Author Topic: Revised Opening.  (Read 1901 times)

Offline minusthematt

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 10:14:02 PM »
I think if you want this particular style to work you need to give the reader a hint to the character's disposition much earlier then the choppy, flitted thoughts could work. There's nothing wrong with a character study.

A simple change like opening with the narrator's awareness of boring his listener would set up immediately the expectation for the reader.

Something along these lines IMO: :-\ :-\ :-\
I’m boring her. I can tell, and in record time too. I don't care, I can't stop anyway. Even my beer has lost its bubbles, but I take a sip and continue.“Look, before I start, I should probably warn you. This isn’t one of those quick, cheery little stories that pretty girls like you are accustomed to hearing as you let men buy you a drink.”  I was trying to ensure that she would have a good time tonight, to restrain myself from, well, from my own thoughts.

So you object to it being started with a quotation? Your exact suggestion doesn't work since he can't be continuing or even boring her before he even starts- that would be even quicker of a record time!

But, hmm...I'll think on it. Thanks again.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2012, 10:21:55 PM »
No objection whatsoever. ;D Go with what you think will work best for your voice and style. ;)

Maybe he has already started with preliminary introductions and smalltalk and now thinks he needs to tell her a story to hold her interest. :-\ :-\ :-\
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Offline minusthematt

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2012, 10:29:33 PM »
Also, I apologize if I come off as argumentative. I'm just trying to fully understand the criticism. It's a healthy discussion, I think. I hope everyone agrees?

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2012, 10:36:55 PM »
For sure -- we're just readers who write sharing opinions. ;) ;) ;)

I think you have you be able to step back a little bit and see it through the eyes of a reader. It is important to establish a hook/character/conflict at the beginning of the story and also to set the tone for reader expectation, otherwise they feel cheated. Think of the different genres you know and imagine an opening line for each of them, they'll each have a distinct 'flavour' that sets up the narrative.

My suggestion, I hoped, would allow the reader to realise from straight off that this guy has difficulties and spends time with internal thought, which will allow you to continue with that type of self-talk and chop/change pattern when he's exploring his own mind and the fascination with the stories he likes to tell. JMO ;)
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Offline minusthematt

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 10:45:11 PM »
It's something to consider.

Though, the majority of my reading experience comes from literary classics-- a lot of which put a boulder of work onto the reader rather than make it easier for them. It's what I prefer in reading and so its what I'm accustomed to doing in writing. Obviously there's a fine line between creating rambling nonsense and good literature.

So, maybe a line before the quotation would help. I'll try and rework the text (it's not long, I could do a lot of rewriting) and post up an alternate version. However, I consider it the duty of a reader to not look at text like this and say "pfffffft, this doesn't read like a story should!" bur rather think something like "Now I wonder why it's like this?"-- because it's not without reason. Again, just my take and my philosophy of reading and writing. I'm often very bored by straightforward story-telling. That's coincidentally a little side theme of this story.

I'll post in here tomorrow a re-worked beginning and also attach the full version if anyone is interested. I'll also try to do a bit more criticism for others, but I might not have the time until the weekend.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2012, 10:52:01 PM »
I'm sure you'll work it out and won't compromise your literary integrity. ;)

Once you get the opening established, the other passages I had 'oranged' before will make more sense in the greater scheme of things.

It's fine to aim for literary ambition, but you have to get the reader to turn the page and you don't know who might pick up the story -- what would be so wrong to appeal to the masses in a few opening lines then convert them before they know it? Sweep them along and use irony and parody to your best subversive effect. Sneaky is good!  >:D >:D >:D
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Offline minusthematt

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Re: Beginning "Part" of a Story.
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2012, 03:52:07 PM »
Mmmmk, updated with everyone's feedback in mind.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2012, 05:17:31 PM »
P5 on the download: She’s become very hard to read,

P6: tight tucked in-black t-shirt ->>> tight, tucked-in black t-shirt

P7: but instead I just gave a light tap on the side of their his arm.

P7: and said, ‘Can I help you?’

P7: and asked,Where are you taking the girl?’

P8: The man in red answered,To a new home’ and with my wit I replied,What’s wrong with her old home?

I believe the quoted dialogue within these exchanges requires a capital letter to begin them because they sound like the beginning of sentences, hence the corrections I offered.

I think this is almost metafiction, but I'm not sure :-\

Metafiction, noun: Fiction in which the author self-consciously alludes to the artificiality or literariness of a work by parodying or departing from novelistic conventions and traditional narrative techniques.
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Offline minusthematt

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2012, 05:33:48 PM »
I don't think it's metafiction. It's the narrator that digresses and makes comments, not me as the author.

Yeah, I'm not sure why I did that with the quotations. I'll fix it.

Do you think that the beginning reads any better?

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 05:39:02 PM »
I'm biased :-[ But, yes :) I think now you could bring up P2 to just before you use the dialogue as it would offer an explanation, almost an apology, for what he is about to subject her to. ;D JMO ;)

Just noticed a little typo: brushing back or [of] her
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Offline Margarett

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 07:02:42 PM »
oooooooooookayyyyyyyy  ??? I will not breach even absentmindedly into this realm of writ.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "

Offline minusthematt

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2012, 08:04:56 AM »
oooooooooookayyyyyyyy  ??? I will not breach even absentmindedly into this realm of writ.

What does that even mean?

Offline Margarett

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2012, 10:15:59 PM »
What does that even mean?


Oh I do apologize, to splane my sliliness... I only meant that this was above my education. I thought that I could not offer much in the way of help...  and I was playing with a new word that I had read for the first time ;)..

absentmindedness.. hope you do not mind.

Again I apologize.
Dance in the raindrops. Slide down a rainbow. Make our world a more beautiful place. Keep a smile handy and give them away.
After all they are free!  " SMILE "

Offline minusthematt

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2012, 10:46:30 PM »
It's cool, I'm not offended...I just had know idea what you meant :P

Offline Katinka

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Re: Revised Opening.
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2012, 08:56:30 AM »
minusthematt,

I agree with the other posters. My two-pence would be: if the author has to explain his intentions and the story to the reader after the fact, it's not clear. When you write for an audience, and every writer should, then the audience should have a clue about the intention the author has. JMO

Kat