Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Beginning 850

In the living room, the TV voice broke and changed as someone flicked through the channels. That meant two things: Nat was home early, and something was worrying her.

Ally leaned on the edge of the doorway.

"Police are still searching for seven men--" the TV informed her, before Nate froze the screen. The faces of two of those seven men glared back at her.

"You're only scaring yourself."

"They're showing the photos now." Nate said, and rewound the report.

"So? If they turn up at the bar, the Boys will deal with them."

"Look at him." Nate pointed to one of the two faces now on the screen.

"Simon Raboso?" The name was familiar.

"That's Sim." Nat ran her hands through her hair. "My ex, remember?"

"I remember the name."

"Short guy, dark hair--"

"Got put away for beating up his pregnant girlfriend?"

"Yeah, him."

"You're not worrying about him, surely?"

"Not about him." Nat turned off the TV. "Ally, he has friends who still come to the bar. What if he thinks he can, you know, come here for help or something?"

Ally thought for a moment. "I doubt he'd come here, Nate."

"What did you call me?"

Uh-oh. "Um, Nat...I meant Nat. Nat!"

"That's better. And he will come back, I guarantee, because I was the best he ever had, even if he did beat me up."

Ally withdrew into the kitchen. Her roommate was splitting into Nat and Nate again, like he always did when things got stressful.

It was going to be a long week.

Opening: Xenith.....Continuation: Khazar-khum


Xenith said...

See that's what happens when you're working on too many things at once. You get your characters mixed up :(

(Really. Nate is the main character from New Beginning 486, so that's what my fingers think I'm typing. *sigh*)

Evil Editor said...

Glad to know there's a logical explanation for the same typo appearing three times. Calling her Nat and Nate would be almost like calling a male character both Jenn and Jennifer. Not that that would bother some people.

Speaking of names, if there must be a nickname for Simon, I prefer Sime, as no one's gonna pronounce Sim to rhyme with rhyme.

Why does Nat tell Ally that Simon has dark hair as she's pointing to his photo on the TV screen? Has he shaved his head?

I don't get why, when Ally says, "You're not worrying about him, surely," Nat says "Not about him," and then proceeds to explain why she's worrying about him.

For that matter, I don't get why Ally says "You're not worrying about him, surely." Her ex just broke out of prison (I assume) and she's sitting there watching and rewinding the news report, and it's already been declared in paragraph 1 that she's worrying, so surely she IS worrying about Simon. What else?

Why is "Boys" capitalized?

Anonymous said...

I once owned a tv, but sold it after realizing I hadn't turned it on for three years. That was in 2000.

There have probably been all kinds of advances in the technology since then. Can one, in fact, freeze the screen now?

The first graf has the Jenn problem: when someone is named Nat/e, we expect her to be male.

Anonymous said...

The dialogue feels forced and stilted. Full of info-dumps and as-you-know-Bobs.

Xenith said...

Oh, damn. It's supposed to be worrying about what will happen *to* someone vs worrying about might they might *do*. Eh. Everything I read this opening with the intent of rewriting it, my eyes glaze over. I suspect it might require CPR, or a complete transplant.

Sim (rhyming with him) is the name used. I thought Simon was the obvious full name. Possibly not.

Boys is a nickname for the bouncers that I obviously over-edited.

Hair is brain-dead writer.

Xenith said...

My TV is CRT so I don't know. But this is set 50-100 years in the future. Yes, you can really tell that, I know.

It's actually not full of info-dumps, other than the "still searching for" line. (The character in question is a bit player for gets taken off stage fairly quickly). It just reads like it is.

Anonymous said...

The only Sim I ever knew was a Simeon.

Evil Editor said...

You can freeze the screen and rewind it today. It's not a function of the television, but of the cable company's software or of a Tivo-like device you purchase.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have reached the point of over-familiarity that makes editing really difficult because your brain is reading things that aren't on the page because it's all so clear and detailed in your head. So you're not sure what's obvious to readers and what needs to be stated there in the text.

Sometimes that means it is time to put this particular thing away for a while and come back to it when you can read it with a little more sense of discovery.

EE said...

It's true that some Nathaniels are nicknamed Nat, others Nate, but I feel certain plenty of Natalies get called Nat, so I wouldn't be bothered if that were used consistently. Although many Natalies would probably prefer Natalie to Nat.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

"It's actually not full of info-dumps ... it just reads like it is."

I very much enjoyed this line :o)

However, Ally is leaning on the doorway and can presumably see the TV, yet Nat tells her "They're showing the photos now."

It sounds like Ally and Nat have known each other awhile, and yet Ally appears to already know something about these 7 men and that they worry Nat but NOT that one is Nat's ex? Nat has conveniently left that bit out till now? And Ally doesn't recognize the man's full name but knows him by his nickname?

As EE pointed out, Nat describes the man Ally can see onscreen.

And Ally must reaffirm that Nat's ex got put away for beating up his girlfriend? How many exes does Nat have? Ohhh, THAT ex. Not the one who killed the puppy or the one who robbed the bank or the one who scammed 100 old folk out of their life savings or the one who...

If it walks like a dump and squawks like a dump...

Maybe kill this back-and-forthing and have Nat point at the screen and emote:

"OMG, look! Sim's one of them. What if he thinks he can come here for help or something? I mean, if he could beat up his pregnant girlfriend, for christ's sake, what's to stop him from coming here and hitting on me?"

Then Ally can step in as the voice of reason, trying to calm Nat down.

vkw said...

I didn't like it from the very beginning. I had trouble with

"that meant tow things: Nat was home early and something was worrying her."

I'm not sure why anyone would think that channel surfing would mean something was wrong or maybe what was meant that because Nat was home early her friend things something is wrong.

Either way I think I would change it.

The sound of the TV confirmed that Nate was home early. That meant something was wrong.

Ally looked into the living room.

blah blah

"you're only scaring yourself."

"You're not the one with psychotic ex. Remember he beat up his pregnant girlfriend for christ's sake," Nat responded. "You know his friends still hang out at the bar."

"So what, the boys will take care of him, if he is stupid enough to show up there."

"There he is now," Nat pointed to the television screen where a man with dark hair and beady eyes stared into the camera for a mug shot.

"What if he thinks he can come to the bar to get help from me or his friends?"

"He won't. You're being paranoid."

The screen flashed Sim's six accompliances who broke out of prison with him. All hardened criminals and not one with a decent mug shot.

Something like that. . . maybe

Xenith said...

Oh, you lot are wonderful.

It's not over familiarity that is my problem but the opposite. It's shiny/new, the thought of all the work ahead of me overwhelms me and I forget how to write. (So course I go off and work on things that are almost done and therefore need a "higher level" of editing.)

I really can't see what's wrong with it, other than that it doesn't work.

But, Phoenix, thank you. You made me realise it's lacking emotion & character personality, which is why it sound like an information exchange. (Although I don't see why she can't have lots of exes )

And vkw too. You've shown me the same thing.

(And Simeon, that will work)

(And I've just realised I was signed in with wrong account.)

St0n3henge said...

I was wondering if this person was switching genders, and this was sci-fi. People who switch genders when they're upset.

Yeah, it reads info-dump."Short guy, dark hair--"

"Got put away for beating up his pregnant girlfriend?"

"Yeah, him."

If it helps, I read "Sim" as in simulation.

I couldn't tell it was in the future, either. I assumed they had something like Tivo.

You'll get it right I'm sure. It's always hard to dive in and tackle the first edit.

Xenith said...

Thanks, AA :)