Friday, August 01, 2008

Opening No. 1

Life is sorrow. Lynn Hana Alexander balanced on one leg, eyes closed, and pretended
to be a tree. Her grandmother always said a calm mind could conquer anything. She focused on
the white noise of Houston traffic seeping into her apartment and imagined her outstretched
arms as strong branches reaching toward light. All her sorrows and worries dropped one by
one like dead leaves, spun and fluttered as the wind of her will tossed them far, far away.

The shrill ring of the phone startled her into planting both feet on the meditation mat. Her
aching arms sagged to her sides. Who on earth would be calling her at seven a.m. on a
Sunday? She should have turned the phone off.

Lynn inhaled deeply, and exhaled listening to the second ring. Probably her mom calling to
discuss table centerpieces or some other wedding related matter. She groaned. The last
person she wanted to talk to and the last topic on earth she wanted to discuss.

A third ring. Mommy dearest could leave a message. She closed her eyes and focused on the
First Noble Truth: Life is sorrow.

Fourth ring. Hope leapt in her heart and her eyes flew open. Maybe Rob had come
to his senses.



Sherryl said...

OK, I'm situated here, I know where we are and who this is. I think I don't need that first line - I like it better near the end, where it makes a point. But not as a repetition.
The first paragraph felt a little bit slow to me. And I wondered if you could tighten up that sentence that starts "The last person she wanted..."
Love that last line though - it turns everything else on its ear.
Yes, I see story questions. But I'd like to see another one in that first paragraph. Get the hook in early!

Anonymous said...

I don't like the first line either. The story is much better without it. When I read Life is sorrow, I did not want read the next sentence.


Angelica said...

If I leave the first sentence out and starts to read at "Lynn Hana Alexander balanced on one leg, eyes closed, and pretended to be a tree," then I get hooked. Why on earth would she wanna be a tree? I think the sentence that's starting with "All her sorrows" is somehow not needed. For me it gets too slow and too philosophical.

Esther.Jade said...

I love the second sentence! I think it would make a better opener than the current first sentence.

I thought it was well-situated - it's about Lynn, she's in Texas, it's contemporary and she's trying to meditate.

I'm guessing the genre is romance or drama. There only seemed to be one main hook - what happened with Rob and her plans for getting married. Though, I think that's sufficiently big to keep me reading.

Anonymous said...

I would drop the first sentence, too. It didn't seem to "fit" with the rest of the graf, and the second sentence makes a much better opener, IMHO.

If the pace could be quickened just a bit, that might be beneficial, as well.

As for hooks, it sounds to me like she's in the middle of planning a wedding and the groom decided to take a hike. (Who was it who said "Men should be like Dustbusters: Charged up and ready when you need them, and out of sight the rest of the time? ;-) )

Rashda Khan said...

Thanks for all the comments, Appreciate your time and thoughts. The first sentence is history and I'm back to tweaking. :)