Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Beginning 793

Macey usually got home precisely at five-forty-five, feet aching from a set of red velvet heels that were a birthday gift from her sister and head aching from her boss who is a jerk, but none of that happened today. Well her boss is still a jerk, but she had worn the blue heels today, instead of the red ones and as it turned out that made all the difference. For one thing they hurt a lot less than the red ones, but more importantly Mat had noticed the change.

He said, “Hey are those new shoes?”

Macey blushed and said, “Why yes they are.”

Unfortunately that’s as far as the conversation went with Mat. However Peter had asked her out on a date. That’s why Macey came home especially early today. She parked the Toyota her dad gave her in the driveway and trotted into her apartment with a big smile on her face. Kicking her heels off at the door, she strode into the kitchen and made a sandwich before jumping into the shower. Her pits were very hairy because she hadn’t had the opportunity to get laid for at least a year and Macey firmly believed in not shaving unless she had a man, which was remarkably hard since she kind of looked like a man.

After shaving her pits and trimming away the worst of her chest hair, Macey reached for the sandwich, but now it was soggy and covered in soap and shaving cream, so it had been a waste of time making it.

Macey slipped into a sexy dress and, of course, her blue heels. She ran to answer the doorbell when it rang, expecting Peter at the door. Instead, Chris was there, holding a bouquet of flowers.

He said, "Nice shoes."

Macey grinned and replied, "Thanks."

The conversation continued for a minute and he asked her out. She was sad to tell him no, but Peter would be here any minute. She gently closed the door her mom had given her and went to sit, not in the green chair that she usually sat in (given to her by her brother), but in the antique purple one that her grandfather's cousin's best friend's niece's boyfriend's uncle's son had given her.

When Peter came, Macey smiled at him and he drove her off in the red Ford. They strolled into the McDonald's, where he had a reservation. At the table next to them, Ben sat with a juicy brown Big Mac clasped in his hands.

He said, "Hi, Macey! Are those the new shoes I gave you?"

Opening: Ray.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:

And the legs, and the butt. The chest too, the water matted the hair down. It took time for the hormones to kick in.

The red shoes were going to in the garbage. You can't fit size eight land grabbers in a size seven heel and expect to have a calm serene face. Turning female was hard but it was going to get easier with the toss of the red, tight, shoes. The beard was coming off too.

--Wilkins MacQueen

Evil Editor said...

P1: You don't need "instead of the red ones" or "as it turned out."

Also, when you say "none of that happened today," I assume some momentous event occurred, and all we get is that her feet didn't hurt as much. I would trim it to:

Macey usually got home at 5:45, feet aching from a pair of red velvet heels that were a birthday gift from her sister. But she had worn the blue heels today, and that made all the difference. They didn't pinch like the red ones, and more importantly, Mat had noticed the change.

P4: If she's happy to be going out with Peter, I don't know why Mat is even in the opening. The Toyota and the sandwich are more detail than we need at this point. We need to get to something interesting as quickly as possible.

The pits and getting laid and looks like a man details will probably be a turnoff to the kind of reader who would be hanging with you this far. If that's the direction the story takes, I recommend a redo on the first three paragraphs, which sound like chick lit.

alaskaravenclaw said...

About the shift from shoes to body hair, yeah. What Evil Editor said (2nd comment).

But actually I was so dizzy from rocking between present tense and past tense that when we got to the "pits" I simply threw up.

That's having a visceral effect on your reader, that is.

Anonymous said...

Besides the tense issues and the who-gave-her-what repetition and the apparent need to telegraph her every, boring move (sandwich, parking the car, etc.), the voice does not come off as consistent. The same woman who would blush and say something like, "Why yes they are" does not seem like the kind of woman who would refer to her her underarms as "pits" even in her thoughts.

Also saying "that's why.." sounds so odd here. How about "she was home early because Peter (who is Peter??) asked her on a date." Also, if she kicked her shoes at the door, she was not striding to the kitchen. She kicked her shoes at the door and strode into the kitchen. Not simultaneous actions. One, then the other.

Sorry, just an odd, odd voice for me.

vkw said...

The first sentence is too long. It made me dizzy.

Macey usually came home precisely at five-forty-five with aching feet and an aching head. Her feet would hurt because of the red velvet heels he sister gave her for her birthday. Her head would hurt because of her boss who is a jerk.

But none of that happened today.

Anyway, I agree there with EE that we don't need to know about the headache, the sandwhich, Matt or the toyota.

The opening is bit listy: Came home, parked car, walked up the stairs, made sandwich, took off shoes, took shower, shaved.

I was turned off by the making of the sandwich. . I guess I always imagine a date to be dinner. I was put off by the red shoes. Who wears red velvet high heel shoes everyday or ever? What sister buys her sister shoes anyway? Maybe a gift certificate, but not the actual shoes because of the fitting problem.

I don't care about Macey enough to want to hear about her personal hygeine.

Those were my thoughts as I read this opening a few times. Each time I got stuck on the questions and then went . . .yuck. Macey thinks she's going to get laid on the first date so she shaves? My thoughts about Macey are. . . not good at this point.

(I do have a friend that will not shave for a few dates so she isn't tempted to go too far too fast. We've known each other a long time so I'm okay that she told me that.)


vkw said...

Oh. . . what kind of guy notices someone's shoes?

Anonymous said...

Oh. . . what kind of guy notices someone's shoes?

You serious?

Ellie said...

vkw: Michael Kors, particularly if they make you look like a hooker pilot working the third shift at a donut shop or something equally sound-bite-y. :)

Andrew said...

A guy who's looking for an easy complimentary way to open a conversation with a woman, that's what kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

"Macey usually got home precisely at five-forty-five."

It might sound stupid but the opening line just doesn't ring true for me. So many things can happen at the end of the work day or on the way home that I don't know of anybody who gets home from work at precisely the same time.

BuffySquirrel said...

Yeah, srsly, the guy looks at her shoes every day so that the day she wears new ones he can finally speak to her. Riiiiight.

This is a ramble, and not a very interesting one. Start again.

Anonymous said...

The first detail is great. I can build a whole character image on the basis of "Macey usually got home precisely at five-forty-five". I see a person who is very in control, efficient, calm, poised. You'd have to be to finish your commute with that precision. Probably thin and fit, wears power suits and never eats anything unhealthy.

You see the problem, don't you? The character I have in my head based on your first sentence is nothing like the red velvet shoe-wearing, immature, blushing Daddy's girl you go on to describe. And that girl doesn't really go along with the grooming regimen (or lack thereof) that we hear about later. And so far I've been imagining a girl who looks like a girl, not a man.

A wealth of conflicting detail doesn't create a complex character - it creates a good reason to stop reading.

ril said...

Hmm. Mat is clearly used to getting walked all over...

_*rachel*_ said...

There's some nice characterizing detail, but we don't need to know as much about her shoes and family just yet.

Watch your dialogue: you don't always need the fillers people normally use, and some of them should probably be curtained off with commas.

batgirl said...

This reads as if it's leading to some sort of joke, but never got there.
Is it serious? I'm sorry if that's insulting to the author - I don't mean it to be, but the tone is one I can't get a proper grip on.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who was picturing a middle-aged woman for half of this?