Friday, August 01, 2008

Opening No. 3

 I think I broke a lot of your rules for dangerous beginnings here.  Prologue. Not the
main character (though he is A main character as villain).

The body lay on the bed in a pool of rose petals. Pure crimson. The color
of love. Of desire. Of death. Rigor mortis had come and gone, leaving her
as easy to manipulate and pose as a doll. He dressed his doll in the satin
nightgown he'd found among Mackensie's things. The shoes she'd kicked off
upon her return from the wedding lay discarded near the doorway. The dress
she'd changed out of and so carefully draped over the footboard was now
artfully pooled in the floor. It had been a last minute addition to the
plan�a stroke of inspiration to dress the body in Mackensie's clothes, to
set the stage as if she were waiting for the lover she'd taken here so many
years ago.

His lips curved in perverse delight. He'd been waiting so long for this
opportunity�for her to come back to the hometown she'd cut and run from
twelve years before. And who would have thought she would deliberately stay
*here* in this cabin, where things had gone so dramatically wrong for her?
What a delightful bonus to begin the game here. Oh, how he wished he could
see the look on her face when she returned to find his carefully constructed
tableau.

Kathleen Gresham

5 comments:

Sherryl said...

I can see your reason for the prologue - and there are story questions and action here. Nice descriptions at the beginning. I think you need to be a bit clearer with your pronouns throughout. Is it the dead girl who returned from the wedding, or was that Mackensie? Whose clothes? Who did what when?
Lips curved in perverse delight - that didn't work for me, I'm afraid.
There's a lot going on here, lots of information that needs to be carefully and clearly laid out for us.
I'm going to ask the hard question - do you really really need this? Because I suspect that this kind of opening from the villain's POV is about to become a crime cliche.

Esther Jade said...

I feel sort of situated - it seems to be in cabin in some sort of rural town. I did get a bit confused because I couldn't work whether the "she" he wanted to get back at was the dead woman or the woman who would discover the body.

It definitely sounds like a crime or a mystery to me. There are hooks regarding the back story - who is he? why does he hate her? what happened before she left? why did she leave?

I would probably read a little further but I'd want to be 'unconfused' as to who this crime as aimed at - the dead woman or the discoverer - pretty soon.

seanachi said...

Those questions actually are mostly answered in the paragraph that follows. His actual target is Mackensie--and his payback is very much psychological torture as the story goes on. As to whether I need it...well the villain is a recurring character in the piece. We don't merely see him via his actions--we spend some considerable time in his head. For me (as reader or writer) this is a much more interesting hook than many of the alternatives. But then I love a good villain...

Kathleen

RK said...

Okay,
I understand prologues are overdone, however when done right --there's definitely no other subsitute.

In this case, I like the prologue and gets me into the story. Only thing I'd reiterate as others is make the "she" less confusing since there are two females involved.

Loved the description!

disorderly said...

I really like this. It dumps readers right into a fairly grisly scene, and we're questioning exactly what's going on right off the bat. As prologues go, I think this one works -- but like the others, I'd want some answers pretty quickly, or I'd probably be hopelessly confused in no time at all.

Ditto on the pronouns. :-)