Friday, August 01, 2008

Opening No. 4

I shake my head in disbelief it's him. Ethan, right in front of me, walking towards the
water. I would know his walk and frame anywhere, even after thirty years. I fight the urge
to run up to him and say, "I can't believe you're here! I never stopped loving
you! Why aren't you dead? And why are you in New Hampshire?"

"Whoa, hold on. Don't you think you should look at his face?" The small voice
in my head speaks, overpowering the throbbing sounds that rise through my throat and into my
ears. I turn and see Jennifer; she's getting ready to leave.

I feel like shouting, "Jennifer the love of my life came back from the dead, and
he's here, on the beach. We can't leave." I fear she'll think I'm nuts.
We haven't known each other long and Jen is not used to my idiosyncrasies.

"Jennifer, you getting ready to go?" Nothing like asking the obvious.

"I'm a bit tired and I want to be awake driving home. Do you mind?"

"Not if I can take another dip." I really don't feel like swimming, but he is
in the water and I need to see his face.



Sherryl said...

I like the idea of this, but I think what bothers me is that there are two major pieces of dialogue that never get said. They just get *thought*. Maybe keep them as direct thoughts?
I'd suggest you move the first one (what she would say to Ethan) down further, and keep the focus on the action. I'd cut the bit that starts "overpowering the throbbing..." - that sounds like a speed boat revved up, or something outside of her.
I'm assuming the narrator is female, and this is maybe romance. Do we need the information that her and Jennifer are not close friends yet?
I'd like another story question or two, and if you move things around a little, you could easily place them in here. Hook us in with good bait!

Anonymous said...

I understand what you mean about the dialouge... I will change that.

Thanks for the input.

This is not a romance book, according to formula. It also has to do with the DEA, deep cover, drug lords, coyotes, and sex slave (not in a sexy way) :)

Sherryl said...

OK, if it's not romance, I'd suggest you darken the tone more. Leave any reference to love for later and focus on stuff like how come Ethan isn't dead, and maybe give us a foreshadowing of future death and/or violence? That'd hook me in!

Esther.Jade said...

I felt a little bit thrown into the deep end by this one. In terms of being situated, it seems to be in New Hampshire on a beach and there's an Ethan, a Jennifer and a "I" involved.

In terms of genre, I'm guessing romance.

But I probably wouldn't read on, because I feel like I've been thrown into all these emotions and pieces of information and I don't have an anchor. It reminds me a little of what Sherryl said about having dialogue where the reader can't get a grip on the context.

Rashda Khan said...

If this is a Romantic Suspense or Thriller, I think the beginning needs to be more reflective of that.

Reading it as is, I was geared for a love story/mystery.

Also, instead of a whole bunch of questions I'd keep it short and sucker-punchy: "Why aren't you dead?"

Just my two cents. I hope my comments help.

Anonymous said...

It is a romance mystery. I do appreciate your comments. Thanks.