Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Beginning 715

Teresa was already sitting at a table near the bar, a bottle of wine and two glasses in front of her. Carrie cursed and dashed forward. "I'm so sorry I'm late."

"As long as you have a good excuse."

"I was on my way here and I saw these sandals, well..." Carrie pulled open her shopping bag and pulled out a pair of 4-inch heels, ivory leather with a peep toe and lace-up front. "Come on, tell me honestly, have you ever seen such gorgeous shoes? I just had to have them."

Teresa rolled her eyes. "There's only one thing that looks good in white and that's wine. Have some." She filled her friend's glass.

"They are off-white. Cream. Almost beige." Carrie left the shoes on the table and slumped into the chair.

"White stilleto heels. I thought you wanted men to love you for your brains!"

"At this point, I'll take what I can get. Anyway, I told you about Scott."

"The guy you met at the singles' bar, right?" Teresa snorted. "I don't know why you do it. It's like every Christmas, you get into some sort of funk and pick up some random guy in some trashy club you wouldn't be seen dead in the rest of the year. He gets laid for New Year's and then cuts out just in time for Valentine's because he's too cheap to even buy you flowers."

"Bingo!" Everyone groaned as Madison waved her card in the air. "Wine, shoes, sassy friend, and bad taste in men. That's bingo."

"Congratulations!" Susan said, handing over the bottle of wine that was the evening's first prize. "That's our first-ever bingo on page 1!" She closed the book and opened another. "On to the next book: The Knitting Circle Murders."

Everyone in the crowded room exchanged their "chick lit" cards for "cozy mystery". Susan beamed as she cleared her throat and started reading again. No doubt about it, Book Club Bingo was a hit!


Opening: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.....Continuation: Sarah from Hawthorne

17 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:


"He's not like that at all, Theresa. It's really different this time. And if he loves me for my taste in shoes, well, at least I know he's after something besides a roll in the hay. I just hope these are his size..."

--John

Evil Editor said...

Well written.

Shoes don't strike me as something you can't put off buying for a couple hours out of fear the last pair in your size will be purchased while you're eating lunch. On the other hand, those shoes sound fabulous.


These lines didn't ring true for me:

I thought you wanted men to love you for your brains!"

"At this point, I'll take what I can get.

It sounds like you're forcing the conversation to segue into the Christmas/Valentine speech. Maybe there's a more natural-sounding way to get there.

Anonymous said...

I though it was interesting. Good job.

sylvia said...

Hahaha, OK, Sarah got me fair and square with that bingo card. In my defense, it's a horror story so the light and fluffy beginning is meant to be misleading. Honest!

John's made me laugh as well although the image in my head might make rewrites a bit difficult.

Hmm, she's not that late and it was an impulse buy. Would most people walk past, planning to go back after lunch? I think I'd just dash in (as long as I wasn't already late).

But yes: I was trying to get to the Christmas/Valentines reference as soon as I could and it shows. I will try to make it more subtle.

_*Rachel*_ said...

I'm not sure about using "dash" in the first paragraph; it gave me the impression of Carrie starting to run, sans stimulus (we don't know until they start talking what their relationship is). But don't rely too much on my judgment; I'm out of it today.

I'd only read on if Carrie met a violent end in the next paragraph. She annoys me, and this really isn't my genre. Kill her off as soon and violently as possible.

sylvia said...

Nope, I can see what you mean about the dashing. I'd like a more interesting starting sentence and then Carrie dashing towards Teresa, who was already sitting...

Poor Carrie!

Anonymous said...

no well you know bob continuation?

Robin S. said...

Hi Sylvia,

I like the dashing; to me it fits the breathless conversation tone as she hurriedly explains why she was late.

I like the idea of a 'chick-lit' sounding opening becoming something else entirely! I like being fooled in an honest way. Makes life interesting. And I'm hoping those shoes play their part...

pacatrue said...

Hi Sylvia,

I had the same thoughts from the first paragraph as were put into the continuation.

However...

If this is horror and the reader knows what genre she's reading, then I love it.

fairyhedgehog said...

I really liked this. I think I'll be a bit disappointed when it turns into a horror story.

Dave F. said...

That's like reading "Sex In The City" which I refuse to do any more than I already have...

Whirlochre said...

I'm with EE's first snappy 2-word comment.

Steve Wright said...

It's a very chick-lit opening, and knowing it's actually a horror story makes me much more interested - my favourite ghost story writer is M. R. James, whose stories are all the more effective for having normal, prosaic, somewhat gossipy openings, before descending into unadulterated nightmare. If you can pull the same trick off, you're onto a winner here.


Even as chick-lit, the scene works pretty well - the conversation flows along nicely and the dialogue's believable. Nice job.

sylvia said...

Anon: other than the forced transition, I don't think the girls are saying anything unnatural to each other. Teresa is putting a spin on events, not telling them. But I was debating on referencing Carrie's ex in the conversation and I think that would push it over the edge.

Robin: The shoes definitely matter (and I love the phrase peep toe, I stole it from a shoe catalog)

Paca: it's a short story so it doesn't take long to find out something has gone wrong. Having said that, the reader's expectations will be based on the publication where it appears. I originally was looking at an anthology called "My Bloody Valentine" which would be a bit of a giveaway, I think.

FHH: Does it help if I tell you that Carrie doesn't die, despite Rachel's plea?

Dave: I take that as a compliment. :)

I'll be working on a rewrite next week, wish me luck.

Anonymous said...

I'd change "was already sitting" to sat. I'd also replace the comma with "with".

Teresa sat at a table near the bar with a bottle of wine and two glasses in front of her.

"As long as you have a good excuse."

"Carrie pulled open her shopping bag and pulled out ... " You have a couple of choices here:

Carrie opened her shopping bag and pulled out...

or

"I was on my way and I saw these sandals, well here, "Carrie thrust the bag at Teresa who extracted a pair of ivory leather heels with a peep toe and lace up front. "Come on, tell me honestly, have you ever seen such gorgeous shoes? I just had to have them."

Teresa rolled her eyes. "There's only one thing that looks good in white and that's wine. Have some." She filled her friend's glass.


I'd change stiletto to stilettos and drop heels.

"I told you about Scott," feels like as you know bob. Maybe "there's Scott" or "What about scot.

"At this point, I'll take what I can get. Anyway, there's Scott."



"The guy you introduced me to at the singles' bar," Teresa snorted. "I don't know why you do it. It's like (as you know Bob)every Christmas ( Right now the Theresa is just rehashing everything for the readers benefit. If Theresa is making a point, the "as you know Bob" is mitigated.)

Please, that guy you introduced me to at the singles' bar," Teresa said. "Why is it every Christmas you drag home some random guy from that trashy club you won't be caught dead in any other time, sleep with him on New Years, and get pissed when he bales before Valentine's? Surprise! He's too cheap to buy you flowers."

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

Sylvia -

Hah! I figured this might be some kind of set-up since it's so well written but such a perfect storm of chick-lit tropes...

Despite my continuation I would totally read on, especially if this was horror.

sylvia said...

Anon at 1:28

I love your rephrasing of Teresa's rant - you've really made the difference clear, thank you for that.

Sarah:

I hadn't realise quite how trope-y it was but the bingo card was perfect!