View Full Version : Critique: Good Prologue?
January 16th, 2005, 04:30 PM
I was just wondering if a few of you would take a look at this beginning and let me know if I got off on the right foot. I have been writing some alternate beginnings to this, but so far this is the best I can come up with.
It is too big to post here and I don't want to pollute the community with a small, unfinished peice. So if anyone is interested, PM me with your email address and I will send away.
It is only about 1100 words, so it is not much, but it sets the stage and I want to know if it does good at that.
It is really simple so far, a strange storm has hit the city and the private detective gets a bodyguarding case. Both of these elements will build to the point that they are no longer what they originally were intended to be and both will be key factors in the story.
So PM away! And thanks in advance!
BTW, you can discuss here instead of in personal email that way we can all talk to each other and clear up any problems.
January 16th, 2005, 05:38 PM
I really like your writing style, as it's very easy to read but still incredibley descriptive. Unfortunatley my eyes are shutting, so I'll have to read the rest tomorrow, but from what I've seen so far, it's looking good. :D
January 17th, 2005, 12:21 AM
Warning: Lots and lots of spoilers!!!!!
And why are you reading this thread without getting the story first anyway? :rolleyes:
I read it, I liked it. The pacing seems just about right. There are not glaring spelling errors everywhere. I does give an idea about where it will be going without having to dig through pages and pages of exposition.
After a couple of readings I jotted down a few comments, they are mostly about style, IOW, what follows are my opinions, so don't feel obligated.
In the 3rd paragraph, where you said, "the city never really had storms like this,". I think you are trying to indicate how unusual this storm is, but trying to do it without drawing undue attention to it. Especially in that paragraph it sticks out (Look Scoobie, a clue!). You may want to either downplay the storm a bit or have people gaping at the sky wondering whether it's the end of the world.
In the next paragraph, "In fact, he had had an uneventful week." Just seems awkward to me. Maybe you should let him mope a bit more about how he has nothing to do, and can't even go to the park and feed the friggin' pigeons because of the friggin' thunderstorm. Except in character.
About the newscasters, was the storm the most important story to them, or was the next big storm? If your character is going to be sarcastic about something, the sarcasm has to agree. It's a rule, somewhere, maybe.
Just after the break, he's preparing the lock the door, perhaps he should do it at a quarter 'till five. Ethan doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would refuse to think in contractions.
When he is interviewing Leah, I expected him to get more information. You can abridge there if you want, but indicate that he found out where she goes to school, where she works, family, boyfriends, exes, possible enemies, that kind of stuff.
On the other hand. Ethan would not need to ask Leah for her phone number and address unless it was not printed on her checks, and then she would need to explain why it was not.
Hope that wasn't too detail oriented. I think you have a great start.
So, either Leah is really being followed, or she is not. If she is really being followed, she is being followed by someone who wants to harm her, or someone who wants something from her, or by someone who is attempting to protect her.
If she is not really being followed, it is all in her mind and she is delusional, or she is setting up Ethan to be her alibi, or she is getting Ethan out of his office so her associates can trash the place looking for a mysterious black sculpture of a bird which isn't there. . .
Write on Drew
January 17th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the comments, there sure is a lot to think about.
The quarter 'till 5 thing got me too. I couldn't figure out how to write it out and make sense. I suppose "'till" would be correct! :p
Here is my predicament with the storm. I decided to downplay it a bit by not mentioning a whole lot about it, and making the main character not care much about it. It is going to be an important element, but I don't want people to be reading the whole story thinking about some rain. Then again, maybe that could be a good hook...
I realized that after I looked at it again that the conversation with Leah was a bit awkward. He didn't ask for a whole lot of information, and I was intending to have them talk about themselves somemore while they were out and about together. Then again, you are probably right here in that a PI would not just talk to someone for two minutes and pick up their case.
I've been having some second thoughts not on the plotline exactly, but on how it is presented. I am going to hold out for a bit longer and see if anyone else is grabbing at the prologue, and then I will explain what direction I am taking with the story and maybe we can all brainstorm on a way to present it.
Thanks for the reads, fellas! :)
January 17th, 2005, 06:05 PM
I'm thinking you want to have the storm in the background until it becomes suddenly very important. You may have to make a few tries at that, it has to be handled just so.
It occured to me that a real P.I. would probably have a client fill out a form. Yeah, that would be boring to write. For the purposes of literature, an interview would be better.
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