Sunday, April 22, 2007

New Beginning 264

The door bell tinkled, signaling the entrance of a new customer. I turned slowly on top of my precarious perch, making sure to keep my balance. After all, a ten-foot ladder isn't a fun place to take a nose dive off of.

The sight that greeted me swept all thoughts of my precarious perch, 10-foot drop, and even my middle name from my mind. There stood the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. No, surely the most gorgeous man in all of creation. About 6'4" and solid muscle, and the most amazing chest . . . The whole world stopped as my eyes took in the sights. His dark brown hair—black? I couldn't tell with the light behind him—topped with a baseball cap. His hair curled just slightly—I flexed my fingers, aching to run them through his hair. And those biceps! I used to tease my guy friends in high school that they had pineapples for biceps, but these were better than pineapples. Way better.

My eyes dropped to his chest once more. His pecs were showing through his old t-shirt, and I was sure there was drool coming out of my mouth. Truly, who was built like this in real life?

I took a step forward to greet him into my store. After all, I was owner of this bookstore, and there was no way I was going shirk my duties of making him feel welcome.

I screamed all the way down.

I landed with a thump on the solid oak floor, but this guy was such a hunk I could barely feel the pain.

He rushed over to me, concern etched in every line of his face, and, ohmigod, he had the most delightful hint of 5 o'clock shadow gracing his jawline. I extended a graceful lily-white hand, and simpered up at him in a silent plea for help.

He bent and grabbed my hand. With a flex of his melon-biceps he hoisted me to my feet and crushed me to his manly chest. "Are you all right?" he murmured in a voice like soft velvet, stroking my hair. "What a nasty fall."

I snuggled closer, not wanting the moment to end, but as I did so, a niggling realization hit home. I pulled my head back slightly. Looked up at his Grecian-god face and back to his chest.

"Oh you've got to be kidding me," I said, drawing back in disgust. "Man titty?"

Opening: Hava.....Continuation: Caitlin Macdonald


Bernita said...

Nice voice.
First para, perhaps you could eliminate "making sure" and "off of."
The continuation is sublime.

writtenwyrdd said...

Author, you can do much better than this. The voice so far is interesting and I liked it, but the writing needs trimming. Right now, you have the overblown opening to a bad romance novel. Edit out at least half of what you have here and reorganize it.

The situation can work, but the presentation hasn't gotten where it needs to be yet. The salient facts are 1) a guy comes into the store and 2) the stupefied-with-lust store owner falls off the ladder. However, the ideas are disconnected physically (you interrupt your description of the man) and the prose is flabby and overwritten. One example: "Precarious perch"... twice?

I know this is hard to hear. But read this piece out loud and you will see what I mean.

Here's a quick and dirty revision, which is mostly cuts.

"The bell tinkled as a customer entered the shop. The sight that greeted me as I turned to look down from my ladder perch was the most gorgeous man I'd ever seen..."

(This is just an example of how much you can take out, not an example of a particularly good rewrite.)

Good luck with this. Beginnings are hard.

Robin S. said...

The beginning and the continuation flowed really well on this one.

I really enjoyed the "punch lines" to both pieces - "I screamed all the way down", and then,
"Oh you've got to be kidding me," I said, drawing back in disgust. "Man titty?"

Thanks for the morning grins!

whitemouse said...

I screamed all the way down.

Holy Hugo Weaving, that line was just killer. Awesome work, author!

I thought this opening worked very well. It sounds like a hilarious book already.

Dave said...

Sorry if this is a repeated comment but I think Blogger ate two comments on me this morning.

I think that the first 64 words (that's everything from "the doorbell tinkled" down to "the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. No," can be replaced by "I stood atop a 10 foot ladder when he entered the shop" ... The man's description can be tightened up, too.

Also, tinkled has alternate meanings that ruin the romance of the opening. Like, My doggie tinkles on the carpet and I hit him with a newspaper for it.

The continuation is very funny. Can the shapely bookstore owner learn to live with her nearly perfect man with his budding (ooohlala) man tits? Tune in to "As the Garbage Scow Ploughs the Water" for our next episode!

Kat dreams said...

The tinkling doorbell bothers me. I know it means it made a little ringing sound. The sentence says exactly what it should. But I have children and when I hear the word tinkle in this sentence, all I hear is the doorbell needs to use the restroom and I cannot get past it no matter how many times I try to read it. Sorry.

McKoala said...

Seconding writtenwyrdd, I'm afraid. Nice situation, and a nice voice, but just a bit too many words - especially repetition and idol description. I do think you could edit this down to something good, though.

The continuations are on fire again!

Hava said...

I tried to comment earlier, but Blogger is apparently eating more than just your comments, Dave.

Thanks to everyone for all of the input. This is my rough draft of the first chapter of my novel, and I still need to work on it, but I thought it would be good to get some feedback. It was good--thanks so much for all of the thoughts and ideas.

I do not have any children, which is maybe why I didn't associate "tinkling" with peeing. ;-) Thanks for pointing that out--I will make sure to change that. :-P

You guys are awesome for giving the feedback, and thanks to EE for the great blog!!


Bernita said...

Author, don't edit out too much of the description though.
Romance readers like to savour physical details as if their eyes were tongues.

Anonymous said...

I like the voice and the sense of humor, but a few things about Our Hero's description bothered me.

If he's wearing a hat, how can you tell what his hair is like? Is it that long? How do you know he's not seriously bald on top? What if his face is hideous? You can't see it if he's wearing a baseball cap and you're on top of a 10-foot ladder.

I read this genre, and I'd like to read more of this if the description were more...reasonable.

functioning fruitcake said...

Blogger also deleted my comment yesterday about "I screamed all the way down".

This implies a scream that lasts some time, yet if you fell from the very top of a ten foot ladder to the ground, Newton's Law (or one of those laws, anyway) absolutely insists that on Earth this fall will take you less than 0.8 of a second. You'd no sooner start to scream than land. So you might want your narrator to wobble on the ladder before she falls, so that she can get her scream out.