Author Topic: beginning of Chapt. One 429 words  (Read 772 times)

Offline zincala

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beginning of Chapt. One 429 words
« on: April 10, 2009, 09:52:28 AM »
Hey all,

Looking for some feedback on these first few paragraphs. Is there a hook here? How engaging is it and of course the writing itself.

Story Line:
Jane is an ordinary woman, like the rest of us, whose life doesnt seem to match the dreams and goals she once had. Her life isnt so bad, just not good, not at all what she had in mind. She's prayed for guidance and none has arrived, at least none she is consciously aware of. She blames her boyfriend, her job, and God. This book is similar in tone and genre to "The Shack."

She's just been laid off from her job and is taking a month to see if she can get her life together. Jane borrows her best friends cabin in the mountains (all this backstory appears in later chapters) She falls and hits her head and when she wakes up, she can hear animals and plants speak.  She's given the opportunity to learn about life on earth from the extraordinary blueprint Creator placed here for us revealed through the purpose and meaning of the natural world, characters such as an oak tree, a rattlesnake etc. In the end she finds life is hers alone to create and direct.

Any and all help much appreciated.
Thanks loads,

The Nature of Life
opening-Chapter One

     The loose gravel shifted under Jane’s tires as she pulled into the parking lot marked scenic overlook. It was a wicked grinding sound, like bones breaking, destructive and yet oddly satisfying; much the same sensation as popping the tiny air pockets in a sheet of bubble wrap. It gave her a sense of power; a feeling of control and right now she would take whatever small vestige of control she could find, where ever she could find it.  In this moment, personal empowerment lay under her tires and Jane wished she was driving a semi instead of a SUV. She bet a semi could really make the gravel scream.

      Immediately there was a flash of guilt, instant remorse at the idea she might be capable of hurting anything, even stones. Jane had always seen herself as the calm, kind and sensible. Easy going and agreeable, in fact, the past few years she may have become a too agreeable, bordering on spineless. That she would find herself today relishing the idea of destruction and pain was shockingly out of character.

      What the heck is wrong with me? But then Jane knew what was wrong. She was frustrated with the direction her life and powerless to change it. Nothing was turning out the way she wanted it to, the way she used to see it in her dreams. She was angry… angry with her journalism degree. For all the long years of education, she still hadn’t written anything that really mattered. She was furious with Dan for not being the man she needed him to be. She was outraged that all the dreams and plans she once had for her life were evaporating in front of her eyes like so much mist. Most of all, at the top of her list, she was really pissed off at God.

     Jane eased the SUV forward until it bumped the concrete parking barrier. She had passed this tourist site a couple of times and she was curious. It was down the road from the cabin she was staying in and each time she passed by, she promised herself she would stop and have a look. This time she would make good on her promise. She would only stop for a minute to take a quick peek. The groceries stowed in the back along with the ice cream she purchased wouldn’t allow her the luxury of a long idle. It wouldn’t do for her double-brownie chocolate fudge to melt. She was looking forward to finding tonight’s brand of comfort at the end of a spoon.


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Re: beginning of Chapt. One 429 words
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 10:31:30 AM »
Hi Z …

As you say … Jane is a pretty ordinary woman whose life isn’t exciting or glamorous & like all of us she blames everything on outside sources. Hey! What else is new?

So she falls and hits her head and upon awakening she can miraculously hear plants and animals speak and I assume, can converse with them as well.

Okay… its been done in “Lord Of The Rings” and “Doctor Dolittle.”

Nothing wrong with that and then after this catharsis,  including finding the creator’s blueprint and talking to trees and reptiles, she finds what she knew all along, her life is hers alone to create and direct.

Have you written a complete chapter by chapter outline of this story?

What I’m saying is that there is only so much talking to trees and critters that one can write about before it becomes repetitive and boring.

Or is this just an idea and the beginning of chapter one?

Your question” Is there a hook here? How engaging is it and of course the writing itself.”

Of course there’s a hook and if written correctly it will no doubt be engaging, but it is impossible to tell if it will be a good story until it is written or at least until a full synopsis is available.

I do believe that you can write and I just love this: … She was looking forward to finding tonight’s brand of comfort at the end of a spoon.

My advice? Write an outline Z, so that you have a beginning … a middle and an end.

Writers write write?


Offline zincala

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Re: beginning of Chapt. One 429 words
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 11:48:40 AM »
Thanks Indigo for the feedback. This is the first time I have had the opportunity to share anything with peers, exciting but kinda scary :o

This is the beginning of chapter one in a completed manuscript. I am in the 2nd draft about half way through. The outline has been done for quite a while. I am in the stage of questionitis, where you wonder if you should change this or that, or if it makes sense etc.

 The synposis I will do when it's done done and polished, about the same time I engage the dreaded query letter.

I appreciate your eyes on this and taking time to comment.