Friday, August 01, 2008

Opening No. 2

A knock at the door startled Vera's packing. She grabbed some gowns and
dumped them over her travel case.

She opened the door a crack. It was Grey. Even with his mouth twisted into a
tight line of disapproval, the dark strands of his hair falling across his
face made Vera's heart do double back-flips. Vera schooled herself. This was
not the time to indulge her crush.

"Yes?" she said, injecting a note of irritation into her voice.

"What are you up to?" he asked, arching an eyebrow at her. He pushed the
door all the way open and strode into her room.

"Excuse me!" Vera drew herself up to her full height and placed her hands on
her hips.

He ignored her, tugging her travel case from out under the pile of clothes.
"Really Vera. What would your parents say?"

"My parents," Vera repeated, choking a little bit on the words. She blinked
and swallowed. "They would..." She took a deep breath. "They'd want me to
leave; they didn't want me to end up serving that man."

"That man? I assume you mean the king?" He frowned at her. "And just where
are you planning on going?"


Sherryl said...

First thing - it's Vera who's startled, not her packing (grammar thing). A few good story questions in here - why is she running away, why does he want to stop her, why does he think he has the right to march in, etc.
But I wasn't sure of genre or place - the mention of serving and king at the end threw me into "is this fantasy or contemporary?" confusion. Can you make it clearer what this is? If it's fantasy, you can use some clever setting details to clue us in. Whichever it is, it still feels like some kind of romance to me. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sherryl

A knock at the door startled Vera's packing.

Did Vera get startled? Or her packing? This somewhat confused me.

I also don't like the heart doing double back flips... it seems like a cliche.

I did like the story, and would read it. Your first line was good, except for the wording.. but it made me ask: What is she doing with the gowns, and where is she going?

Thanks for posting


Esther.Jade said...

Hmmm, what if I made the first two lines of the story: "A knock at the door startled Vera. She’d told the guards not to let anyone into her parents’ wing of the palace."

It's not quite a romance, but the romantic elements are an important part of the story arc.

Rashda Khan said...

I think I like Esther Jade's revised opening lines better.

Also, just a pet peeve of mine.

"Yes?" she said. (i'd leave out the rest of the tag because it's telling. If you want, you could show her irritation through an action tag --but that's just a suggestion.)

To me this sounds like a Fantasy with romantic elements, and I like those. So I'd keep reading.

Anonymous said...

I like the abundance of hooks (Where is she going? Who is this Grey person who feels entitled to just march into her room? What happened to encourage her to leave? What's up with her parents?), but can I mention a few nitpicks?

The revised opening is MUCH better, I think. Not only are we situated better in genre and place (originally I imagined this contemporary for some odd reason), but the new wording gets rid of that awkward first sentence. (It's difficult to startle a gerund, isn't it? ;-) )

Instead of "She opened the door a crack," what about "She cracked the door"? Conserves words, and "cracked" is a more descriptive verb.

Is "schooled herself" some colloquialism with which I'm not acquainted? I found it a bit ... well, odd. Perhaps she "steadied herself" or "corralled her emotions" or "shoved aside whatever made her heart go pitapat every time he was near"?

Just thoughts. :-)