Friday, February 26, 2010

New Beginning 731

Twas the Night Before Christmas…
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse. . .

Obviously, the author who penned this poem never made it to my house tonight because the noise was deafening, and the creatures causing the ruckus were a lot smaller than a mouse.

Oh, the brouhaha didn’t start out that way. First, it was a single flash of light as a faerie flew into my room, and then another flash joined the first. Once you get two faeries together, whispers started.

You would think creatures as tiny as faeries would be quiet, but once a group of faeries gathered, it soon developed into a gaggle. And the gaggle became a swarm—a swarm of dive-bombing, chittering, light-flashing little heathens, similar to prehistoric mosquitoes.

I pretended to sleep, but cracked one eye to see what was the matter.

My bedroom had turned into a Clark Griswold Christmas with about a bazillion lights flitting around my twelve-by-twelve space. Normally, I liked my cozy hole, but when you add a gazillion faeries—a few more arrived since my previous thought—well, it became a mite crowded. Faeries zipped and zoomed, hovered and floated, and played mid-air poker.

It was quite pretty . . . until the collision.

"The collision, you say."

"That's right. The, uh, collision."

"You see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, not only does the accused show no remorse, no sense that she has done anything remotely wrong, she refers to the events of that night, the carnage, as merely a collision.

"Your Honor, the prosecution would like to introduce Exhibit 2, the weapon commonly referred to as the Fly Swatter."

The defendant closed her eyes as an audible gasp ran through the Seelie court.

Opening: Magolla.....Continuation: ril


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuation:

The collision was loud. I didn't know those suckers would make such a huge noise as they collided with the Raid I expertly sprayed across the room. I keep the can in a hip holster, at the ready. No telling when those little, mouthy, flying things with lights all over them would decide to hold their jamboree. I had quire enough of them. It's Christmas, God rest ye merry....


Evil Editor said...

It's a cute opening. I'm not crazy about the poem and the next line. I might try something like:

Twas the Night Before Christmas…
And all through the house . . .

Creatures were stirring, the noise was deafening, and believe me, these were no mice.

It doesn't sound like a brouhaha, which I tend to think of as confrontational. More like a commotion.

Not sure you can count on all your readers knowing (or at least remembering) the name Clark Griswold.

Ellie said...

I like the idea, and think it has potential, but there are a few things that throw me out of the story.

p1 - Well, obviously the poet couldn't have made it to the narrator's house "tonight" if the poem was written in the past. Also, the mismatch of number (creatures / mouse) jars me.

p3 - "Prehistoric mosquitoes" doesn't enhance my image of the scene. Presumably prehistoric mosquitoes didn't chitter or flash lights, so how were the faeries similar?

p4 - It implies that the narrator has just opened his (her?) eye, but then how would he have seen the flashing lights from the first faeries coming in?

p5 - Is this a MG story? Would kids that age know who Clark Griswold is? (I had to look it up, but I admit to being woefully ignorant in some pop culture areas). Also, "mid-air poker" seems to come out of nowhere; you have four actions and then an activity; it just seems odd.

It's a cute idea. I'd read on.

Ellie said...

I forgot to add, brilliant continuation.

Eric said...

I like the voice a lot. The prose could use some tightening, especially the first three paragraphs. Unless you're going to allude to the Clement Moore poem throughout the rest of the story, it doesn't help much here (especially since your point so far is that your story is completely unlike the poem). My suggestion:

"It started with a single flash of light as a faerie flew into my room, and then another joined the first. I knew that this Christmas Eve was not going to be a silent night..."

What size are your faeries? I have one mental picture, but you say "a lot smaller than a mouse," mention "mosquitoes," and say that "bazillions" or "gazillions" of them can fit in a 12x12 space. (I know the narrator is either exaggerating or can't count, but we're trying to get an image here.) Should I be picturing a swarm of luminous mosquitoes or of birds?

I didn't automatically make the connection with Clark Griswold, but Google suggests that may be my own fault.

Can I just say that I really, really hope the "collision" is Santa crashing his sleigh into the house?!

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

I have to agree with Ellie that the Clark Griswold reference probably won't work on a younger audience book, because even if the MC knows who he is, the reader probably won't.

Also, I'm somewhat familiar with the dimensions of a 12x12 space. And, I'm trying to imagine a 5 foot high human lying on a bed in such a space with a 'gazillion faeries' and still having room to inhale occasionally. It's not going too well. Would the faeries even have space to move in such a crowded environment, let alone play poker?
I understand you're using hyperbole for effect, but once you threw out some numbers I did get distracted by trying to do the math.

wendy said...

Along the line of it takes one to know one you need to control your clever chatter and get on with the story.

I would start here:
"Once you get two faeries together, the whisper(ing) starts (but that’s not where it ends). You would think creatures as tiny as faeries would be quiet, but once a group of faeries gather, (the scene quickly becomes a) ...a swarm of dive-bombing, chittering, light-flashing little heathens (as distracting and potentially devastating as a family reunion with) prehistoric mosquitoes.

(Character’s emotional reaction followed by physical one: At once terrified and yet drawn to their antics in a way I cannot yet explain...) I pretend to sleep, but crack one eye to see what (these unpleasant creatures may have in mind for me next)."

(Then add character's reaction to what he/she is seeing and tie the whole thing up in a bow with this line...)"It was all quite pretty - until the collision."

Now that the story is clicking along you can go back for back story context like it is the night before Christmas and the location.

Well, there's my two cents. I hope I have been more help than hinderance. I do know Disney purchased the rights to the YA novel "Wings" to make it ino a movie, (and I think Miley Cyrus (sp?) is already attached) so if you can get this novel done very very fast it may be timely too.

Good luck with your story.

Hi Ril, very amusing continuation. I wish you would share more of your writing with us. I always look forward to your additions to the blog.

Have a great day my friends. I'm off to the dungeon to write.

Dave Fragments said...

I think you ought to write parts of it in iambic pentameter. Ever so often slip into iambs and then back out.

I liked this. It's charming.

MAGolla said...

Okay, ril is genius! Nearly spewed coffee on my moniter!

Thanks for everyone's input. This was a serial short story that I posted on my blog in six installments this last Christmas. I was literally writing it and posting it. It was a fun challenge and it helped me get into the mind of my MG character.

My kidlet (9 year old) knows who Clark Griswold is, but then again, she has me as a mom who forces her to watch Christmas Vacation right along with It's a Wonderful Life each year. :-)

I really enjoyed all the comments. Thanks again!

Bernita said...

Loved the story, loved the continuation.
Sure, it can be tweaked, but Good Job!

angela robbins said...

Woe is the day when nobody knows who Clark Griswold is... a tear drops from my eye.
Okay, that got a little weird.

The story is cute. I agree with EE, bring elements of the poem in without using the entire verse. I think it's tighter, but your version still got the point across. Keep up the hard work.

Also loved the continuation.

Robin B. said...

ril, this continuation of yours is instant classic stuff!

Hi author,

This has some good stuff - just needs an edit. I agree that Clark Griswold should go - only a small percentage of your audience will know who that is (I didn't see those movies until long aftger they came out, and even then, I could on;y stomach maybe 15 minutes of a couple of them).

The beginning poem part - I'd stay away from using the exact rhyme.

Once you get two faeries together, whispers started. I think this would be a good way to start your build-up, with a tweak:

Once you get two fairies together, whispers begin.

Anyway, good ideas and good stuff and I like the idea of it.


none said...

It jars on me that the opening quotes Major Livingston only to point out he's wrong. I suppose that may be because I'm not your readership, but it's so easy to be a smartass that way that I don't want to read on.

Has some tense issues that need to be smoothed out.