Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Beginning 751

Memories - one of the few things no one can take from you. Sometimes you wish someone would. And yet, the best way to get over memories is to acquire more memories.

Stepping from these pages, subtlety still intact...or not...

Often it's not the story but who you were, how you were, during it - and we can all become someone else quicker than we'd like to admit. Some persona last months, some last hours. A song heard while grocery shopping can sink one into certain melancholia while a well-timed surprise gift can give one the confidence to face whatever comes for a week. But when it's not what happened but how it felt when it happened - that's what makes the difference. For example: once I spent a over a week in Cancun with two of my cousins and that was fantastic and once You and I spent an early spring Friday night in a park for a couple of hours. I can still feel the mud swishing beneath my feet while You and I sat on the swings talking...

But enough of that. We move on. The world, it moves on. I'm ready for new memories, more memories, bigger memories. We had our good time. You were with me when I needed you, always . But now I have to let you go, and take everything you know of me. It's the end for us. Forget about me, my old friend: The 64Gb iPhone just came out and I simply can't be seen with an old Motorola Razr anymore...

Opening: Kstyrose.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:

while the wind carried to us the noise of the loggers in the forest trimming the trees with their, you know, that's what I wanted to say, those, uh, watchamacallit... things for trimming... branches, uh...Chainsaws! Yes, that's it. Be careful there with that--



* * *

...and then he said "for Christ's sake lady, I don't know you, now shut the fuck up and let me finish my drink," and I fell off my stool and I don't really remember much after that...


* * *

UnclePete: Lisa, you weren't supposed to tell anyone about that, remember? Now it's on my wall and everyone can see it and I'm going to get in trouble!
55 minutes ago

Lisa98: Sorry, sorry, I thought this was just between us, just like-- Shit. How do you delete this stuff?
12 minutes ago


Evil Editor said...

This is mostly vague, and even when it finally gets to something concrete--the trip to Cancun, the swings--it's not clear how those are examples of the vague concept they're supposed to be examples of.

P.1: Change "best" to "only."

P.2: Delete. You can't count on many readers knowing what this means.

P.3: Dump the first two sentences. Delete "certain" and "well-timed" from the third sentence. Dump the rest and come up with a way to make your point more clearly.

Chicory said...

I actually liked the first two sentences. This is going to sound really harsh, but... they were the only part I liked. This reads really passive. Have you considered starting your story with an active scene?

150 said...

You lost me at "A song heard while grocery shopping can sink one into certain melancholia" and by the capitalized You, I was gone, baby.

I believe "persona" is the singular form.

Your subtlety is intact. Your clarity, however, is a battered mess.

writtenwyrdd said...

I know it seems like a cliche, but start with some action.

Nothing happens in this start except some nameless person waxing pedantic in a blank white room. It doesn't matter how relevant the stuff is to your story if you bore your reader; they'll set your book down unread.

You need to hook their attention, make them want to know what happens next.

What might be the case is that you thought this was the opening, but you really started too early. Why don't you try this: Go to where some physical action occurs, the first thing after this opening. That is probably the actual opening.

Joanna Hoyt said...

I liked the first 2 sentences, and found the third amusing/annoying. P.2 puzzled me--my best guess is that the MC is either writing the introduction to her memoirs, or reading old letters or diaries that bring memories flooding back.

"We can all become someone else quicker than we like to admit" hooked me again, but the following examples seemed rather bland and not really a case of changing identity.

"But when it's not what happened but how it felt when it happened - that's what makes the difference." lost me.

Dave Fragments said...

I think that this: the best way to get over memories is to acquire more memories. is your money line. It alone in all of this will draw the reader into the story.

But the sentence prior to it and the ones after it are not helping it. Cut in half.

" of the few things no one can take from you..." is a loaded phrase that brings about thoughts of political intrigue. That's a different concept than getting over memories by acquiring memories. The concepts battle each other at this point.

The relationship of personas and songs stuck in our heads does not help the softness and romance and whatever that quality of acquiring new memories represents. I think those two concepts are like playing a few bars of Death Metal in the middle of Mozart's requiem. Worse yet, they aren't memories. A persona is not a memory. Neither is getting a song stuck in your head a memory.

But Cancun and the park swing are memories. Why don't you start with those memories?

If you open with:
Once, I spent a week in Cancun with two of my cousins. Fantastic, the bubbles in a glass of champagne. Last spring, you and I spent a Friday night, sitting in the park. I can still feel the mud swishing beneath my feet while we talked.

Don't add a third. That makes this a list and that will be deadly. Those two sentences must be unresolved. That primes the reader for your money line.

The best way to get over memories is to acquire more memories.

This hints at something sinister, unpleasant, painful or regretful. I don't know where you are heading. Your character can reveal him or her self and go on from this point.

(Aw rats! I thought I hit send on this right after lunch. Here it is still hanging around my computer. Sorry about that.)

Anonymous said...

The opening felt like a breather between what came before and what was coming next. My impression was you were trying to work out where this was going as you wrote it. Are you staring at the right place? Evil's comment gets to heart of it.
Best of luck,

_*rachel*_ said...

There was a time you could have gotten away with an opening like this. Unfortunately, that time ended maybe a hundred years ago.

This isn't badly written--I like the voice--but it's fluff. Start with the actual story. If you're going to keep any of this for your story, keep the third sentence and the bit starting with Cancun.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

What's interesting to me is that miniondom seems divided over what of the first paragraph is the better hook for your story. Is it the first two sentences combined or the third sentence? (I'm in the first two sentences camp.)

This points perhaps to the work at the beginning being unsure which way it wants to go. That first paragraph contains two distinctly different thoughts -- and the book could take off in two different directions from there. But the follow-on doesn't really explore either idea raised in the first 'graph. It goes off on a parallel track, making this entire opening feel not as cohesive as it could.

I recommend looking a few pages into the ms and figuring out where the story lies, then coming back to this opening and modifying it so that it fits/hints at/points the reader toward the ultimate direction.