Author Topic: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words  (Read 2086 times)

Offline Paper tiger

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Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« on: July 15, 2008, 01:19:19 PM »
Hi

This is the Prologue to my novel in the writing 'Mirror Lines' All comments gratefully received.


Prologue

Iím standing near the kitchen door in my pyjamas hugging Sammy dog. He was my favourite cuddly toy when I was little and I loved him the best of all. He is just as I remember him, with his ear hanging off.  I look around and smile as I realise Iím somewhere that I know well. It feels like home and itís warm and comfortable, so it is. Everything is familiar; the curtains are red, yellow and blue with squares and lines repeating a pattern and thereís the old dresser standing in the corner, full of the best dinner plates. They remind me of where I grew up. Iím back in my Mammyís home amintah? But how did I get here?

I can smell dinner cooking and my mouth waters; ham and vegetables, my favourite. I look through to the kitchen and my Granny is talking to a man. I can see them but they canít see me. It makes me feel just like a shadow. Sunlight is shining in through the window surrounding Grannyís head as if she has a halo, God bless her.

It isnít often that a man comes to the house, and Iím curious. I crane my head around the door hoping to see what he looks like. His back is turned towards me; he has a dark suit on and heís wearing black brogues. I wonder if heís handsome like Paul McCartney. He has black hair in the same style as my favourite Beatle. Maybe he will be like that man who came around to see my Mammy not so long ago. He had black hair too. It canít be him because he hasnít got a Peeler uniform on. I didnít like him; he kept on talking to me and patted my head, and then he said that I was a good girlÖ yuk, yuk, yukÖ

It would be nice if we had a good man here all the time. If my Daddy came to live with us it would stop Patsy Healy and the other girls calling me names. I hate her; she just picks on me because I donít have a Daddy. One day I will wipe the smile off her fat, ugly face.

My Mammy says that I shouldnít worry about him, that if he chose to leave us heís not worth thinking about. She wonít tell me who he is even though Iíve asked her 512 trillion times and thatís a world record for asking a question. I canít think of any way to get it out of her. Even though she says I shouldnít think about him, I do. I wonder what he looks like and what sort of a person he is and why did he go? Maybe he had to leave us for a noble cause. He might think about us everyday, he might even be thinking about me right now. If I could see him Iím sure that I could persuade him to come home. I would be a good girl and make him feel a real part of the family and then I could tell Patsy Healy to go and boil her head.

I feel a sudden chill in the house as the sun disappears and I notice a different smell coming from the kitchen. It doesnít belong here and I feel something is wrong. Then it hits the back of my throat, and has a strong metallic tasteÖ Iím scared, I want to run into the kitchen and warn my Granny to be careful. But I canít move. I look down at my feet and I canít see them, theyíve sunk into the floor; itís like being trapped in hardened treacle. I shout and scream instead but no noise comes out. They canít hear me but I can hear Granny and the man arguing. He has a thick East Belfast accent and he still has his back to me. Iím desperate to see who he is. He has a large canvas holdall in his hand, it looks heavy. Granny is telling him to take his bag and take himself out of her house and back to Belfast. Iím still shouting and Iím really scared now, my mouthís wide open but no one can hear me. The man starts to plead with her; he doesnít want to go back. At last, he turns around, and sees me. Our eyes lock together. He looks familiar but Iíve never seen him before. Then he smiles and I understandÖ he looks like my Granny. He has a manís face but his smile is just like hers. I feel relieved and I start to think that everything will be all right.

ďHello wee Lesley,Ē he says and opens his arms offering to give me a hug. I look down and the treacle has gone soft. I can pull my feet out and run over to him. I jump into his arms.

I know as soon as he hugs me that this isnít my Daddy. The shirt he has on is wet. It feels strange; maybe he has spilt something on it. Then the scary metal taste, hits me again and I realise that the wetness is not an ordinary wetness. It isnít the sort of wetness you get from spilling a drink on yourself. Itís blood soaking his shirt, sticky warm blood. Now itís getting onto me and onto Sammy dog. Itís turning his fur red and soaking into my t-shirt. I pull away and look up into his face. Heís still smiling; itís as if he hasn't noticed whatís happening. But I see more blood, this time itís dribbling from the sides of his mouth. I look into his eyes and scream again.

This time the noise does come out and I wake up next to Sean shouting ďGranny help meĒ. Iím sweating and breathing heavily. Heís making soothing noises, holding me and trying to quieten me down.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 01:35:11 PM by Paper tiger »

Offline Wicked Redhead

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 03:36:35 PM »
Not bad...i got a little bored for it went on to long to get to the waking up. That's just my opinion though. The last part, quieten, doesn't work all that well i think. Maybe something like...

This time the noise does come out, "Granny help me." I scream into the night. Gasping for breath as sweat laces my forehead. Sean is beside me and i can not help but grip him hard.

I don't know, just a thought. Good luck.

Chris
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Orpheus

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 05:07:36 PM »
Hi Paper Tiger
 I guess this is meant to be written through the eyes of a little girl, but the beginning confused me, where you switched tenses.

Quote
Iím standing near the kitchen door in my pyjamas hugging Sammy dog. He was my favourite cuddly toy when I was little and I loved him the best of all.


The first sentence is present tense and it sounds like we are looking through the eyes of a child, then in the second sentence we're suddenly in the past tense. After this this we go back to the present again. If you could let me know what you're trying to say here it would help me understand the whole thing better.

Cheers Orph 


Offline Paper tiger

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 05:46:52 PM »
Thanks guys

I'll have a look at the ending again and maybe shorten the piece a bit. Orph, you are right about the tenses, thanks for spotting it. You'll see that she is in a nightmare and what I was trying to get at was that she recognises, at some level,  that she has gone back to her childhood. The dream itself is played out in the present... so I will fix the tense, thanks. ;)

PT

Offline Meredith

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 07:35:32 AM »
There is a lot of good description in here.  You did a great job of helping me see exactly what is going on.  I was also pulled along by the narration.

For a prologue, I don't know if this worked for me.  It's a somewhat interesting scene, but there wasn't anything in it that made me want to read more of the novel.

Here are some tiny things I noticed too, as I was reading along:

"...so it is."  I don't understand that phrase.

"amintah"  What is that word?

Is it 'yuk' like a chuckle, or 'yuck' like gross?

"She wonít tell me who he is even though Iíve asked her 512 trillion times and thatís a world record for asking a question." Loved that part.

"I shout and scream (remove instead), but no noise comes out."

I hope this is helpful!
"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think." Lord Byron

Offline Paper tiger

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 01:09:39 PM »
Hi Meredith

Thanks for the comments... very helpful. The two pieces of narration that you mention - 'so it is' and 'amintah' are both Northern Irish expressions. I'm trying to set the piece there. When the story starts I place the story in Larne. N. Ireland, (some of the action also takes place in Oz!)

I've been wondering whether I should use this nightmare scene as the prologue or whether I should splice it into the main story. You're right about the prologue needing to hook the reader into the main story. Food for thought.

Thanks again

Offline Linton

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2008, 10:33:59 AM »
Hi Paper Tiger

This is an interesting piece but I too got confused by the tense.  It kind of feels like she is recounting a nightmare to the reader, if that is the case adding something like "In my dream" at the beginning of the first sentence which might make it a little clearer.  There is some good work here if you tidy it up and straighten out the tense a little it could be very good.

Well done,
Linton

Offline Paper tiger

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2008, 01:47:10 PM »
Thanks Linton

That's very encouraging. Trying to show a dream or nightmare is a bit of a challenge. I put things in like sinking into treacle and feeling like a shadow and shouting but no noise coming out. When I think about my own dreams I feel as though I am fully part of them but somehow realise what is happening is very weird. It is difficult to know if this is post dream i.e. conscious rationalisation or that I am at some level aware that I am in a strange situation while I am asleep. Do you remember dreams or nightmares? What is your experience?

The idea of telling the reader at the beginning that she is in nightmare does not appeal because it is telling and not showing. Showing is what I really want to do. I will have to think of a better way of doing that right from the start. When I do I will post the piece again and maybe you can tell me what you think.

Have you posted any stories lately?

Thanks again.   :D

Offline Paper tiger

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 03:43:46 AM »
Thanks everyone for your comments. I have re drafted the Prologue and used the tips you gave me. How do you thinks it reads now?

Prologue   -    Mirror Lines

CloudsÖ Iím in the sky, surrounded by puffy white clouds. If I try to touch one, my hand goes right through. Itís like trying to touch mist. I can feel the sun on my back ... itís hot. Below me are lots of houses. One of them looks familiar. If I put my arms out to the side I can glide; all I have to do is angle myself and I can get in through the window. Now Iím standing near the kitchen door in my pyjamas hugging Sammy dog. Heís the best cuddly toy in the whole world even though his ear is hanging off. Heís my Sammy dog and no one else can have him. I look around and smile as I realise Iím somewhere that I know well. It feels like home and itís warm and comfortable, so it is. Everything is familiar; the curtains are red, yellow and blue with squares and lines repeating a pattern and thereís the old dresser standing in the corner, full of the best dinner plates. They remind me of where I grew up. Iím back in my Mammyís home amintah? But how did I get here?

I can smell dinner cooking and my mouth waters; ham and vegetables, my favourite. I look through to the kitchen and my Granny is talking to a man. I can see them but they canít see me. It makes me feel just like a shadow. Sunlight is shining in through the window surrounding Grannyís head as if she has a halo, God bless her.

It isnít often that a man comes to the house, and Iím curious. I crane my head around the door hoping to see what he looks like. His back is turned towards me; he has a dark suit on and heís wearing black brogues. I wonder if heís handsome like Paul McCartney. He has black hair in the same style as my favourite Beatle. Maybe he will be like that man who came around to see my Mammy not so long ago. He had black hair too. It canít be him because he hasnít got a Peeler uniform on. I didnít like him; he kept on talking to me and patted my head, and then he said that I was a good girlÖ yuck, yuck, yuckÖ

It would be nice if we had a good man here all the time. If my Daddy came to live with us it would stop Patsy Healy and the other girls calling me names. Yesterday she ran around the playground singing ďCry baby LesleyÖ go and find your DaddyĒ. I hate her; she just picks on me because I donít have a Daddy. One day I will wipe the smile off her fat, ugly face.

My Mammy says that I shouldnít worry about him, that if he chose to leave us heís not worth thinking about. She wonít tell me who he is even though Iíve asked her 512 trillion times and thatís a world record for asking a question. I canít think of any way to get it out of her. Even though she says I shouldnít think about him, I do. I wonder what he looks like and what sort of a person he is and why did he go? Maybe he had to leave us for a noble cause. He might think about us everyday, he might even be thinking about me right now. If I could see him Iím sure that I could persuade him to come home. I would be a good girl and make him feel a real part of the family and then I could tell Patsy Healy to go and boil her head.

I feel a sudden chill in the house as the sun disappears and I notice a different smell coming from the kitchen. It doesnít belong here and I feel something is wrong. Then it hits the back of my throat, and has a strong metallic tasteÖ Iím scared, I want to run into the kitchen and warn my Granny to be careful. But I canít move. I look down at my feet and I canít see them, theyíve sunk into the floor; itís like being trapped in hardened treacle. I shout and scream instead but no noise comes out. They canít hear me but I can hear Granny and the man arguing. He has a thick East Belfast accent and he still has his back to me. Iím desperate to see who he is. He has a large canvas holdall in his hand, it looks heavy. Granny is telling him to take his bag and take himself out of her house and back to Belfast. Iím still shouting and Iím really scared now, my mouthís wide open but no one can hear me. The man starts to plead with her; he doesnít want to go back. At last, he turns around, and sees me. Our eyes lock together. He looks familiar but Iíve never seen him before. Then he smiles and I understandÖ he looks like my Granny. He has a manís face but his smile is just like hers. I feel relieved and I start to think that everything will be all right.

ďHello wee Lesley,Ē he says and opens his arms offering to give me a hug. I look down and the treacle has gone soft. I can pull my feet out and run over to him. I jump into his arms.

I know as soon as he hugs me that this isnít my Daddy. The shirt he has on is wet. It feels strange; maybe he has spilt something on it. Then the scary metal taste, hits me again and I realise that the wetness is not an ordinary wetness. It isnít the sort of wetness you get from spilling a drink on yourself. Itís blood soaking his shirt, sticky warm blood. Now itís getting onto me and onto Sammy dog. Itís turning his fur red and soaking into my t-shirt. I pull away and look up into his face. Heís still smiling; itís as if he hasn't noticed whatís happening. But I see more blood, this time itís dribbling from the sides of his mouth. I look into his eyes and scream again.

This time the noise does come out and I wake up shouting ďGranny help me, Iím trappedĒ. Iím sweating and breathing heavily and holding onto Sean as if my life depended on it. Heís making soothing noises, holding me and trying to quieten me down.

Offline mustang6944

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2008, 11:50:57 AM »
I like the flow of it, but it still feels like the narrative is being told to someone, like a recounting of the dream. Not uncommon, my fiancee and I do it all the time. It all depends on how this incorporates in your story and the significance of the dream.

Offline debonu

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2021, 05:21:16 AM »
Prologue of mirror lines 92 words is a topic here that is for the ad of thousands times s per the author named Paper tiger. He is a full member with the 3 stars as per the writing of a novel that is best paper writing services received in the good and situational one.

Offline LenaMvx

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2021, 12:22:55 PM »
Hi!
I read both and  I feel a huge progress from your first shot and the revised version. It flows a lot better and we are more "thrown into" the head of your character.
One thing that I think could be improved on is that you rely a lot on "I feel". Your character feels this, and that, and then that again. She doesn't need to say "I feel", because it slows down your pace, makes your sentence heavier, and disconnects us from your character, in my opinion. You're at your best when you immediately surrounds us with your context, like with the smell of the food. So instead of "I feel a sudden chill in the house", for example, why not say "I feel something is wrong", just cut to "something is wrong". Cutting up your sentence will also make the rhythm harsher, and bring attention to the reader, showing a certain sense of panic. This can be applied several times during the text, and you've already improved a lot on that particular aspect since your first draft.

Offline katarina66

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Re: Prologue of 'Mirror Lines' 992 Words
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2021, 11:33:34 AM »
I enjoyed this, some great images. At one stage I thought she was a ghost, but when it all turned out to be a dream it made sense. I love stories set in Ireland or Scotland, so this would be a favourite of mine. I want to find out what caused the dream, so would absolutely want to read this. Maybe tighten it up a wee bit. I would have to know the rest of the story before I could advise on whether this should be a prologue or a chapter.