Friday, November 20, 2009

New Beginning 705

Showdown: I clip along the street, head up, full of thoughts. There’s still at least an hour before I meet Clytie and Lady Gwen, show them a bit of Manhattan before they return to the aquarium. Then, I hear that voice, the one I still try to exorcise…. ”Twinkieeeee….” I stride on, pretending I don’t hear.

Too late. “Twinkieeee…” as she grabs my forearm, clutching with those pretty silk-painted nails, so now I must slow my gait.

“Hello, Louisa,” I say, barely turning my head. She looks stressed but still stylish, always so stylish, in her smart Prada ensemble of a very short skirt and snug fitted jacket of very just-so beige. She teeters on such needle-thin high heels I wonder how she’s able to walk at all. I keep up my pace, albeit slower.

“You got my messages?” she squeaks, now in sync with my stride, “And my card?”

“Yes,” I reply, still not looking at her. She’s clamped on like the Ugly Duchess now, carrying something in her other arm. It looks like a muff.

“Well, why didn’t you answer?”

* * *

Evil Editor put down the pages and raised his eyebrows. Chick lit. Not too bad. What about the query?

...tells the story of a giant animated Hostess Twinkie with the soul of a dead princess who dumps her acquaintance Louisa (who wears her muff on her forearm), in order to take her friends Clytie and Lady Gwen, the performing seals from the aquarium, on a tour of Manhattan to find the perfect...

"What the f--?" He scanned on. "Ah!"

...should appeal to fans of Bridget Jones' Diary and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...

Opening: Panda Rosa.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

"I already told you. I'm not kidnaping Tim Gunn to get you on Project Runway."


I'm out of patience. Roughly I grab her manicured hands, forcing her a step back.

"Listen, cupcake. You're a sweet kid but it's as clear as the ding-dong from the church steeple that it's over. It was over a long time ago."

Her Botoxed forehead strains to contract as Louisa bursts into tears. I feel a twinge of guilt as she wobbles away down the street. I don't enjoy being cruel, but sometimes it's the only way to get through to a ho-ho like her.

--Sarah from Hawthorne

I sighed and stopped walking. "Well, it's been so busy at the office and my computer stopped and..." I couldn't help myself. "Louisa -- what is that?"

She glanced down at her arm. "This little thing? Isn't it darling? It's from Chanel. This one's fox fur. It just slips right on and looks completely natural! They're all the rage now, all the girls are getting them. You should, too, sweetie; it's nearly beach season, you know, and the Brazillian is so last year..."


Steve Wright said...

I must admit, when I read that first line about her clipping down the street, my first thought was that she was a pony or something. From there, it was natural for me to assume the whole thing was about talking pets; Clytie and Lady Gwen were obviously goldfish, for example.

I really rather regretted having to revise my assumptions in the next paragraph.... I still think the talking pony and the goldfish might be more fun....

Dave Fragments said...

I presume the protagonist is a man because of his commentary about high heels and the length and strength of stride.

It seems to me that you are trying to set two scenes here. One is of a man walking hard through some city. He has purpose. he has heavy and deep thoughts. He is, however, in an hour going to entertain sightseeing friends. A light and frivolous duty before they leave and that somehow troubles our protagonist.

But not as much as Louisa troubles our determined protagonist. She really distracts with all that colorful description. Louisa is a real pip -- clingy, over-dressed, pushy, driven. Just like our protagonist.

Do you see my quandary?

There are not even 200 words here and two ideas are waging battle in the reader's mind for attention. I think you have to rearrange the words so that one idea assumes primacy and the other idea becomes a secondary theme.

Mame said...

I think your writing is good, but I agree that the opening isn't clear enough. I can't comment on the action tags without seeing more of the dialogue.

And drop "Showdown". The last opening covered stage directions.

batgirl said...

Five bucks says the thing that looks like a muff is actually a small dog.

Anonymous said...

Five bucks says the thing that looks like a muff is actually a small dog.

Interesting interpretation, though wasn't it Freud who said, "sometimes a muff is just a muff"?

Anonymous said...

Batgirl got it right! The muff really is a dog, one of the dropkick kinds; thanks from the author.
All the rest, good feedback. It's a scene I've been trying to refine for months.

_*rachel*_ said...

This girl annoys me so much I'd put the book down. Unless, of course, she turns out to be like Lady Callia and we get members of the 2nd Foundation sneaking around.

Frankly, I'm confused about the action. The guy's got a meeting in an hour and a girl he hates tying herself to his arm, right? That's not too hard to figure out, it's just hard to glean it out of all that prose.

I don't like "so now I must slow my gait." What about "Reluctantly, I slow." According to the Fresh Fish Sold Here model, you don't need "my gait." Oh, and you say the same thing at the end of the next sentence.

I was betting on a dog, too.

Loud drunks on the sidewalks. There's a reason I don't go out much on Friday nights. There's also a reason this place is called a party school, and it's not for the linguistics classes.

Adam Heine said...

I like the writing. Comments you've gotten are good. I had a problem with this sentence: "I keep up my pace, albeit slower."

To me, if he keeps up his pace, it means the same speed. Though I guess we're just looking at different definitions of the word.