Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Beginning 135

Lorelei got her name from her mother, who had heard it on a TV show. She hated it and made everyone call her Lorie. She had tried making everyone call her Veronica Samantha Bliss, but that didn't work; so she was Lorie, and nobody ever spelled her name right the first time.

Her mother was disappointed with the nickname, but Lorie wouldn't budge. Besides, her father approved. He teased that it was easier to remember.

"You're the worst father ever," she informed him.

"I'll bet you say that to all the boys," he grinned back.

Apart from the name, and issues regarding curfews, parties, and boys, Lorie and her parents got along just fine. They didn't understand her determination to grow up and be a geologist, but she figured they would grow into that.

She was thirteen, still gangly, with bushy red hair and scars on her elbows from long years of softball practice. Boys interested her. Dogs and sports and Japanese animation interested her. Rocks interested her--hence, the geology--and tattoos interested her, which was beginning to make her parents nervous. She disliked insects and people with negative attitudes. She wanted to be liked.

So she decided to post a profile on Lorie realized that her profile, stressing her love of NASCAR, alternative music and According to Jim, was perfect, sure to attract just the kind of boy she was looking for: one with a skull thicker than a rock.

Her parents wouldn't understand, of course, but how else was a beginning geologist supposed to gain experience? Lorie smiled as she sharpened her pickaxe.

Opening: acd.....Continuation: Rebecca


Anonymous said...

Wow, a great long lists of facts about Lorelei. That's an exciting way to introduce a character.

And if she really does say "you're the worst father ever," to all the boys, she's probably going to be a single geologist with thousands of tattoos in the years to come.

Having said that, I think you have a nice writing style and I did like the opening paragraph. I think you just need a better way to present the info dump in the fifth and sixth paragraph. Or better yet, lose it altogether and introduce these personality traits more naturally as the story goes on. I want to learn about a character gradually - it's not speed dating.

braun said...

I have to say that this opening quite interests me and that I really don't have a nit to pick. We have no plot whatsoever but we have an interesting teenager who I would definitely want to hear more about.

OK, in the interest of not being completely gushing, I think her father's comeback is kind of dumb. Of course, dads' comebacks often ARE kind of dumb.

braun said...

There's nothing wrong with info dumping per se. It's problematic when it's boring, which it usually is. This is not boring, IMHO*.

* In My Holy Opinion

writtenwyrdd said...

I actually liked the sixth paragraph, but it does need some tightening up. Overall, this is an interesting beginning, and I was inclined to like the character and follow along to see what she got up to.

Anonymous said...

Lorie sounds like a really interesting person. Lots of protags hate their names, but not many want to be a geologist when they grow up. I'd recomment starting the story with the good part, "Apart from her name . . .

Bernita said...

Me too, I liked her.

HawkOwl said...

I was bored at "she got the name from her mother." It's kinda like saying "she had two legs."

Other than that, two things:

1. lots of words, very little content
2. "said bookism"

I wouldn't read on.

Kate Thornton said...

Loved the opening - I would read this book!

And the continuation was great!!!

Anonymous said...

I would give it another page or two to get me. -JTC

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to disagree with most everyone here. This is terribly boring. It sounds like a bio for a dating service. "Lorie's turn-ons include Japanese animation, boys with tattoos, and long walks on the beach." I think the continuation captured that beautifully.


Anonymous said...

There is absolutely, positively nothing happening. Not even a hint of something about to happen. I think it would be better to learn all these facts about the character in the midst of, oh I don't know...a STORY?

Anonymous said...

Didn't like the dad grinning back words. I feel like something is going to happen in the next paragraph, but if it didn't, I would probably not keep reading.

I do like the chatty style, though.

Anonymous said...

She sounds interesting. However, "grinning" is not a valid method of producing speech. I would keep going, but would want something to happen in the next paragraph or so.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sorry. Awfully boring. I have the feeling that this is supposed to be interesting simply because the MC is young. Is it meant to be a breezy, chick-lit/ YA kind of thing? I tend to enjoy that stuff, but it's got to have substance. Or a hook. Or conflict. Or an interesting set of traits that include more interesting quirks. Smooth writing but hollow.

Anonymous said...

Meh. I'd like some story, please.

I'd also like to be "told" a little less. I didn't visualise a single thing while reading this excerpt except for the red hair. The writer is failing to engage my brain on any level, so I would not keep reading.

writtenwyrdd said...

It seems to me the issue may be more one of Voice than of Info Dump. I like the talky voice--for the moment. It can't continue too long or I'll be tossing the book across the room.

But I liked this. Don't change your style, Author, based on our comments... But perhaps ditch grinning words, ;)

Steph_J said...


My name is Stephanie. I finished my novel in July, and I’m just coming to realize how arduous the road to publication is. I found the Evil Editor blog through a link at a site called Preditors & Editors. They highly recommended Evil Editor.

I’ve learned a lot (and never laughed so hard) as I worked my way through the archives of this blog. I was so impressed with Evil Editor’s wit and talent that I was seduced into submitting my query letter for a satirical review. There are six books ahead of me so I have a few days to prepare myself for this. I look forward to critiques and railleries from other posters.

I also wanted to post a few comments for New Beginning 135. The flow of information was smooth and interesting enough to hold my attention, though my focus did wander a few times. However, at my age, I find that my focus wanders fairly often for no apparent reason, so accept the criticism with that in mind.

I thought the exchange between Lorie and her father helped to shed light on the closeness of their relationship, but I would reword it slightly. I would have Lorie say, “You’re the worst person ever.” This way her father’s response would seem more appropriate.

”They didn't understand her determination to grow up and be a geologist, but she figured they would grow into that.”

It’s probably how slowly I read, but for me “to grow up” is too close to “determination”. If the “and” wasn’t there, the sentence would seem strange. Perhaps: “They didn’t understand her determination to be a geologist when she grew up, but Lorie figured they would grow into that.”

There were a couple other points that caused me to pause, but nothing so distracting that I wouldn’t like to read more.

Anonymous said...

This is not storytelling, it's description. Telling, not showing. Yawn. Why should I care about Lorie? let's see her actually engaged in some kind of dialogue, doing something. Get the story started. Even the snippet of conversation with her dad is told, not shown.

Paul said...

Apart from issues regarding her name, curfews, parties and boys, Lorie and her parents got along fine. They didn't understand her determination to become a geologist, but she figured they would grow into it.