Monday, April 12, 2010

New Beginning 744

The bank robber was wearing a heavy-duty bulletproof vest,but that didn't do him any good against the lightning bolts.

When the thief came running out of the bank's front doors, Cobalt hit him with electrical blasts from both hands, sending him reeling to the ground. The man was wearing his body armor over black coveralls, with a full-face motorcycle helmet on his head and a submachine gun slung across his chest. He'd been intent on the four racing motorcycles lined up at the curb and hadn't seen Cobalt hovering twenty feet in the air, concealed from view by the building's overhanging facade.

If you wanted to be a successful crook in a place with as many hyper-heroes as Biggs City, you had to look up once in a while.

It was a lesson Cobalt himself obviously hadn't learned, for moments later he lay gasping on the sidewalk, struggling to free himself from the immense fetid mound smothering him. Far above, the sound of enormous flapping wings and baleful cooing died away as the genetically-enhanced arch-villain HindenPigeon flew off to begin his conquest of Biggs City by means of a shock-and-awe bombardment of nano-guano.


Opening: Sean McCluskey.....Continuation: Paul Penna

10 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


Cobalt sped to a different vantage point. Four bikes meant four robbers, and the others would be warned by their fallen comrade.

Cobalt was wearing electric blue spandex with a yellow lightning bolt across the chest and a matching cape. Intent on the bank's door, he didn't notice the figure flying out the window.

"Hey, Cobalt," cried Tungsten, "I got three losers trying to break the vault. Bank staff gave me a standing ovation. If you want to be a successful vigilante in Biggs City, you've got to hurry up once in a while."

--eMonkey



In fact, whoever you are, in Biggs City you may want to keep an eye on the skies. Long gone are the good old days when it was only pigeons that were likely to shit on your head.

--anon.

Evil Editor said...

This is better without the first paragraph.

The last sentence of p.2 starts off implying that the thief didn't see Cobalt because he was intent on the motorcycles, but goes on to admit that Cobalt was concealed from view anyway.

Amy said...

Some good things about this opening are that it begins with action and it establishes its setting and supernatural element immediately.

I found it hard to follow, though. It didn't settle into a POV. The first paragraph seems to be from the bank robber's POV. The second paragraph is from Cobalt's. And the third is a strange sort of omniscient (I always find it awkward when a third-person narrative uses the word "you").

I suggest writing the whole thing from Cobalt's point of view (which means opening with him, not with the bank robber). Or if the novel is omniscient, make that clear from the beginning.

Dave F. said...

"Was wearing" and "came running"
I have this thing about verbs like that. It's not a nice thing. It's an ugly thing. An action destroying thing.

What if you started out with Cobalt floating in the air? What if you made the third paragraph his thoughts?

If you wanted to be a successful crook in a place with as many hyper-heroes as Biggs City, you have to look up once in a while. thought Cobalt...
hovering twenty feet in the air, concealed from view by the building's facade.

The thief ran our of the building. He wore ... BA ... helmet ... and submachine gun waiting to slaughter anyone in his path...
Cobalt blasted him with lightning bolts.

That puts the judgment about "looking up" into your character's head. I think that is more powerful than having you, the author put forth that judgment.
BTW - Those HindenPigeons live in Florida. They are called seagulls and if they "bomb" you or your car... let's just say it ain't pretty.
And a nerd note: Lightning strikes. Lightening turns you into Michael Jackson.

Kings Falcon said...

I like where this is going. The first line was a nice hook. I'd keep the first line, first line of the second paragraph and then the last paragraph.

Right now your second sentance in the second paragraph is telling us information we already know - that the crook is wearing body armor. The jump to description in this paragraph really broke me out of the story. Let your MC address the other thugs and motorcycles after he blasts the first bad guy. These details can be worked in as the MC (presumably Cobalt) addresses the situation.

It's a good start.

pacatrue said...

Liked it.

Dave F. said...

I didn't realize how ambiguous I made this comment:
What if you started out with Cobalt floating in the air? What if you made the third paragraph his thoughts?

What I wanted to say was what if you started out with Cobalt's thoughts as the opening line, that is making the third paragraph the opening sentence:
If you want to be a successful crook in a place with as many hyper-heroes as Biggs City, you have to look up once in a while. thought Cobalt...
And then continue with the rest of the opening as I described it.

Sorry about that.

_*rachel*_ said...

I'd read on.

Would a normal thief be so obvious? If I planned to stick a place up, I'd rather do it more inconspicuously. Not that I plan to.

"vest,but" needs a space in there.

vkw said...

I didn't like "heavy-duty" bulletproof vest.

What is that? How about police issue or dragon vest or whatever the military issue vest is named.

He'd been intent? Is that like he was running for the motorcyles just outside the bank? Because I certainly hope they were lined up on the curb and not in the middle of the street or on the sidewalk.

Successful crooks in Biggs City learned to look up once in awhile because of the hyperactive heroes hanging around.

Just an idea to get rid of the "you".

I wasn't thrilled with the opening. but I liked the idea.

Sean said...

Thank you all for the extraordinary feedback. You've given me a lot to think about and, more importantly, a lot to work with.

Also, you've given me 'nano guano' which may change the world as we know it!

Thanks again.