Monday, August 08, 2011

New Beginning 858

Journal, if I am going to keep you we need to get one thing straight. I am keeping you because I want to, because I choose to and because I wish to share my experience and pessimism with any travellers fortunate enough to find you (if there are any nuggets of wisdom in my words, I apologise for that now). Most importantly, journal, this means I am not keeping you because Miss Perfect Susanne asked me to. I like to think that more than a flimsy shopper’s notepad and bank pen lies between me and insanity, thank you very much.

I would also like to point out that I’m aware you are an inanimate object, even if I refer to you as ‘you’ – it’s just easier that way. Given that I’m one of probably only a handful of sane people left on this planet, I thought you’d understand.

Not that most people nowadays are insane; they’re just dead.

Dresser, don't think I can't hear you sneaking up behind me as I write this. That's an expensive hardwood floor you're tearing up. Just keep your distance, and if I need a pair of clean underpants, I know where to find you.

Television, you turned yourself on and now you can turn yourself right back off. Or at the very least, switch away from Jersey Shore re-runs. If there's any silver lining to the bizarre force that has breathed hellish life into Earth's inanimate objects, it's that reality TV "stars" were among the first casualties.

Toilet ... we need to talk.


Opening: Naomi Reynolds.....Continuation: jrmosher

11 comments:

Evil Editor said...

I would consider cutting the first paragraph to:

Journal, if I am going to keep you we need to get one thing straight. I am keeping you because I choose to and not because Miss Perfect Susanne asked me to.


The rest of it is only making me ask questions that delay getting to the hook; the fortunate travelers, nuggets of wisdom apology, and bank pen/notebook lines can come after the hook, at which time you'll be ready to explain them.

Hey, if I were a traveler fortunate enough to find the journal, and saw that the author was trying not to include any nuggets of wisdom, I might not read on.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

I wish to share my experience and pessimism with any travellers fortunate enough to find you (if there are any nuggets of wisdom in my words, I apologise for that now).

This sentence doesn't work. I get that you're trying to raise questions, but here the speaker is just contradicting herself. If the point is to share her experience, and yet there are no nuggets of wisdom, then why would the travelers be fortunate to find the journal?

That's where I'd stop reading if I picked this up in a bookstore.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm not sure I know what's going on here, but I'm going to assume this is the opening 150 words or so of a novel, and we're supposed to react to it.

This is a lot of internal monologue to open with, in my opinion. I supposed the voice gives a bit of a sense of character, but I'm really not compelled to care about this person, or to feel grounded in a 'scene' by the end of this. I like to be able to start visualizing a place, or at very least a "character" as soon as possible. I think if you took EEs advice, and paired this down to the key elements, you could get to that much faster.

Just my subjective two cents.

150 said...

I'd keep reading this.

EXCELLENT continuation.

Dave said...

I liked this as an opening and I agree with EE about getting to the hook -- "Not that most people nowadays are insane; they’re just dead."

I don't care much for paragraph two but its for personal reasons and it's up to the author to keep it around.

What I do think is that the first time that the character says the word "insanity," the next sentence should contain that hook. I wouldn't put a paragraph between the thought of the character and her sanity and the fact that most people are insane or dead.

Xenith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo-Ann said...

I'm getting the sense that this is the opening to a YA dystopia story. If so, I like the lightness to the voice. I like that she (the voice sounds female) apologises for any nuggets of wisdom, but agree that this delays the hook, and that you could find a slot for it later.

Despite being too wordy, I'd read on.

The continuation had me alughing aloud!

Naomio said...

Author here. Thanks for the helpful advice everyone. I can see what you mean about getting the hook in as soon as possible and trying to play down the internal monologue (and I'll definitely remember that when editing the rest of the ms). I hate novels with lots of rambling so I don't know what it's doing in mine!

This is an apocalyptic novel and if it's not coming across as that then I'll have to work on that too.

It's not meant to be YA so that's something else I need to think about when I read through.

This is in for some serious cutting and shuffling. Looks like the 'I wish to share...for that now' has gotta go.

P.s. Loved the continuation! If only I could work it into the story...

Anonymous said...

Not that most people nowadays are insane; they’re just dead.

I'd start here, with changes to the sentence of course. The writing shifts from a chatty Dear Journal to a much more sinister dead going on thing.

I suspect you should make a decision and either stay chatty or get right to it. Reads to me that the intro is set up and then when you lower the boom the boom doesn't fit the preamble.

Good luck, it's hard to get things across in an intro.

Miss Chivuss said...

AlaskaRavenclaw said just what I was thinking.

Also, jrmosher's continuation made me laugh so hard, I had to share with my roommate or risk looking like a lunatic.

Jo-Ann said...

Author, FYI, the voice the came through in the "Miss Perfect Susanne" line is what made me think YA (or perhaps MG). If that wasn't your intent, have a think about what you're trying to convey about your narrator.