Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holds Breath, Pushes "Publish Post"

Alright. I've been dreading doing this for a really long time. I get so many comments/emailed responses to my blog, and all of you are so dynamic in your own writings and opinions that it scares me to think what your internal reactions will be.

But, internal musings aside, I'd be delighted to hear some of your thoughts on this (completely new and revised) first 300ish words. Disclaimer: This hasn't been seen by anyone but me. Feel free to make ANY corrections. My poor beta reader has been run through the mill with this book haha. (Hugs to Ebyss!)

MARTYR
CHAPTER ONE


Shivers ran down my arms, and I cradled my purse to my chest. It wasn’t just the chill of the parking garage; something was wrong.
Taking a deep breath against the ensuing tingle of other minds, I lowered the barriers that usually protected my brain in public. Close to midnights on campus, there wasn’t a lot of activity to bombard me. Except for one familiar signature.
“Chloe?”  My voice was hoarse, barely resonating a yard in front of me in the empty parking garage.   
Help!
The sound of one of my students struggling made my shoulders tighten in surprise. Her thoughts were already quieter than they had been a moment ago. I closed my eyes to focus, to see what she was seeing. A rag of foul tasting chemicals over her mouth, unbearable pressure squeezing her from behind. She slapped at the man, tried to scratch him, but it was no use. She was fading fast.
I dropped my purse and shot off toward the elevator bay. It took two tries to get my shaking fingers to press the call button. Another mind sharpened. It wasn’t the same sensation as Chloe’s normally simple signature. The energy was fierce and angry.
My fist pushed into my eyes and my teeth ground. A glimpse inside of the man’s head pushed me into action. I closed my eyes and focused on Chloe before sprinting down the two flights of stairs to the third floor landing area.
Jagged pieces of the smashed security camera lay scattered over the floor . Turning towards the elevator doors, I felt the man’s mind enter mine again. He was hoping the person who had called for the elevator wasn’t on this floor.
I crouched as I frantically searched the small area for something to act as a weapon. The doors started to slide open and my gaze fell to a broken piece of camera. The plastic curved like a scimitar and my hands trembled as I picked it up. Tested it’s weight. Silently, I positioned myself beside the mechanicals doors. Waiting for them to emerge. . Chloe’s red hair came first. Her carefully constructed curls were tossed over her face, blocking it from view. He carried her over his shoulder like a limp sack, knocking her head against the elevator opening as he started towards the exit. 




Okay. Thoughts? Opinions? I'll be biting my nails in the corner if you need me.

<3, Bethany

4 comments:

  1. Wow Bethany, this is really great! There's lots of good tension, and you're definitely dropping us right into the middle of the action. I'm already on edge reading it!

    Just a couple of comments

    1. The opening para kind of feels at odds with the rest of the section - she says there's nothing to be paranoid about, but just a few sentences later it seems like she's in the parking structure for a reason b/c she knows Chloe is in danger and is there to save her. Did I misunderstand?

    If you decide to keep it, I think you could flip the order of the 2nd and 3rd sentences and make it stronger.

    2. I found some places where you cold tighten sentences up and make it flow a bit better. I'll send you a word doc with track changes and you can decide if you want to use them - they're just suggestions.

    Overall though, this is great! I get a good sense of the MC's determination and what's at stake here, just in this brief opening!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bethany,

    Great premise. You're overwriting your sentences. I have a habit of doing that as well.

    For example this ---> "Taking a deep breath against the ensuing tingle of other minds, I lowered the barriers that usually protected my brain in public." could be this ---> "I sucked in a deep breath and lowered the barriers shielding my mind.

    Great action paragraph here ---> "I dropped my purse and shot off toward the elevator bay. It took two tries to get my shaking fingers to press the call button. Another mind sharpened. It wasn’t the same sensation as Chloe’s normally simple signature. The energy was fierce and angry."

    Except,this line confused me ---> "It wasn’t the same sensation as Chloe’s normally simple signature."

    Or this ---> "I crouched as I frantically searched the small area for something to act as a weapon." could be this ---> I crouched and frantically searched for some kind of weapon. (I don't think you can search for something as you're crouching--you'd have to crouch first and then search.

    So just watch out for awkward sentences where you're trying to explain too much. Other than that, I'm intrigued. Is this a group of people who can read minds or does Chloe only read them?

    Great start! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely exciting and intriguing, makes me want to read more. I do agree that some sentences are overwritten, so Brenda has a point there.

    Also keep an eye out for redundant words, as in "My fist pushed into my eyes and my teeth ground. A glimpse inside of the man’s head pushed me into action." You have "pushed" in there in back-to-back sentences.

    Also, words like "midnights" should be "midnight" and "mechanicals" should be "mechanical" in the sentence where she is positioning by the mechanical doors.

    I'm guessing Jamie's tracking changes will address the miniscule nits.

    Oh, and the dude carelessly knocked poor unconscious Chloe's head against the edge of the elevator door? Ouch! That'll smart later.

    Anyway! I'm happy I found your blog so I can take part in this process of being on the inside of your work.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I completely agree about the overwriting.

    This is a first draft, and it's so nice to have some eyes on it. I'm think my poor beta reader is getting as tired as I am of reading this book haha.

    Thank you Jamie, Brenda and J.M. for your input! Revising away.

    ReplyDelete