Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Beginning 170

When they pulled into Leroy’s driveway, Ritchie knew something was wrong. Leroy’s flimsy screen door was banging in the light breeze. “Looks like someone’s been here ahead of us.” Ritchie jumped out of the truck and helped Quepnal from the passenger side. They sprinted to the front door.

Ritchie looked into the dark carport and saw Leroy’s old Chevy pick-up parked there like a silent ghost. “Leroy?” he called out.

Quepnal pushed the screen aside and turned the handle to the front door. It opened immediately. Ritchie flipped the switch to the hall overhead. A trail of blood led from the entry to the family room. Ritchie followed it into the kitchen, Quepnal behind him.

Ritchie saw the signs of a struggle--chairs overturned, plates broken. A small pool of fresh blood gleamed on the white tile floor.

"Big John," Quepnal whispered, his eyes wide. He pointed behind the table, where Leroy's contorted, lifeless body lay.

Richie closed his eyes. He didn't know which was worse: finding Leroy dead and naked in a pool of blood, or finally learning why Quepnal had given him that nickname.

Opening: ILS.....Continuation: acd


Dave Fragments said...

This "Ritchie jumped out of the truck and helped Quepnal from the passenger side. They sprinted to the front door." doesn't make sense. "helped Quepnal" implies he's in some way infirm, then they sprint.

It's moving very fast, maybe too fast. You could just open the narrative with them looking at a dead body and discussing it if you want a dead body in the first 150 words.

Like open with somthing like: "He's dead," said Ritchie to Quepnal feeling for a pulse.

HawkOwl said...

When I read the names "Leroy" and "Ritchie" I knew something was wrong. Then I looked into the dark carport (really?) and I saw what it was: the writing is as hackneyed as a silent ghost. And also, someone who has to be helped out of a vehicle isn't likely to sprint very effectively.

I have to go find the eye soap now.

Cheryl said...

Really, hawkowl? I had a problem with Quepnal. I think that's what they put in my IV during childbirth.

There's certainly little things in here that need work. Like this sentence:

"Ritchie flipped the switch to the hall overhead."

Taken out of context, it seems strange, doesn't it? Did he take a switch and throw it upstairs? Or did he actually turn ON the hall?

Anonymous said...

1. "A trail of blood led from the entry to the family room."

2. "A small pool of fresh blood gleamed on the white tile floor."

I doubt that one body would generate this much blood. Unless Leroy went through a juicer.

Anonymous said...

What's in a size?

McKoala said...

Quepnal? Never heard that name.

This didn't really appeal to me, but the continuation was pure gold.

Bernita said...

Unlike Illiterate, I am not Lady Macbeth.
But the helping and then sprinting is a problem.

writtenwyrdd said...

This continuation is great, but mine had zombies!

I liked much of this beginning, but it needs editing. The helping and sprinting, like everyone else is mentioning, didn't work. Also, Quepnal's name is distracting.

The amount of blood isn't excessive; a little looks like gallons. I think it's the color.

Like Dave said, you might want to start with the d.b., although I liked the image of the flapping screen door. It's been overused in film, but you don't READ that image.

I'd read on.

braun said...

Good heavens, please don't start with "He's dead".

Talk about hackneyed.

Kate Thornton said...

Real bodies have more blood in them than you canimagine - if it was coming out during life, there'd be *a lot* - loved the continuation!

Quepnal - was that my word ver?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing this is actually sf and Quepnal is an alien. That would explain why Ritchie had to help him out of the car - his legs are really short - but then he can sprint because he has about six legs.
Word ver is cylos - another good alien name, though perhaps too close to that dreadful Hubbard book.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone--

I'm the author and this is a novella I wrote several years ago, while I was learning how to write. I like the story premise but it obviously needs a complete overhaul. I was reading through it the other night, cringing at all the bad writing, and thought, "why not send it to EE?"

And Quepnal? He's a Bigfoot who befriends Ritchie and helps him solve the murder of his friend, Lester. So that explains why he had to be helped out of the truck.

Thanks guys for the honest comments. I can't decide if I want to rework this project or begin on a new one.


Anonymous said...


I forgot to add that I loved the continuation! That alone was worth the post--

Good going, acd--


Anonymous said...

I say rework it - it starts with a bang and there's nothing wrong with bad writing in a first draft. The point is to have something down on the page/screen that you can revise.
Ritchie is a laid-back good ol' boy, Quepnal is the Bigfoot who befriends him. Together - they fight crime!
Ahem. Sorry. I'll go away now.

HawkOwl said...


I think the drug name we're looking for is Quetiapine. It's an atypical antipsychotic marketed by AstraZeneca under the brand name Seroquel.