Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Beginning 95

One year was wasted and gone. One whole year spent tracking the thief, riding in stinking buses that coughed thick black exhaust, jotting down notes and theories and occasional ten-page rants about the unfairness of it all into a frayed and stained old journal.

One year.

Gone, just like that.

Eric, once a revered priest and now just a wasted old man with coarse gray stubble, stared blindly out the greasy window of the Quick-N-Swift bus. Behind him was a family of four and the youngest was a screaming toddler demanding ice cream, ice cream, ICE CREAM. In the tattered seat before him was a young couple, too young. She was barely out of adolescence and her open face was too innocent, too trusting. The boy could hardly be older than she was but something in the way he spoke – low and frank – told Eric that he might have a chance on the streets. He seemed practical.

Eric shook his head. He mustn't stare at the children. That's what got him into trouble in the first place.

Opening: K.D. McEntire.....Continuation: Kate Thornton


Anonymous said...

Ew, ew, EW! (continuation)

Anonymous said...

Really, that continuation is oh-so-perfect. and "ew, ew, EW" (anon 10:41 PM) sums it up.

I'll get to the writing eventually.

McKoala said...

Ew, but neatly done!

Love the first three paragraphs. Not liking the start of the fourth - 'once a revered priest and now just a wasted old man' - I feel like you're not just telling me something, but instructing me what to think too. I want to decide myself whether or not he is/was 'revered'.

Anonymous said...

I would write:

"Behind him was a family of four, the youngest a screaming toddler demanding ice cream, ice cream, ICE CREAM."

Just a suggestch.

Anonymous said...

I liked the menace in this piece. I liked the suggestion that Eric was a complex character.
I liked the writing over all.

I didn't like the use of the word "wasted" twice in so little text.

I would read on.

Macuquinas d' Oro said...

This is well begun. I'm hooked. Why has a man abandoned his calling to devote his life to chasing a thief?
I thought at first that the first 3 paragraph were inner speech, but then the fourth is clearly narrator. This uncertainty of POV was a little disorienting.
As someone else suggested, you should omit "revered".
Maybe "Quick-N-Swift "identifies a city a state or city to some readers, but not to me, and I'm trying hard to visualize where we are. Just a word or two would help a lot.

Talia said...

that is a BRILLIANT continuation

i agree with others on the description of the priest. it was too self-pitying "a wasted old man" and i'm sorry i didn't pity him. i just thought so what?

i like the 1 sentence paragraphs. i think the 4th paragraph needs to be just as "pointed".

it could start:
Eric, scratching his coarse gray stubble, stared blindly out the greasy window of the Quick-N-Swift bus.

well something like that. you can drip feed us the background and information rather than giving his history and current status in one sentence...

good luck

Dave Fragments said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this doesn't advance any story.

I might be very wrong on this.

The first paragraph talks about a thief, and the second paragraph introduces ordinary people and a fallen {?} priest pointing out the doom of two young people.

There's no link between the two ideas except for a polluting bus. And that image is over described.

also, I don't get any idea of impending threat even though the writer wants this to be threatening. WHat is threating? Rants in a journal? I rant at the political talking heads on TV but no one cares, they yawn. Screaming brats area dime a dozen and sweet, innocent youths are stronger than the writer gives them credit.

Try throwing out the first paragraph and starting with the second. Forget the transtional six words. (Sorry to be so cruel to your great idea. The idea is good. The execution assumes the reader can read your mind.) Insert the idea of the waste of time into the second paragraph.

Also, why was the time wasted? Is that going to move Eric into action after a year of searching? Has he found what he searches for? Or is the kid going to help him? Do these nameless characters force Eric into action or do they simply illustrate thetime he's wasted?

If that family and those young people do not figure in teh later story then they aren't going to help your opening. They are going to hinder it. What are them emblimatic of? (wow what a clunker of english that is)

Like I said - I might be totally wrong about all of this.

writtenwyrdd said...

Your writing is very visual and evocative. But it doesn't work as a beginning. I say Ditto to dave's post.

This one's a bit difficult for me to analyse, because I basically like it. I think the issue is that this small bit of text doesn't have a hook. We learn stuff, but it doesn't tie together and doesn't draw me into the story. I'm left thinking So What?

I think you might ask yourself how/if any of this brief piece involves the story or is just filler, and adjust accordingly.

Unknown said...

I really like this voice. The opening grabbed me. I did stumble a bit when it transitioned to the "once a revered priest..." but it didn't stop me from reading on.

Sure there are a few problems that a tightening up would resolve, but all in all, I'd certainly hesitate to involve myself with correcting this person's style. It worked for me.

ROFLMAO @ the continuation. Ewww, but perfecto!!!

Anonymous said...

Was, was, was...try to eliminate some of those weak, passive constructions.

none said...

anonymous #3...try to learn that "was" is not a passive construction.

Anonymous said...

"Your writing is very visual and evocative." -writtenwyrdd

That says it for me.

As usual there are some very good suggestions here to help this story.

I wonder if dave is on to something, though.