Friday, May 03, 2013

New Beginning 1001

Despite my longing for a goddess the hunt was my favorite part of the game. I had enjoyed plenty of evenings as the hunter but now preferred women come to me. They would tap me on the shoulder or pinch my ass and steal me to a reserved corner. My skills with women were sharp, they competed shamelessly for my attention.

The most populated orgy of the year did not begin until the third night of the summer solstice party. My guests arrived masked for the reputations of politicians and aristocrats had to be guarded. At sundown house servants lined candles in glass domes along the carriage drive. Hundreds of Thomas Chippendale canopy beds surrounded by lanterns framed my estate. Many stood at windows and marveled at the panorama when they arrived.

We lived for those nights, and during the revel of seventeen sixty-two I was rendered immortal.

The opening ceremony began the way it had for centuries. All we knew was that it was a tradition to establish order to lustful chaos. The thirteen goddesses waited for us, and I anticipated their presence with yearning.

But some ninny got the purchase order wrong and thirteen carloads of clowns arrived in our eagerly lustful presence. It was a culture clash of ass pinching and tweeting horns, of fake red noses and engorged red prongs, of balloon animals fashioned from condoms and seltzer bottles that sprayed lavender lubricant. 

By morning, each of the thirteen goddess had a pair of newly deflowered followers, I had my immortality prize for creating the best debauch in the eighteenth century, and the resulting offspring were knee high to a prat and just as sassy. 

Opening: Elizabeth Tudor.....Continuation: Dave


Unknown said...

Continuation: And as I was feeling rather randy and the goddesses were apparently holding court on their own time I decided to pleasure myself forthwith.

Critique: There's a lot of telling going on here. It reads like a prologue or journal entry, not the opening scene in a novel. I would swap paragraphs one and two, as the second one is more compelling IMO. I'd ditch the third one altogether. Let us learn how he is rendered immortal in the moment as it happens.

If you have written a prologue, and this is it, I'd reconsider.

I'd like to experience the action here, not have it all recounted for me, but that's my preference. I prefer immediacy and engagement, and I feel detached in reading this.

Unknown said...

Furthermore, I am a fan of the comma and feel this piece could use a few.

IMHO said...

At dawn's light my ass remained un-pinched, the canopy beds pristine. My attempt to establish order on lustful chaos rendered the orgy no more erotic than a round of speed-dating in a suburban Applebee's. Viagra, the Goddess of tumescense, had skipped out early while Cialis, the Goddess of endurance, stayed to the end. In short, the whole thing fell flat.

Dave Fragments said...

I was called away from the computer. I'm back...
I'm not fond of the wordiness of the opening. You are setting to much scene and not enough action.

I changed the opening around somewhat. I think the exciting line is about his immortality and the outdoor orgy candles and beds and masks are window dressing.

So this would be my revision:
During the revel of seventeen sixty-two I was rendered immortal. In spite of my longing for a goddess, the hunt was my favorite part of the game. I enjoyed being the hunter, preferring women to tap me on the shoulder or pinch my ass and behave shamelessly.

The most populated orgy of the year began the third night of the summer solstice celebrations. My guests arrived in fine carriages along a candle lit path. Hundreds of canopy beds lit by lanterns filled my gardens. Many stood and marveled before taking their place on the fine silks.

The ceremony began the way it had for centuries, creating order to the lustful chaos. Thirteen goddesses waited and I anticipated each one with an ardor worthy of a god.

IMHO said...

Comments: I am not at all interested in the protagonist, who sounds like an arrogant unpinched ass. Show me his skills with women, don't tell me his opinion of himself.

And the estate is framed by hundreds of Chippendale beds? I get that you're trying to establish wealth and decadence on a large degree, but this feels industrial, rather than sensual.

Finally, "My skills with women were sharp, they competed shamelessly for my attention." This sentence says your skills competed for your attention.

This could be a really juicy and engaging opening, but needs revision, IMHO.

Evil Editor said...

The 2nd sentence seems to contradict the 1st.

Semicolon, not comma, after "sharp."

Comma after "masked."

I question whether hundreds of Chippendale canopy beds existed in 1762, as the Chippendale family business started in 1754, and didn't involve mass production.

The I was rendered immortal line doesn't belong at the end of a sentence about something else. You could make We lived for those nights the end of P2, and begin P3:

You might even start the whole thing with It was during the revel of 1762 that I was rendered immortal.

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

"Ass" is an unwarranted shift in diction level from the rest of the passage.

Mister Furkles said...

Thomas Chippendale is not famous for making furniture. He published a book -- lucky guy. (I think Editeur de Méchanceté was his editor.) It's been republished by Dover. So say: Chippendale not Thomas Chippendale. It's a style not a manufacture. Since the third edition was published in 1762, there won't be hundreds.

But fear not. You may simply say hundreds of mahogany canopy beds.

You appear to be trying too hard to affect an eighteenth century style. It's not working.

You start with "Despite" but follow with two thing which are compatible. Combine the first two sentences with "Despite my love of the hunt, I now preferred women to come to me.”

But then when the readers are becoming comfortable with 18th century clubbing they thrust into arraignments for an orgy soiree.

You used "for" as a conjunction which requires the comma. It threw me on first reading because I was expecting it to be a preposition. But "the reputations of politicians and aristocrats" is a poor object.

Too often I had to reread sentences to puzzle out the meaning. Make it EASY to read.

Again, try to stick to one thing on the first page. You get 100000 words to deal with the rest.

I was confused by another thing. You have the beds framing the estate. Were they outdoors? Then the "Many stood at the windows marveled at the panorama when they arrived." Are they looking at the outdoor beds? Did they teleport into the house and look out the windows? Again I am confused. It's not difficult, and no great accomplishment, to confuse me. But I don't buy or read books when the first page is confusing.

Unknown said...

Dave--Love your continuation!

CavdeNuit--as I'm sure this is your piece--As a person who has Rice's Beauty Trilogy nearly committed to heart, I want to learn about your vampire sex fiend.

Make him engaging so we can't wait to find out how he fares in his story.

Polish this up, pal. Make it sparkle. And put your back into it, man!

none said...

Despite my willingness to help, I am unconvinced that first line means anything.

CavalierdeNuit said...

Author here.

Thank you for your feedback. After much face palming and laughing, I understand the problems with the beginning. I tried to make it intriguing, but it just ended up confusing. My head is still spinning.

In regard to the Chippendale beds, (which I don't need to keep in the beginning), Thomas Chippendale was commissioned as a designer by many rich people in the 18th century.

"...From there he undertook many large-scale furnishing projects for grand houses throughout Britain."

"By 1755 his workforce comprised 40–50 artisans, including cabinet-makers, upholsterers and carvers."

(I think they could have pulled off making some beds for a playboy.)

Link to Chippendale facts:

Thank you Veronica, I am going for a Rice vibe. Will polish.

Dave, your continuation made me laugh all day. And thank you for the rewrite.

IMHO, I shall.

Thank you EE for the feedback.

Alaska, you're right. I was not sure about it, but now I know.

Mr Furkles, I feel the same way about first pages. I'll work on making it an easier read, thanks.

I will just cut despite altogether throughout.

Thanks Veronica!:)

Evil Editor said...

Those workers didn't have power tools. And since the average estate would need a lot more tables and cabinets than beds, all of which would have come from the same workshop, I still don't buy that they churned out hundreds of beds all for this one place.

CavalierdeNuit said...

EE, you're right. There were no power tools then. Chippendale had other customers with orders. Hundreds of beds for one person would have been extreme.

Evil Editor said...

And considering how often it rains in England, and what the beds are being used for, I'd keep my Chippendales in the bedrooms and put my Cheapendales outdoors.

Mister Furkles said...


Mahogany was used as outdoor furniture. You may still buy mahogany outdoor furniture. Okay, you must win the lottery first.

Of course, outdoor mattresses might have been a problem. And wool blankets get stinky when wet. Yuck. Just bite my neck already.

CavalierdeNuit said...

Soggy wool + sweaty debauch + moldy wood = gross
Thanks, I will revise.