Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

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D.T.Roberts
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Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by D.T.Roberts » December 8th, 2010, 3:39 pm

Sample scene from new WIP. I'm going for just a touch of suspense. I want to know if you, as a reader would be interested enough to read on.

It appeared on the right. High up on the wall near the ceiling and moved slowly to the left, toward the corner, then across the wall in front of her. It was shaped like the arched window above the front door. Carmen was used to the moving lights made by the sun reflecting off the windows of passing cars, she usually didn’t notice them, but this one caught her attention. It moved much slower than usual. She looked up from her book and watched it until it disappeared, just before reaching the corner on the left side of the room. She watched the wall for a few moments, then, her attention returned to her book.
Her American History final was tomorrow and she had a bad habit of waiting until the last possible minute to cram the night before an exam. After a few paragraphs, the light returned, this time on the left, the same spot from where it disappeared earlier. Carmen looked up from her book again. The light moved slowly to the right and stopped, just short of the corner. She watched for a few moments, waiting for it to move on. It didn’t. She stood from the couch and walked to the window. Using her fingers, she parted the drape just enough to see. The car was stopped directly in front of the house. She didn’t recognize it. She tried to see the driver but sun reflecting off the tinted windows made it impossible
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Down the well
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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by Down the well » December 11th, 2010, 6:48 pm

"Sample scene from new WIP. I'm going for just a touch of suspense. I want to know if you, as a reader would be interested enough to read on."

Honestly? No, not yet. At least not in this short of an excerpt. I haven't been shown anything compelling yet about a car stopping in front of a house. Now, if Carmen had an emotional response that seemed out of proportion to a strange car stopping in front of her house I might wonder why, but so far I think its mostly a descriptive scene without much oomph yet. Maybe you could show us a little more of what happens next?

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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by Guardian » December 18th, 2010, 10:41 pm

D.T.Roberts wrote:Sample scene from new WIP. I'm going for just a touch of suspense. I want to know if you, as a reader would be interested enough to read on.
Right now, these two paragraphs are dry in my opinion. I explain why...
It appeared on the right. High up on the wall near the ceiling and moved slowly to the left, toward the corner, then across the wall in front of her. It was shaped like the arched window above the front door. Carmen was used to the moving lights made by the sun reflecting off the windows of passing cars, she usually didn’t notice them, but this one caught her attention. It moved much slower than usual. She looked up from her book and watched it until it disappeared, just before reaching the corner on the left side of the room. She watched the wall for a few moments, then, her attention returned to her book.
The first sentence is not going to grab the reader. It's too general. And take a look at the beginning of each sentences...

"It", "High", "It", "Carmen", "It", "She looked" and "She watched".

It's very-very repetative (3 "It" and 2 "She" beginnings, just in the very first paragraph.). Try to rework these sentences and try to write a very good opening line. Your novel depends on the first sentence.
Her American History final was tomorrow and she had a bad habit of waiting until the last possible minute to cram the night before an exam. After a few paragraphs, the light returned, this time on the left, the same spot from where it disappeared earlier. Carmen looked up from her book again. The light moved slowly to the right and stopped, just short of the corner. She watched for a few moments, waiting for it to move on. It didn’t. She stood from the couch and walked to the window. Using her fingers, she parted the drape just enough to see. The car was stopped directly in front of the house. She didn’t recognize it. She tried to see the driver but sun reflecting off the tinted windows made it impossible
The beginning of this paragraph sounds like if you would direct a movie... "left", "right". And then there is a "She watched", "It", "She stood"... then we have "Using", "The" (Which is not a problem)... then another "She didn't" and a "She tried". So in this paragraph you have again four sentences which is starting with "She". Try to rework these ones.

Just in two paragraphs six sentences are starting with "She" and four is starting with "It" which is going to bother the reader.

Add some atmosphere and color to the scene.

1. Describe Carmen's thoughts (Did I turn off the oven?)
2. The sounds what she hears ("Ice cream! Ice cream!" shouted a man nearby... "I don't want to go to school, mommy!" argued a little boy with his mother... "I'm batman!" cried a crazy guy and then he was pushed into the ambulance car by two friendly nurse. etc, etc...).
3. Describe the air and the atmosphere with it (Was it wet? Or dry?).
4. Or write something about the book (Chapter 27 - American Civil War. Regardless how many times I read this chapter, one thing never change. The ending. The Confederacy is always loosing...).

So add anything which flips into your mind. Imagine yourself onto the street, into her place and describe what you see in your mind.

I hope it helps.

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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by MysticFiddler » February 22nd, 2011, 8:27 pm

D.T.Roberts wrote: It appeared on the right.
"It" does not make a good opening line. Too vague and does not create mystery. More mystery could be achieved by rearranging your sentences along this line:

Carmen was used to the moving lights made by the sun reflecting off the windows of passing cars, she usually didn’t notice them, but this one caught her attention. It appeared on the right. It moved much slower than usual. High up on the wall near the ceiling and moved slowly to the left, toward the corner, then across the wall in front of her. It was shaped like the arched window above the front door. She watched the wall for a few moments, then, her attention returned to her book. She looked up from her book and watched it until it disappeared, just before reaching the corner on the left side of the room.

[There are other, structural things that could use some tweaking in your sentences, but the sentence chronology is better for grabbing attention and luring the reader in.]
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DanielaTorre
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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by DanielaTorre » March 14th, 2011, 6:40 pm

D.T.Roberts wrote:Sample scene from new WIP. I'm going for just a touch of suspense. I want to know if you, as a reader would be interested enough to read on.

It appeared on the right. High up on the wall near the ceiling and moved slowly to the left, toward the corner, then across the wall in front of her. It was shaped like the arched window above the front door. Carmen was used to the moving lights made by the sun reflecting off the windows of passing cars, she usually didn’t notice them, but this one caught her attention. It moved much slower than usual. She looked up from her book and watched it until it disappeared, just before reaching the corner on the left side of the room. She watched the wall for a few moments, then, her attention returned to her book.
Her American History final was tomorrow and she had a bad habit of waiting until the last possible minute to cram the night before an exam. Usually waiting until the last possible minute = cramming the night before. Eliminate one of them. After a few paragraphs, the light returned, this time on the left, the same spot from where it disappeared earlier. A simple, the light reappeared would suffice.Carmen looked up from her book again. The light moved slowly to the right and stopped, just short of the corner. She watched for a few moments, waiting for it to move on. It didn’t. She stood from the couch and walked to the window. Using her fingers, she parted the drape just enough to see.If she parted the drapes with .38 calibre pistol, that's interesting, but if she used just used her hand to part them, then it's uneccessary. The car was stopped directly in front of the house. She didn’t recognize it. She tried to see the driver but sun reflecting off the tinted windows made it impossible
There's so many ways of writing this one scene without explaining every single movement that both Carmen and the light made. You have to be careful with "filter words" such as she saw, she felt,, as well as over-describing. Here's a link that might help. ----> http://writeitsideways.com/are-these-fi ... r-fiction/

As far as grabbing one's attention, it didn't sorry. Perhaps if you made a point of her being alone in the house, or Carmen living in a very secluded neighborhood, or even the hour in which he was studying (3AM maybe), then the act of a car pulling up in her driveway would create some suspense. It would make me want to read on and find out who could be arriving at her house at such an ungodly hour.

Hope this helps!!!!
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Chantelle.S.
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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by Chantelle.S. » April 5th, 2011, 8:37 pm

D.T.Roberts wrote:Sample scene from new WIP. I'm going for just a touch of suspense. I want to know if you, as a reader would be interested enough to read on.
With new WIP I'm guessing this is only your first or second draft, so I'll stick to answering your questions.
I didn't feel suspense. I was curious about this weird light, yes, and I thought you described it beautifully since I could actually visualise it. But the suspense was lacking. The character showed no emotional response to the light, in fact she was quite indifferent to it according to the line 'she was used to it', so maybe if you revise that part somehow...
As another member said, you need to breathe life into the scene. You've got the props in place, now all you have to do is throw the reader straight into the scene with the character. The way it's written now is more like telling the reader what is going on rather than having the reader engaged in the actual story.
But like I said, I was curious about the light, and I'm curious about who is in the car outside. Whether I should care who it is or what happens next is up for debate at this point, though.
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Re: Exerpt scene from IRREFUTABLE.

Post by sonyablue » April 9th, 2011, 12:14 am

I think the descriptiveness is great, but I think it just goes on a bit long about the light. By the end of it, you've lost me - I no longer care about what's going on. Your protagonist doesn't seem to care much, so neither do I, KWIM?

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