Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Beginning 239

The day showed no sings of improving. By the time she got to the restaurant, after chasing him all over the city for the better part of the afternoon, Tera was grumpy and hot. Her hair stuck to her sweaty forehead and her feet swelled and burned in her sister's too-small shoes.

"Gods know you could use all the help you can get, Tera. Your legs are decent, at least. You just need some real shoes."

Some people had a gift for giving kind advice. Her sister Lexie was not one of them.

Tera minced her way into the cool, dark interior of one of Miami's most exclusive restaurants, pretending she was ready to meet a demon she didn't know and order him around on behalf of her employers.

High heels, hell. She should have worn a suit of armor.

“One moment.” The maitre d’s casually outstretched arm stopped Tera short. “Do you have a reservation?”

“Ah -- yes. No. Yes. I’m meeting with Mr. Abaddon.”

“Really?” He looked Tera up and down, and she imagined how she must look after hustling across town. She dabbed at her forehead with a tissue. “This way,” he said.

Abaddon sat in a corner booth, a stained serviette tucked into his collar and a half-eaten entrĂ©e in front of him. “Please, sit down.” His voice trickled like warm chocolate. “Shrimp Fra Diavolo,” he said, holding up his loaded fork. “Delightful.”

Tera slid into the booth.

The demon put down his fork, chewed thoughtfully, and swallowed. “Delightful,” he repeated as his gaze invaded her. He could kill her with a thought, she knew. “We'll get down to business in a moment," he said. "But first, a bit of advice, if I may . . . ?”

Tera wasn’t sure she wanted more advice today, and certainly not from Abaddon.

“Those Jimmy Choos are exquisite, of course," he said, "and they’re almost your size; but you really shouldn’t wear open toes with your feet.”

Opening: December Quinn.....Continuation: ril


Dave Fragments said...

If this were my opening, I would turn that entire first paragraph into Tera's diatribe about bad fitting shoes. And then that third paragraph of one sentence, would become a single line of sarcatic dialog back to her sister.

By doing this, you would let the character speak for herself and not read about it.

The dialog in the continuation is done very well.

And a very personal note -
Does someone here have a fetish about high heels? Or are we channeling the ghost of Imelda Marcos? Dave asks, puzzled and wondering?

Anonymous said...

Some authors think the protagonist must be described before any real action can start. It's more acceptable to start that way in some genres than in others. I think the shoe obsession thing was so very chic in chick lit you needed shoe talk in the first three pages or else forget publication. Hard-boiled murder mysteries and edge-of-your-chair spy thrillers etc. usually put action first and leave shoe styles for later. Much later. If ever.

Robin S. said...

I really like this - "Tera minced her way into the cool, dark interior of one of Miami's most exclusive restaurants, pretending she was ready to meet a demon she didn't know and order him around on behalf of her employers."

I think it would be a great opening sentence - I love the picture it gives me!

Also really like the continuation, ril.

Wonderwood said...

Bravo ril! One of your best, if you ask me. I thought the writing in the opening was strong, too. I'd suggest attributing that second paragraph to the sister before the quote. I think the third para would be stronger for it. Good job on both counts!

word ver: dykle... seriously... too many possibilities...

Anonymous said...

By the way, you spelled "signs" wrong in sentence #1.

McKoala said...

To me this sounds like mid-story rather than a start? Could be wrong, though. If this is a start, I think you could tighten - e.g. not sure you need to say 'grumpy and hot' ,because you immediately show this. Could even leave out the next two paras and let it be a mystery why she is wearing her sisters' too-small shoes. The 'mincing' sentence is great!

Ril the shoe maven. Who knew. Quel continuation charmant.

Stacia said...

Yeah, you know, right after I saw it up on the continuation list I realized that "Tera minced..." is actually my first sentence.


But by all means, more comments! And thanks!

Robin S. said...

Hi december quinn,

I know what you mean about seeing exactly what you would do differently, AFTER your opening is posted. That nabbed me, too.

Anonymous 8:55's comment made me wonder - what's the genre you're going for, or is it a blend? It would be fun to read the next few paragraphs to see what direction you're taking the story. I like the idea of the humor and the demon mixed together.

And anonymous 11:00 pm -
Good Lord. Are you itching for a career with the typo police? Were you a hall monitor in a past life?

If you are, then here's a little test - without looking back - what was the typo under the Notes section of Face Lift 293?

I'm afraid I'm guilty of "committing typos" all the time - because I can't type worth a damn, because I'm strapped for time and usually doing two things at once when I'm typing up a comment, and because it's human nature to see what you expect to see and not necessarily what's actually in front of you.

shaded-lily said...

Yes, I agree: "Tera minced..." is your first sentence. It's very intriguing.

Great continuation, as usual.

Evil Editor said...

While mentioning typos in an opening or query riddled with errors would get tiresome, it's likely that the openings were cut and pasted from the work itself. An author may appreciate having a typo in her first sentence pointed out. This is why EE doesn't fix them; if I did, the author might never realize they're there.

Just as Evil Editor doesn't mind having his own typos pointed out so that he can fix them--though I prefer you wait until I've had time to read the posts myself, as typos seem to be easier to spot once published.

So, what's the typo in the Notes of 293?

Robin S. said...

It's the word "if" in this sentence - "Then this college student pulls if off as a prank?'

The same "type of typo" as the sings vs. signs switch, of the "it's human nature to see what you expect to see and not necessarily what's actually in front of you" variety.

Evil Editor said...

Airrer fickssed.

Brenda said...

I like this. I agree with others where to start it. I'd definitely read on. Love the tone and would love to see where the story goes.

Bernita said...

Oh, so that's where the marbles came from.

"Tara minced..." is a good opener.

Brenda said...

Oh. You deleted all of that crap. Oops.

In other news: MY T-SHIRT IS HERE!!!

writtenwyrdd said...

DQ, this isn't bad at all, but I think it still needs a bit of editing. "sings" in the first sentence was an unfortunate typo. "After chasing him all afternoon" would probably be improved by something other than a pronoun. The thing I thought problemmatic was that I had zero idea what relevance the shoes had to what was going on, and the amount we see them in this admittedly small sample of the beginning makes them loom as if vastly important.

I like the tone. Sounds like lighthearted, wry, and chicklit.

Stacia said...

Yes, I'm actually grateful about the typo because--although this is actually a first draft, not that anyone here would know that (thankfully)--I just noticed a typo in a completed work that I've edited four times and reread at least three more. So they do slip by, and yes, especially in a first line it's a big deal.

Although it might be nice if the comment consisted of something other than merely a typo notice.

writtenwyrdd said...

I just read teh comments. I definitely like the idea of starting with "Tera minced."

Anonymous said...

brenda said, "In other news: MY T-SHIRT IS HERE!!!"

Does this mean that all this time you've been commenting topless?

Anonymous said...

Although it might be nice if the comment consisted of something other than merely a typo notice.

Next you'll be wanting something more than a form rejection from an agent.

Brenda said...

My new EE shirt.

I'm not topless ALL the time. Geeze.

Stacia said...

Actually, anon, no I won't.

I don't submit to agents to get feedback. I sub to EE for that.