HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 74
  1. #1
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    I know that the opening line, paragraph, scene must capture an agent's attention and I would love to know if this is interesting, boring, terrible. I have my armor on today, so give it to me. Thank you for your comments and time.
    Amy




    Chapter 1
    White Chocolate Mocha

    I was always beautiful to Gavin, but lately, I didnít feel it. I tried to look sexy, but how sexy could I feel when my size sixteens were shrinking? Like the perfect husband, he never mentioned my weight. Probably out of fear that I might slip away into the dark place he assumed I had escaped from. But I knew he loathed it; it was his kryptonite.
    Since the stillbirth of our baby, nearly two years ago, I couldn't discover the motivation to lose the weight. I'm certain he missed my slim body and the way it felt underneath him. He still made love to me as eagerly as before, but I was the one who was reserved. I participated because I knew what had to take place in order for me to get what I wanted ----- a baby. It was lights out for us, and nothing fun like sex in front of a mirror like the old days.
    Today was our 10th Valentine's Day. Hell, we'd been together since we were sixteen. The card I found in the kitchen was beautiful; most are, but I wasn't interested in the pearl hearts embossed into the paper. I didn't bother reading the preprinted words of love everlasting. I was only interested in Gavin's words, words that might bridge the distance growing between us. Or, maybe I would find an apology for his lack of planning, almost forgetting about this day entirely. But the only writing to be found was the familiar letters that spelled out his name. Written at the end of the cardís clichť poem was a signature I knew well:

    Gavin

    "The back, it's on the back." My whisper seemed loud in the stillness around me. I turned the card over. Still nothing.
    I couldn't confront him face to face, he was already at the gym. Being married to someone so disciplined in every aspect of his life was intimidating. I couldn't seem to set goals for myself lately, with the exception of one, getting pregnant. And when I did set goals, I certainly couldnít stick to them, well except for one, getting pregnant.
    I grabbed my phone on the way out the door. All this disappointment over a card seemed ridiculous, but I was going to confront him regardless. Backing out of the driveway, I dialed his number, probably too emotional to be rational. I hardly noticed the rain.
    "This is Gavin."
    "Thanks for the card." Hurt was not becoming on me.
    "Yeah sure, Happy Valentine's Day. What're our plans for tonight?"
    "I made reservations for dinner. I thought we could see a movie afterwards. If you want?"
    "Sounds good. ---- Hey, I need to run. Iíll see you tonight." He was gone, never noticing the hurt in my voice.
    Rain was falling on this day, and like someone on a death march, I was battling the piercing wet wind to spend an hour of my already gloomy morning with a friend I didn't care to be with ---- Lauren Atwell. I guess we all have a Lauren in our lives, the friend that adds no value or significance to your existence, yet you keep them around out of obligation. In fact, she was a negative in the bank account of friendship. She took and took, and offered nothing in return. I knew the game well; after all we had played it since high school.
    As I prepared to spend an hour with Lauren, only one thought occupied my mind. The man I had married five years ago was constructing a wall between us. His silence lately was deafening, and the card verified my worries.
    The umbrella that I clung to, threatened to turn itself inside out. As the darkness that hovered above emptied out buckets of rain, I walked to my favorite coffee shop. Rainwater filled my flats. The pants that I was wearing were slicing me in half, cutting into my squishy, ivory midsection that had become my nemesis. These are, for the record, the largest pants I own.
    I knew that something drastic needed to take place soon, or I would cross over to the other side, the point of no return. This unknown territory was located on the other side of size 16. Clothing lost any sense of shape or style; a mere drape to place over my ballooning body, sparing the world what was underneath.
    Today, I longed to stay in the comfort of my home, curled up with a blanket, in my favorite rocking chair lost in a book. It was safe at home, unlike where I was headed. For I was sure to be eaten alive today by my vicious, shark of a friend. As soon as she got the slightest hint of my depression, like blood in the water, she would be drawn to it.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    136

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    I was always beautiful to Gavin, but lately, I didnít feel it. I tried to look sexy, but how sexy could I feel when my size sixteens were shrinking? Like the perfect husband, he never mentioned my weight. Probably out of fear that I might slip away into the dark place he assumed I had escaped from. But I knew he loathed it; it was his kryptonite nice little superman reference.
    Since the stillbirth of our baby, nearly two years ago, I couldn't discover the motivation to lose the weight. I'm certain he missed my slim body and the way it felt underneath him. He still made love to me as eagerly as before, but I was the one who was reserved. I participated because I knew what had to take place in order for me to get what I wanted ----- a baby. It was lights out for us, and nothing fun like sex in front of a mirror like the old days sounds like that song by lady gaga.
    Today was our 10th Valentine's Day. Hell, we'd been together since we were sixteen. The card I found in the kitchen was beautiful; most are, but I wasn't interested in the pearl hearts embossed into the paper. I didn't bother reading the preprinted words of love everlasting. I was only interested in Gavin's words, words that might bridge the distance growing between us. Or, maybe I would find an apology for his lack of planning, almost forgetting about this day entirely. But the only writing to be found was the familiar letters that spelled out his name. Written at the end of the cardís clichť poem was a signature I knew well:

    Gavin italicize this to make it look like a signature

    "The back, it's on the back." My whisper seemed loud in the stillness around me. I turned the card over. Still nothing. nice short sentences, works well to increase tension
    I couldn't confront him face to face, he was already at the gym. Being married to someone so disciplined in every aspect of his life was intimidating. I couldn't seem to set goals for myself lately, with the exception of one, getting pregnant. And when I did set goals, I certainly couldnít stick to them, well except for one, getting pregnant repetition of theme is good.
    I grabbed my phone on the way out the door. All this disappointment over a card seemed ridiculous, but I was going to confront him regardless. Backing out of the driveway, I dialed his number, probably too emotional to be rational. I hardly noticed the rain.
    "This is Gavin."
    "Thanks for the card." Hurt was not becoming on me a bit formal - just say I was hurt.
    "Yeah sure, Happy Valentine's Day. What're our plans for tonight?"
    "I made reservations for dinner. I thought we could see a movie afterwards. If you want?"
    "Sounds good. ---- Hey, I need to run. Iíll see you tonight." He was gone, never noticing the hurt in my voice.
    Rain was falling on this day, and like someone on a death march, I was battling the piercing wet wind to spend an hour of my already gloomy morning with a friend I didn't care to be with ---- Lauren Atwell. I guess we all have a Lauren in our lives, the friend that adds no value or significance to your existence, yet you keep them around out of obligation. In fact, she was a negative in the bank account of friendship nice way of describing it. She took and took, and offered nothing in return. I knew the game well; after all we had played it since high school.
    As I prepared to spend an hour with Lauren, only one thought occupied my mind. The man I had married five years ago was constructing a wall between us. His silence lately was deafening, and the card verified my worries.
    The umbrella that I clung to, threatened to turn itself inside out. As the darkness that hovered above emptied out buckets of rain, I walked to my favorite coffee shop. Rainwater filled my flats. The pants that I was wearing were slicing me in half, cutting into my squishy, ivory midsection that had become my nemesis. These are, for the record, the largest pants I own.
    I knew that something drastic needed to take place soon, or I would cross over to the other side, the point of no return. This unknown territory was located on the other side of size 16. Clothing lost any sense of shape or style; a mere drape to place over my ballooning body, sparing the world what was underneath.
    Today, I longed to stay in the comfort of my home, curled up with a blanket, in my favorite rocking chair lost in a book. It was safe at home, unlike where I was headed. For I was sure to be eaten alive today by my vicious, shark of a friend. As soon as she got the slightest hint of my depression, like blood in the water like a shark to blood in the water, she would be drawn to it.

    Analysis:
    This story sounds very private, are you sure you want to put it on such a public forum? I like it though. it's very realistic. women's two vices, getting fat, and the thought of not being able to have a baby. you described her depression quite well drawing sympathy from the reader. your description of marriage was spot on.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    688

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    Is this a personal memoir?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    593

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    I think it is fantastic! You are going to be published before you know it. At least this is the first writing sample I have seen on here (sorry) where I would not know that it has been wrtitten by someone not yet published.

    Other's might disagree, but I think it is too good to even want to dissect it for little things.

  5. #5
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    Goodness no, it's not a personal memoir but I guess it's a good thing that it does seem so personal? Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time. Did you find it interesting right away? It is the beginning of my first chapter. This is a paranormal romance novel, the prologue gives you that hint.
    Again, thank you for your critique.
    Amy

  6. #6
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    Hi Sabina, Wow, I really appreciate your nice words. That is really kind of you to say. I am really flattered, but other's will probably say otherwise LOL
    Thank you so much

  7. #7
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    Hi Good morning,
    Thank you very much for your critique, I really do appreciate all your comments. This is not a personal story in the least. I am a mother of three kids, 9,8 and 7 and happily married, at least I think so LOL I did marry my high school sweetheart but he's nothing like Gavin. And I have struggled with the normal weight issues when having babies. But it's not a personal story. I guess it's good that you thought so?
    Really, thank you again. oh, and I don't know the Lady Gaga song?
    Amy

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    394

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    While the writing is polished, the entire first paragraph is an info dump of exposition. Telling not showing.

    Do we need to know in the very first moment about the stillbirth, the weight, etc.? Might it be more interesting if we are shown the dynamic between this couple and discover the backstory later?

    Can you think of some way that you can show us her size, and compare it to the old her, i.e. her trying to stuff her size sixteen body into her size ten dress while dressing for her dinner? Or her putting on a tent like mumu as she catches a glimpse of a photo of herself in a Calvin Klein slip dress?

    Can you craft a scene that shows that Lauren is a taker rather than telling us via narration.

    I do like a lot of your metaphors, but I fear you may be encountering one of the dangers of the first person narrative, that being that your narrator is doing the heavy lifting that your scenes should be doing. Every interesting thing in this passage is your narrator sharing her thoughts about things rather than the reader experiencing those things she's narrating about. Almost all your visual images are metaphorical descriptions (sharks in the water) while there's very little description of the people, places or things you are writing about.

    My suggestion is that you start with action. Like your character reading the card, turning it over - seeing nothing. Or trying on a dress for the dinner with her husband. Don't just put us in her head, put us in her body as well. Let us see and hear and feel what she is, when she is. Don't rely on her telling us about it.

    Good luck,

    Simon

  9. #9
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    Thanks Simon Says, you really make a great point that I would have never been able to see. Isn't it funny how that works? I am so close to it that I'm blind. I do know it's not perfect. And you are right, I do a lot of telling how Chloe feels. This is my very first attempt at writing so I know I have a lot of room to improve. And I've read all about the showing and not telling but damn, it's so hard! I have two openings to this chapter, one starts like this and the other one begins with her finding the card and calling Gavin. Then the stillbirth and weight are placed in the middle of the chapter. I might consider switching it back. Thank you again and I can't wait to look at my manuscript closer on ways to show instead of tell.
    Thanks again for your time.
    Amy

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    394

    Re: White Chocolate Mocha - Opening Scene

    You're welcome, Amy

    Telling vs. showing is something that you will probably need to address on a conscious level for awhile. But once you get used to dramatizing things rather than telling, you'll start showing without thinking abou it.

    The other thing that you need to think about consciously is your exposition and when it is best to reveal what.

    One rule of thumb that I use is that exposition and back story should be parsed out on a need to know basis. Withhold it from the audience until you reach a place where that information is vital to the audience's understanding of what is happening. You may find that there is never a point where some part of your backstory needs to be introduced to the reader, in which case you may not need to include it.

    Clearly the stillborn baby and the impact it's had on the marriage is a vital piece of information and a huge issue for your narrator, so it needs to be included at some point. But for me the question is when. I don't know enough about where your story is going to know if it helps or hurts to let your audience in on it in the first paragraph or even the first chapter. It's all about what makes a better ride for the audience. Sometimes knowing something upfront is best, but often holding off on revealing the wound or root cause of a conflict adds something to the story. Sometimes when you hold off on sharing it with the audience, then when you do it can provide a twist, a surprise, something that makes the audience look at what's been happening in a different light. It can add complexity to your story as well.

    Maybe you can give a way the weight gain in the beginning, but hold off on sharing what caused the weight gain. Again, it's hard to know without knowing what your story is about, but I'm just getting the feeling that you may be sharing the tragedy too soon.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts