiting in the supermarket car park and saw a woman enter her house by the garage and this senario came to me. I wanted capture the contrast of the event.

I think it works? :-\

The piece goes on but increases in terror and violence and may not be suitable for this site.

I'm trying to push my bounderies, away from the usual whimsical things I write.


pastrami

     



Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960

Offline girlbeastie

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 08:57:29 AM »
Wonderfully written, in my opinion. I love the contrast of the warmth and the sudden terror. I'd love to read the rest of it.

Offline michaeljpconlon

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 01:52:35 PM »
I think you have the basis of a good story.  I dont thing you need to mention the lights being sodium twice - the reader already knows this from the first time round.

Also i'd maybe mention were the date took place and what the atmosphere was like in the restruant prehaps use a place you've been yourself adn think of the first few things that come to mind.

keep writing

M]
x
Michael

Offline Solitaire

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 04:11:30 PM »
Pastrami--I think you caught the contrast well.

Kid--Women have Adam's Apples, they are just not so prominent.  You might want to Wiki the subject.

Solitaire

P.S.  Pastrami, Any more thoughts on the Biker?



Mweya

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2008, 04:30:35 PM »
I felt the idea was great, but I'm not sure that the contrast between the date and the intruder quite works.  While you were writing about the date I kept thinking "What's wrong with this guy, and when is he going to show his true colours?" so when a new character suddenly appears out of nowhere I assumed the two must be connected.  I think the problem is that the intruder makes the whole date thing seem a bit irrelevant without a connection between the two, and as the date took up most of the story , including the title, it should have more relevance than simply setting the scene.  She could have been to a feel-good movie, or out to dinner with family or friends to create the peaceful atmosphere.

I think it will make a really good story if you can connect the two incidents more closely.

domenic

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2008, 06:36:29 PM »
I only read the first three lines. I'm not saying you should cut at it like I did, but it has more words than needed.

Domenic



Made a few comments at the end.

Jane pulled the collar of her new maroon coat up around her neck. It had cost her almost a weeks salary, but it was crucial she made a good impression for her first date since Danny had left her two years ago.
Jane turned to look at Steve’s profile enhanced by the headlights

Jane pulled the collar of her new coat tightly at the neck. It was maroon, and more expensive than she could afford. It was idenical to the one Steve had last seen her wearing when he left two years ago.

Offline ma100

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2008, 08:30:01 PM »
A good start Pastrami. Will be back agin later when I have some time.
ps yeah i want to see mrs oil drum back too hehe. Will pm tommorow.

Mairi ;D

Offline Solitaire

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2008, 08:32:02 PM »
Re:  Mairi's Post

See!  There are a lot of Mrs. Oil Drum fans out there!

Solitaire

Offline pastrami

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 07:42:42 AM »
Thanks to everyone who made a comment.

Mywea: Obvously the idea didn't work for you. I understand your comment but I think it achieved my aims.

Domenic: Your comment is valid and on reflection I think the first feel- good section is a little too long. By concentrating on the "showing" of the car ride and dropping off, I failed to produce an early hook. I can imagine the reader pulling awayfrom the piece - not good.

michaeljpc: I think introducing the atmosphere in the retaurant would lengthen the start even more and therefore lose more readers.

girlbeastie: Thanks for your words. I have written more but as you can imagine it gets a bit horrific. ( Another of my exercises - to write of fear and horror).
 I assume you are a young girlbeastie, perhaps when you are older. ;D

Also thanks to solitaire and Mairi for your comments - always good to hear from you.

pastrami
Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960

Offline dedelite

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2008, 12:30:13 PM »
I think you did a great job describing the feelings leading up to a first date. It is so hard to get back out there. And then everything went so well. When she exited the car, her mind was filled with the warm feelings of being admired and having someone like her. 
The attack out of the blue is typical. She was caught off guard.  The last sentence "scream or your", shouldn't it be "don't scream".
Other than that I loved it.

dedelite

Offline Christopher Silva

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2008, 01:05:03 PM »
I liked this, very good piece.


Chris

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2008, 03:09:08 PM »
Pastrami,

You've got the contrast alright, but as others have suggested the cosy bit first seems a touch too long for a prelude.  The characterisation in that first part is good, Jane and Steve being sketched in without too  much detail.  Especially if Steve isn't going to feature again.

I also wondered about the attackers choice of words.  Unless he 'likes em to scream'.

Now, a couple of more specific comments.

Transfixed with terror, her whole body went numb as the intruder ran at her. She felt forced back with such power her head crashed against the brick wall. His forearm was now pressed against her neck forcing her Adams apple against her windpipe. She could not utter a word or scream and  now stood on tiptoe trying to release the pressure on her neck, but he just pressed harder.
 The sleeve of his anorak felt cold against her neck and she could smell the mixture of damp, musty clothes and alcohol.

His warm, foul breath brushed her cheek.
“ Fucking scream or you’re dead.” He whispered.


Sequences like this can benefit from being written in the present tense.  It tightens both the text and the tension.  It will also make the reader sit up and take notice even more, in the sense of 'this happening now, not just being told'.

Transfixed with terror, her whole body went numb as the intruder ran at her. Slammed back, her head crashing against the brick wall. His forearm pressing against her neck, instantly shutting off her windpipe. Unable to scream, instinctively rearing onto tiptoe to release some of the pressure on her neck, but he just pressed harder.  His other hand, savagely grabbing the front of her coat, pulled her down against the choaking arm.
   The smell  of damp, musty clothes and alcohol made her gag.
   His warm, foul breath brushed her cheek.
“ Fucking scream or you’re dead.” He whispered.


I took out 'She felt forced' because when you're attacked suddenly you don't feel.  You react, either with immobilising terror or rage.  Feeling really doesn't come into until you start describing it afterwards.

I added his other hand because unless he's one handed any attacker would be gripping the victim for extra security or already groping.  Jane's initial shock won't last long and she'll soon be flailing or kicking instinctively.  Getting a two-handed grip on the victim makes sense, even a drunk would know that.

Imagine yourself in both roles ;-)  (It'll probably be uncomfortable, but the insight can be priceless.)

I like the breath 'just brushing' her cheek.  That little touch of accidental gentleness ramps up the horror/tension far more than if it had 'burned' for example.

I hope Jane at least gets to rake a high heel down his shins and then grind it onto his foot, even if she eventually loses.  Women tell me this one is surprisingly instinctive.  Then it's teeth and claws time.  You can teach a girl any amount of clever 'martial arts stuff' but when fear and rage are unleashed the animal instincts of an untrained female are only just below ther surface.

On another thread I once mentioned deliberately cutting off the air supply of an eighteen year old Gypsy lass who didn't really believe the handful of tricks I was teaching her to beat off a would-be-rapist would work.  Her 'somewhat less than eight stone' failed to budge my twelve because she wasn't really trying.  But this was a lass I cared for and worried about - as much as my sister, and perhaps a bit more than I should - so I asked her if she really trusted me and then quite gently closed off  her throat.

After a shocked second of trusting quiesence she exploded. There really is no other word for it.  I stood no chance of keeping her pinned down, it was like trying to hold a twisting cat.  Short of doing real damage to shut her up - which wasn't part of the plan - I was on a hiding to nothing.  For a few seconds I was the one in danger as she did everything I'd taught her.  If I hadn't got an arm up- and down! - in time she would have crushed my testicles with her knee and my own windpipe with a killingly accurate punch delivered with real intent.

My missus - always chaperone to such training ;-) - screamed at her to stop and between the three of us real injury was avoided.

But believe me, there's little time for feeling in those split seconds.  On either side.  I still feel slightly sick recalling it.  Much coffee was consumed to absorb the surplus adrenaline, and I feel almost sorry for anyone who was foolish enough to subsequently trip her 'panic button'.

Gyppo 
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davidleejones13

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2008, 04:36:04 PM »
Pastrami,
I thought the story was well told. The constrast was striking but I think what would make the story even better, and this is just an opinion....

If during the date you describe Steves attire and what he was drinking, then at the end, the man, instead of a vagrant bum, was Steve. Do not mention his name though, just the smell of the drink on his breath and the sleeve of his arm trapping her.  There you have intensified the whole contrast of the story. Just an opinion, but I think that would really make a huge impact.

I did enjoy reading this one.

Lee

Offline pastrami

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2008, 05:01:04 PM »
Chris, Thanks for the comment, much apprecaited. :-*

Gyppo, I also appreciate the time you spent on my effort.

"scream or you'r dead," was a typo. Should be "and".

Yes the beginnig is too long.

Your example of changing to the present tense is a good example that I will keep fro reference. I have always had trouble with tenses and some of my earlier pieces always got picked up on this. So I try hard to make sure I stay in one .
However this raises the question of changing tenses in mid stream. This seems a bit too ambtious for me. (Perhaps it's because of my past experience makes me avoid trying it?) It don't seem easy especially when it's one of my weak area's.

Your experience with the gypsy girl is a help. Initially becoming immobile then exploding. This calls into question the following sequence I have written.
I had the Jane pressed up against the wall with his knee/leg between her leg and his hand over her crutch. This was done to introduce the sexual act that may or may not follow, but it don't make sense does it?

Initially her arms would be holding his arm against her neck, then she would explode and scratch his eyes out. 

Oh, well , back to the drawing board. Better to know now than later as they say.

pastrami 
 
Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Jane's date. ( Working title) 700 words
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2008, 08:13:25 PM »

Gyppo, I also appreciate the time you spent on my effort.

Your experience with the gypsy girl is a help. Initially becoming immobile then exploding. This calls into question the following sequence I have written.
 
I had the Jane pressed up against the wall with his knee/leg between her leg and his hand over her crutch. This was done to introduce the sexual act that may or may not follow, but it don't make sense does it?

Initially her arms would be holding his arm against her neck, then she would explode and scratch his eyes out. 

Oh, well , back to the drawing board. Better to know now than later as they say.

pastrami 
 

1:  You're welcome.

2:  One arm across the throat and the other hand making an initial grope still makes sense.  If the attacker hasn't had to deal with an 'exploding' woman before he would have no idea what might be about to happen to him.  His commonsense would be blinded by lust and presumably drink.

3)  Initially she probably would claw at the arm which was choking her, it's instinct to fight against the immediate threat.  My little friend was partially trained, so her reaction was one of pure instinct but directed by that little bit of knowledge.

As I said, cast yourself in both roles alternately.  Both will feel uncomfortable.  If they don't then you haven't quite got into the characters.

You may find that you just can't - or perhaps prefer not to - write violence, just as I can't really write 'horror'.  But it's good to try these things ;-)

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1