Author Topic: The question without an answer... First chapter - Opening Scene  (Read 1608 times)

Offline Writers Block

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This is an extract from the opening chapter of a story I wrote some time ago - fantasy with a romantic twist - I am actually stuck at the moment so it is on hold, but I am interested in peoples opinions on my opening seeing as I have given a few of mine, and I didnt hold any punches. ;)

“Answer the question Mr Smuggs,” instructed the Judge, Lord Battleguard.

“I’m sorry, my Lord,” responded the accused.  “Unfortunately I can’t answer the question.  It has no answer!”
Voices from the gallery and even down in the area where all the legal people were situated swept the courtroom.

“Silence,” thundered the Judge, “I will have order in this court.”  Lord Battleguard surveyed the court with his steely gaze; “perhaps you would care to explain Mr Smuggs, before you are found in contempt?”

Taking a moment to compose himself, Mr Smuggs began to explain.  “If I could respectfully request that I finish my explanation my Lord.  It is not my intention to make fun of the court.” Josary Smuggs paused to look at his Lordship.  Taking the silence as permission to continue, he began. “I can explain it simply, unfortunately that in itself needs further elaboration.  The reason I can’t answer the question with a yes, or a no, is that neither of those answers are the truth.  It is true that a body was found in my study.  It is further true that the body seemed to been have murdered, a fact born out in subsequent enquiries.  I can even state that I have absolutely no idea how it got there.”  Josary Smuggs paused to consider for a moment.  The silence in the courtroom was profound, yet expectant. “The reason that neither ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are not an answer to the question is because the question is about something that doesn’t exist!”

The court irrupted in an uproar. “Clear the Court,” bellowed Lord Battleguard.  “We will adjourn to my chamber and discuss this Mr Smuggs,” with a glance at the two Trial Examiners sitting below, Lord Battleguard strode from the room.

EDIT: just changed the name of a character in case peeps check it out in the future, one had a tentative name whilst I thought of one, and that depended on his role.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 06:05:48 AM by Writers Block »
I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Cathy C

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 09:31:13 PM »
Writers Block,

I liked this. You have an easy style that reads well and you seem to know what you're talking about. I like the fact that the piece you've given us is a hook on it's own and yet it could be the start, the middle or the end of your book.

Just a couple of points:

Quote
“I’m sorry, my Lord,” responded the accused.


I would put in here: 'the accused,Josary Smith. '  Giving him a name from the start would make the forth paragraph read better.

Quote
Taking a moment to compose himself, Mr Smith began to explain.

Mr Smith doesn't engage the reader, Josary would. You want the reader to get involved from the start and, as I'm assuming Josary is going to be the main character, you need the reader to identify with him? Give him a name from the get go, let him speak for himself.

Follow,
Quote
It is not my intention to make fun of the court
with, 'he paused to look at the judge.'

Quote
It is true that a body was found in my study.  It is further true that the body seemed to been have murdered, a fact born out in subsequent enquiries.  I can even state that I have absolutely no idea how it got there.”  Josary Smith paused to consider for a moment.  The silence in the courtroom was profound, yet expectant

I would italicize 'is' for emphasis: It is true that a body was found in my study.

Quote
Josary Smith paused to consider for a moment.

Drop the Smith but you have repeated 'paused to consider' here. Can you try: Josary's brow furrowed.... or, Josary halted...? You  know best because only you know this character at the moment.

Quote
The court irrupted in an uproar. “Clear the Court,” bellowed Lord Battleguard.  “We will adjourn to my chamber and discuss this Mr Smith,” with a glance at the two Trial Examiners sitting below, Lord Battleguard strode from the room.

I'm not sure but wouldn't erupted be better? Also, this last paragraph doesn't hold enough punch, not with the brilliant beginning you've written. I think Lord Battleguard should be more abrupt, his sentances shorter. eg.

“We will adjourn to my chamber and discuss this Mr Smith?” (is he asking him to go with him or is he telling him what he's going to do? You should make this clear.) With a glare at the two Trial Examiners sitting below him he rose, striding furiously from the room.


Excellent start Writers Block, can't wait to read more

CATHY C



Novel: Where There’s Smoke. Published by Fireborn publishing http://amzn.to/2tZKNCn

Short Story: A Killer Week Published by Bridge House http://amzn.to/2rhLVAX

Offline Writers Block

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2006, 05:17:58 PM »
Hey

Thanks for your nice comments, lots of good advice, yeh spelling mistake crept in 'irrupted'

Funny really I started off with the intention of smith being the hero, he is now likely to be the villain, however he will still be a principle character.  Battleguard will be on of the other main characters.  The third isnt introduced untill chapter two - however she gets chapter two almost to herself. ;D

I suspect that I am stuck as I didnt spend enough time planning the characters beforehand.  Although changing smith from hero to villain probably hasn't helped.

Hmmm, well spotted on the last paragraph, didn't see it. Incidentely its a first draft.

Once again, thx for comments.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Doug

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2006, 12:54:01 PM »
The power of command is apparent in your writing. Having been in the Navy, I was always facinated by the fact that there are leaders and followers, you are a leader. I enjoyed the writing style very much - great story. Looking for more.
Doug

Offline Writers Block

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2006, 06:56:48 PM »
Quote
you are a leader

Hmmm, you mean I'm bossy right?  ;D

Interesting what you wrote, would love to know how you came to your conclusions.

Thank you for what you said about it though, much appreciated.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline Doug

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2006, 02:17:53 PM »
I think your abilities are apparent in your writing style. Your comments remind me of a college professor I once had. Good comments and reviews.
Doug

Offline writerfox

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Re: The question without an answer...
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 12:55:04 PM »
Very good courtroom scene, easy to read, and I must admit, I am intrigued at the thought of what will happen next.  I ask myself, "is this Smuggs guy good or bad?  With a name like that, he must be evil."  Good job.  I cannot point out any faults in your story, unlike some people do in other people's. *cough*