Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pick Which Novel Beginning You Like the Best

            Jill is more business than frill. She can joke and carry on with the best of them, but she usually chooses not to, unless she is trying to get information from someone or she's trying to get someone to do something for her. She was raised with four brothers and learned quickly that sugar worked better than vinegar.

I have three possible starts on Jill's story. Which one do you like the best?

I'm not a big fan of task forces. Grimes, my SAC, should have left me at headquarters, but instead I'm sharing a break room with the uniforms. He promised we wouldn't be here long, just until we got this case solved. Cops from every department want these murders to stop. I probably want the murderer caught more than anyone, but still I long to work from my own office.
            A petite, dark haired uniform interrupted my train of thought with her clamorous giggle. With a poignant look at her, I held my head high, turned the corner and exited the room. My heart clutched when I hit a wet spot and skidded. I recovered and looked around, no one in sight. The door had slammed behind me.

            I turned, twisted and tucked my thick, unruly hair under the blond wig. The band snapped when I pulled the fake hair forward. I growled under my breath. It's a bad habit to stick your tongue out when performing a difficult task, but I always have. Mom would say, "Jill McKeel, someday you're going to bite that tongue off." Ignoring my inner mother, I stuck my tongue out the side of my mouth and with one last pull, whammo, the wig slid into place, almost.

            The plane landed at O'Hara and the beautiful Maria Gonzales looked in awe at the collection of people rushing from one place to another. Zuzak, New Mexico seemed far away. She spotted a woman who looked  like her mother, short and round, straight dark hair, rich cocoa colored skin  and an eternal smile. Maria smiled at her and she nodded.
            Maria said, "Buenos Diaz."
            The smile broadened and she replied, "Buenos Diaz, Senorita."
            At first glance the tall, slim, light-complexioned Maria didn't look like a Spanish-American, and even though she was born and raised in America she still had a faint Spanish accent. She looked for the shuttle that would be taking her to her hotel. She had never been this far from home, she bit her lip as she tried to decide which way to go.
            She thought she heard her name being called and turned toward the person. A flash went off in her face and people were running towards her with microphones, cam-corders and cameras. She raised her arm over her eyes to ward off the bright bursts of light. She had become popular in New Mexico and had done several interviews, but she hadn't dreamed that people would know who she was in Chicago.

            "Maria, my beauty, look my way. If it is possible to will someone to look in a certain direction I will you to look at me. Please, just give me some kind of acknowledgement. Surely you remember me."
            No one hears me. They probably think I'm talking into one of those tiny Bluetooth cell phone headsets. "Do you hear me, my lovely?"

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  1. I like #2!

  2. I like #3 because it sets the scene, but you move it into the terminal too quickly. You need to bring the reader into the terminal with Maria. Perhaps with something like: "The plane landed smoothly and taxiied up to the terminal at O'Hare International. Maria Gonzales pulled her carry on bag down from the overhead and joined the other passengers filing slowly to the door. Once inside the terminal she was almost overwhelmed by the crushing crowd..."
    Don't tell the reader that Maria is beautiful. Show her by description: "As Maria made her way through the mass of people, men stopped to admire her trim figure, her long black hair, and her eyes that literally snapped with an inner vitality. Even women turned their heads to admire her beauty.
    I like the woman who looks like Maria's mother. Will she become a factor or play a further role? If not, you should drop her because she adds nothing to the story, but if you can work her into the plot I think she'd make an interesting character.
    This sounds like a fun story to write. I'll definitely keep up with it.
    BTW, it's buenos dias; no z.

  3. I love the first line of number one.It's wry and sardonic, and sets up that something big has already happened, and she's in the middle of it.

    Number two feels like something critical is going to happen right away. That's good.

    Is number three still Jill's story? Then hmmm..I might not begin that way.And I agree with Dennis-"beautiful" is telling. In fact, if you were gong with that as the beginning, I'd cut about half of it.

    But whoa, now I really want to read this book!

    And one last thing. Stop worrying! Just write it the way you want it!!

  4. Thanks Eleanor, Dennis and Hank. I sure appreciate your input. Dennis you have a wonderful way with setting up the situation. LOL, Hank, if my book can be half as good as yours I'll be happy.

  5. I vote for #1. It gets the reader right into the action. We know there's been a murder, and possible more to come. Also get a good feel for the protagonist and the kind of day she's having.

  6. Thanks Tiger. I appreciate your input and your thoughts on this. I think the beginning is so important.

  7. I like them all and think you should go with your feelings and gut.I'm not a writer,but do read alot.I like when i feel the writer in the book.Brenda

  8. Oh boy, I like #2 and #3 both! However you decide to start it please incorporate both into your book. Dennis had some good pointers. I also can't wait to read this book. You did me a great kindness in naming your characters. Thank You. Cher'ley, this book is going to be great, no doubt in my mind!

  9. Number 2 puts us in touch with Jill right away. My fave.

  10. I like the tone of number one. Intriguing. The voice is something I could definitely follow.

  11. Hi Joylene, How you doing? Thanks. I'm going to start working on this book again. I haven't done much with it in awhile.

  12. I fancy #2 a lot. It pulled me right into what was going on. The other two were good, but not as exciting as #2.