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  1. #1
    Aarin Edwards
    Guest

    Restart - Opening scene - short

    While I’m at it, I may as well offer up the short opening to my novel I rewrote from scratch. The original was a low-key scene of the two main characters chatting in their dorm room. I believe this is more active, without starting with a gunfight (which I refuse to do). There’s nothing you need to know other than it’s science fiction.

    ***

    Lillian strolled through the streets with a confidence beyond her age. It was nighttime in the district, meaning the simulated day had ended, shrouding the city in the eternal night of deep space. The girl had no trouble seeing between streetlamps or into the darker nooks and alleyways she passed. Tossing her long, platinum-blond hair, the student dared a group of four men loitering at a bus stop to impede her progress. It wasn’t likely. They knew who she was, and knew it was in their best interest to leave her alone.

    “Hi, ****,” greeted one of the men as she approached. A normal ruffian, she didn’t know his name. He easily outweighed the girl twice over, and towered above her five-foot frame.

    “Hello, boys. Have you seen the gang?” Her voice was sweet and innocent, and her doll-like face offered a genuine smile. Lillian tried not to wrinkle her button nose at the stench of whisky exuded by the quartet.

    Another thug spoke up, barely containing his bitterness. “F**kin’ Knights think they own The Kettle. They chased us out of the square two hours ago.”

    “Is that true?” **** looked to the original speaker, raising an eyebrow.

    First shooting a glare at his buddy, the hulking man raised his hands. “Naw, it wasn’t like that. They just said there was gunna be trouble tonight, and we should stay away from it.”

    “It’s good advice. Thanks, and take care.” Lillian waved and hopped off the street corner, crossing against the light. It was late Sunday night, the streets were dead.

    “Ok, s-see ya later, ****!” The ruffian took a minute to watch how the girl’s dress swayed as she walked. It was black with blue trim, had a short, loose skirt, and was as elegant as it was cute, making the most of her youthful looks. She also wore an Academy uniform jacket she’d ‘borrowed’ from her roommate. It was quite oversized on the petite girl. After she left sight, the man slapped his outspoken comrade on the back of the head.



  2. #2
    P Brown
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    Aarin,

    “Ok, s-see ya later, ****!” The ruffian took a minute to watch how the girl’s dress swayed as she walked. It was black with blue trim, had a short, loose skirt, and was as elegant as it was cute, making the most of her youthful looks. She also wore an Academy uniform jacket she’d ‘borrowed’ from her roommate. It was quite oversized on the petite girl. After she left sight, the man slapped his outspoken comrade on the back of the head.

    Try cutting out the appearance of the dress and just try to explain how he was mesmerized by her looks, unless the dress and jacket have a meaning to be known here. It seems too lengthy and points your attention more to the way she's dressed than the way he's acting due to it.

    That's about the only thing that stood out. The rest looks fine.

    ~Pete

  3. #3
    Jackie Lynch
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    ...she was, and knew it was in their best interest to leave her alone. Don't think you need a comma here.
    It sounds good. I am reading into what I think she is going to do, which I would think you are hoping for.

  4. #4
    Aarin Edwards
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    Thanks.

    Pete, you may be right about the dress, though I was using the scene as a device to get all the appearance descriptions out of the way, though I can easily spread it round later through the chapter.

    Jackie, I am a near-fatal over-punctuator. It's probably my weakest mechanical skill, since I think everything should get a comma, semi-colon, or--dash. Thanks for bringing that instance to my attention. It's quickly becoming a point of emphasis in my revisions.

  5. #5
    Rachael Elg
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    I was just about to say the same thing about the dress. If you really would like to keep the description, make it so that **** 'fingered the blue trim of her dress' or 'wrapped the oversized Academy jacket closer about her to fend of' hey, you could even provide some information in regards to months and seasons, 'the chilly November air'.

    I really enjoyed it, and saw nothing wrong with it other than what Jackie and Pete pointed out. I think, however, that I already know where this is going and don't quite know if this is a good thing or not.

    Rachael

  6. #6
    Aarin Edwards
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    Well, Rachael, I won't be able to tell you if you're right or wrong unless I know what you're thinking. I pray I'm not that predictable based on a half page, but then again, one of my favorite things is twisting clichés.

  7. #7
    Venus --
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    On the comma thing, there's a rule that I didn't learn until I had to teach it. I always did commas wrong before that. When you have two independent clauses that you're putting together with a conjunction (I went to the store, and I bought milk.), put in a comma. When it's just a compound predicate, leave it out (I went to the store and bought milk.) So, if you can split it into two complete sentences, always put a comma. Otherwise, leave it out, unless your sentence is long, and it's confusing without a little pause. Make sense? Maybe that'll help in the future. Also, not sure why you wrote "gunna" instead of "gonna." Obviously, not a real word anyway, but I'd spell it the second way.

    I was also a little confused about why the guy stutters at the end. I wasn't sure if it was because she's attractive or because he's drunk. I agree that's the only part that needs a little tweaking. Good stuff, in my humble opinion!

    -Karen

  8. #8
    Usman Ijaz
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    [She] had no trouble seeing between streetlamps or into the darker nooks and alleyways she passed. Tossing her long, platinum-blond hair, [Lillian / she] dared a group of four men loitering at a bus stop to impede her progress.

    I just think it reads better if you don't keep referring to her by something different everytime: "The girl", "The student", etc.

  9. #9
    Aarin Edwards
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    Usman - You're probably right. Eventually I'll need to get over my disdain for simplicity.

  10. #10
    Misti Wolanski
    Guest

    Re: Restart - Opening scene - short

    The "long, platinum-blonde" seems a bit overkill up front. Do you really need to have that all together?

    As it is, it screams "description sidetrack!!!"--to me, at any rate, and I'm ill.

    Dropping all your description (or too big a chunk of it) in one place, especially a semi-taut scene, hurts the tension.

    Since this is a tensely-mooded scene, you want to keep things short. "Long" is probably all the reader needs to know for now; you can add the "platinum-blonde" later in the chapter, or beyond that.

    Why spell "gunna" as "gonna"? "Gonna" comes from "going to"... Picking spellings that are close to the original is a good habit, particularly if you intend to develop some of your own dialect and/or slang.

    On the bright side, you are describing your characters (something I have some trouble with, sometimes). Misplaced description, overdescription, and underdescription are all equally deadly to your readers' interest, so be careful!

    Remember: appropriate place and small bits!

    Sorry if I'm redundant or am sounding rude (unintentionally). As I mentioned above, I'm sick.

    Keep writing!

    -Misti

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