Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Beginning 573

"Sight, it is a terrifying curse, especially when you are blind.

It begins as it always does– with the peace of the darkest black. The darkness of this beginning is so like my own familiar dark that at first the curse often catches me unaware. It is always a shock when it makes itself known, for in an instant the world of my other senses falls away, leaving me alone in the silence of nothingness. The curs'd silence consumes me, eating from the inside of my mind until there is only the nothing left and my physical self is forgotten. It is only then that the true horror of my curse begins.

I have heard that often children and even some adults are afraid of the dark. I am not. Darkness has always been my home and my familiar. It is the curse that I am afraid of, when in the quickest heartbeat; my dark can be torn from me. Harsh light rips through it like a blade through flesh, leaving only the 'white quiet' behind. This is the most terrifying moment – when my entire mind becomes the silent snowstorm of this 'white quiet'. It may only last the length of a breathe but it is an eternity where I am half mad.

It always ends though, and then the Sight finally comes."

I stared across the table at Madame Rozsa, wondering if she was finally going to let me get a word in. "Listen, lady," I said, "I don't need you to explain how you do it. I just wanna know if I'm ever gonna get married, okay?"

Opening: Mary Kinahan.....Continuation: Freddie


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

"Bastard! What the f-- Who put that there?"


"If you're going to wake me up from a nap, will you clothe yourself first so as not to blind me?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" And she cries yet again, deep gulping sobs.

And I, the victim of the Sight--her pallid, white glowing flesh--am forced to pat her back and console her.

"Let's go buy you some sunscreen."

Internally I vow to never ever date another naturist--especially a fat one.


150 said...

You lost me at "curs'd."

Evil Editor said...

I assume from the quotation marks that this is someone speaking aloud, in which case each paragraph should open with quotation marks.

This goes on awfully long without grounding us with setting, to whom the words are being spoken . . .

You might want to put something after the first long paragraph like:

Madame Rozsa peered into my eyes like a chef searching for a bit of egg shell in his meringue, and then continued.

You could also delete the first three and a half sentences of the second long paragraph, to move things along.

breath, not breathe.

benwah said...

The first line of the continuation makes the point better than I can

Emily Cross said...

I burst out laughing at the Madame Rozsa continuation! Good stuff!

EE - sorry the quotation marks weren't supposed to be there and aren't part of the actually text.

Genius that i am, i thought i was supposed to do that with the 'text' in the email that i sent you.

Not my brightest moment.

So, its not actually meant to be spoken, more like a prologue, but i'll take on the stuff you said about setting. thanks

I'll definitly take on the deleting of those lines as well . Thanks for the comments!

150 - yeah i might lose the curs'd.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't paying attention and thought this was a "write the beginning" to someone else's last lines thing and the fact that I found the first part appropriately entertaining given the first line of the ending suggests, at least to me, that it might be a bit...much.

Ellie said...

I think this may be a case of being so close to the material that it's hard to see where you're not giving enough information. I spent the whole time trying to figure out what was going on - who's narrating? (Even though I know now it's not spoken, who is thinking this?) What is the Sight? What causes the darkness; what causes the light?

Of course, an agent or editor reading this first page would have some basic information on the story from the query letter, so they wouldn't be quite as in the dark (har har) as I was. Still, it's confusing, and doesn't establish a character or a situation and reason we should care about either one.

There's nothing wrong with the writing, I just don't think it's the strongest way to start the story.

(writtenwyrdd, I loved the way you kept the prose style in your continuation. But why the hate for us pale fat girls? *grin*)

Donna said...

"So, its not actually meant to be spoken, more like a prologue, but i'll take on the stuff you said about setting."

But then that brilliant continuation wouldnt've made much sense if it were a "prologue".

And, I can't remember the name of the person who wrote that awesome continuation, but he (I think it was a he) came up with the perfect and only ending, no?

What did you have in mind when you wrote it, Emily? How could it have been anything else but that?

freddie said...

Well, it was more of a hybrid of he and she. EE edited it. : )

Beth said...

This is slow and dense and doesn't tell me anything. In fact, half of it is incomprehensible. "...when in the quickest heartbeat; my dark can be torn from me." Or "...light rips through it like a blade through flesh, leaving only 'white quiet' behind."

What does that _mean_? I have no idea.

Resonant, deep, literary writing is all well and good (Diana Gabaldon excels at these sorts of prologues) but it still has to be understandable. This is completely opaque to me.

Start with story. Please.

donna said...

@Beth: that's what makes the continuation perfect. Its lightness made struggling through denseness of the opening worth it. (Though I had to go back and re-read the opening twice after reading the continuation to fully appreciate the fabness of the whole thing together. I guess it wouldn't be practical to need to do that more than once or twice in a story.)