Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Beginning 673

Ann could have driven home from the tennis club another way. She could have taken the tree-lined boulevard through her stately neighborhood in the suburbs. Instead she detoured four miles past No Limits. She had driven by it many times and wondered what it was like inside. The building stood fifty yards behind a high wrought iron fence and heavy gate. Far enough that details couldn’t be seen from the moving traffic, yet close enough she could see the impressive entrance and the walkway from secluded parking.

It was a sex club, and she wondered what happened there and what type of people went. Were any like her, respectable yet curious? Or were they vulgar and depraved? In an instant she was past it, and the huge iron gate that blocked passage disappeared. What did the gate represent? A barrier not to be crossed, or protection for the most private public acts?

Ann traveled five miles and looked to her left. There behind stately bushes six feet tall was a mansion built 100 years before. It was two stories tall and had a wooden door, Ann was sure was oak, with a brass knocker. She wondered what the residents were having for dinner. Was it ordinary meatloaf and mashed potatoes, like she was going to fix for dinner that night, or delivered pizza? Did they employ a cook that made exotic, yet nutritional meals? Did they eat in front of the television or at an oaken dining table from the 15th Century?

Ann took a right and then a left, another right and another mile. She could have been home half an hour ago. There in front of her was an all-girls school, set back from the street with an ordinary fence surrounding it. She wondered if it was there to keep the girls from running away or to keep murderers out. She wondered about the girls. Did they wear uniforms or their own clothes? Did they get enough to eat? Were they like her children, rowdy at times, but polite and quiet most of the time?


She turned left, then right; now she was in front of a lawyer's office. Was the lawyer like the one in To Kill a Mockingbird, moral like her? Destined to take hopeless cases, like her? Was he having an affair like she was?



Opening: Wes.....Continuation: Vivian Whetham

19 comments:

Evil Editor said...

She could have these same thoughts in the scene where she finally works up the courage to go in, rather than to just drive past, whether that's five minutes later or five months. Then we'd be looking forward to what happens next.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Sorry, Wes, but I don't really care one way or the other here. It seems a good setup for who she is, but it's way too much information with no action taken.

I'd love to see her approach the gates on foot and hear these kinds of thoughts then have something happen - she meets someone she respects and is mortified to be caught there, then thinks 'why is he here?', etc. Then the action goes on from there. Dialogue, interaction with another character, something.

Anonymous said...

Didn't seem like the right place to start.

Sephina said...

I think I agree with Sarah here. The initial concept is good, but something about it doesn't click. There needs to be something other than just driving by. Maybe have her stop and then something scares her away if you don't want her to go in right away.

Dave F. said...

It needs one sentence that catches the reader's attention in the first paragraph. Preferably in the opening line.

Something like "Ann detoured from her usual way home just to pass the estate she now knew had been her home."
or
"Ann saw the dead body on the neat, manicured lawn as she drove past."
or
"Today, aliens spacecraft hovered in the front yard."

You get the idea. I can't think of a good sexploitation one...

_*Rachel*_ said...

I'd like it if you combined a sentence or two in the end of the first paragraph; it feels choppy.

You could probably cut a few sentences and not lose anything. You're dawdling around when you could be getting somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Maybe start where she finds out it is a sex club. Perhaps with a dialogue and then she has these thoughts and actions.

You don't need this sentence at all:

"Instead she detoured four miles past No Limits." What "No Limits" is, is not clear.

Actually thinking about it more, you don't need much of P1.

"Ann could have driven home by taking the tree-line boulevard to her stately neighborhood in the suburbs. Instead she went four miles out of her way to drive past the sex club."

As she looked at the building (? what kind of building - mansion or renovated office building) she could make out few details but the impressive entrance, guarded as it was with a wrought iron fence. She wondered . . . .

Anyway, I think I would start with more action and less details about the drive and house, which you really don't tell us much about anyway.

vkw

~Aimee States said...

She wondered what happened there?!

*faint*

_*Rachel*_ said...

I can guess, but, yanno, I don't want to.

It's not that this is a bad opening; I just don't think it's catching. Maybe if it weren't an opening, we'd be gentler on it.

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

Love the continuation!

Lines such as "respectable, yet curious" and "a barrier... or protection" seem like telling instead of showing. You have nice, descriptive touches like Ann coming from a tennis club and the heavy gate. You don't need to oversell them.

I like vkw's edit.

kitty said...

That continuation is *hilarious*.

stacy said...

Wrong place to start, I think.

Wes said...

Thanks for the feedback. And EE, she'll take those intial thoughts and go thru an internal struggle for two chapters before going. Then she'll meet Mr Right, or at least Mr. Right Now, who is wearing only muttonchop sideburns and wire rim glasses.

At least you guys got a break from Kincaid.

BuffySquirrel said...

Unless those two chapters are full of her fantasizing about what happens at the sex club, I'd skip them.

Sarah Laurenson said...

That's Mr. Write Now to you. ;-)

Wes said...

Buffy, that would eliminate a lot of conflict.

kitty said...

Conflict that happens in those two chapters, or conflict that's set up in those two chapters?

ril said...

At least you guys got a break from Kincaid.

Is Kincaid's donkey involved, by any chance?

BuffySquirrel said...

So what does happen in those chapters? And if the club isn't the centre of the conflict, what is?