Saturday, October 16, 2010

The First 250-Words Blogfest

Elle Strauss is hosting a First 250-Words Blogfest, and I'm going to play. Now for my 678th attempt at a beginning:

Pieces of Moon

When my aunt Meg warned me about the drop-off, she didn’t know she was tempting me. Now, with the waves brushing against my chest and my feet bouncing over the ocean bottom I anticipated the moment it would all vanish from under me. Twenty feet ahead, the water went from clear to cerulean blue. Be it sharks, mermaids, or Davy Jones, I wanted to be in that place where the unknown lurked below. Anything to chase away the guilt I’d carried since arriving in Belize—that I’d run away from my mom, that I’d somehow abandoned her.

Of course, that was ridiculous. She had Michael now. She didn’t need me anymore.

A nearby kayaker glided through the water, the rhythmic swing of his oar matching the beat of the breakers behind me. I was happy to note the kayaker traveled away from me and toward the fringe reef that occasionally peeked above the water, lining the coast with offshore islands.

Meg’s voice suddenly pierced the quiet, but her words were lost by the distance from the beachhouse. She and David sat on its front terrace. Meg held a life-vest over her head. She probably thought I’d forgotten it, but I’d knowingly left it in the tangle of fishnets and snorkeling gear by the front door. A palette of green palms; blue waters and skies; and white sands surrounded me. The orange life-vest did not belong on this canvas.

Plus, it would complicate diving into the unknown.



In the comments section you may say one of the following:

a) Definitely hooked!
b) Maybe you should try for 679.
c) Is the kayaker in the distance a cute boy she meets on the next page? (Why yes, yes he is.)

20 comments:

  1. Ok a little of all three answers you requested. I was hooked, but there's a lot of description that kind of made it less hookish. and I did want to know more about the kayaker. :)

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  2. I'm hooked! I love ocean scenes. Also, the hint of danger his nice.

    And even though I know this isn't that kind of book, I'm secretly hoping she finds mermaids at the drop off . . .

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  3. Hi,

    Nice hook re diving, great atmospheric description - I'd read on and that's the whole point of an opening scene. ;)

    best
    F

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  4. Yup, I am hooked! I loved the descriptions and voice here, and already have a sense of character. I would read on!

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  5. Great job! Any beginning that gives you questions you need to have answered is a good one! Why is she so enticed by the drop-off? Why did she leave her mom? And get on with the part about the boy in the kayak, will ya!

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  6. Yep, I'm with the rest - definitely hooked. You've raised some questions that I'd read on to have answered - about the mom; why did Meg want her to wear the life-vest; is she not a strong swimmer; why does the drop-off tempt her; and you already answered about the kayaker. I'd go with Elle's suggestion about a hint with a look or something. Great opening!

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  7. I like how you put the setting from what she sees. I have a great picture of somewhere I'd really like to be and this hindering orange vest.

    I choose C.

    Yes, my beginnings go through hundreds of drafts as well.

    I have a lot of questions and want to keep reading.

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  8. Nice writing, my dear. Unfettered, I like that. It seems to be my theme today. You write well and I, too, would have to say all three.

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  9. Love the atmosphere! And agree with Elle's suggestion :)

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  10. First off, nice name! :). Loved urdescriptions and anything set in Belize promises to be interesting. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the line about mermaids & Davy Jones. And boy it'd be hard to feel guilty about leaving ur mom to go to Belize. But I'm definately intrigued. Nice voice overall !

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  11. I'd definitely read on. Perhaps it's a language thing, but at first I thought the phrase "drop-off" meant somebody dropping something off, like a dead-drop in a spy novel. Also, while you've kind of given away the next page in your comment, I didn't really get a feel that the kayaker was hugely significant, so I'd agree with Elle's suggestion to give some eye-contact or something. Great job.

    Rach

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  12. Definitely hooked. And I'm assuming Kayaker Dude is cute -- don't want to know if he's not. Loved the voice and her dangerous side. I'm wondering what's going to happen when takes the plunge. Great job! :D

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  13. Great hook, you did a great job of setting the scene, and raising questions. I'd definately read on.

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  14. Love it. I would keep reading. And cute kayakers are a serious bonus. Candi and I were in Cozumel last week visiting some Mayan ruins and we thought of you. (you're welcome). :)

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  15. A AND C. I'm hooked... that first paragraph is great for me... the ocean (LOVE that setting!), the possible danger of the dropoff.... the use of the word cerulean.

    Really, you had me at cerulean.

    I like this kind of opening. Descriptive, detailed, but still ripe with possibilities and conflict.

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  16. I thought it was good! But honestly, the kayaker didn't interest me...I figured he was just a random guy.

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  17. Great scene, heading out into the unknown. Very vivid, and draws you right in.

    It does feel like we're "meeting" a lot of characters too fast...mom, Michael,David, Meg (might want to call her Aunt Meg in that second to last para since you lost me for a moment there)...not to mention the kayaker.

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  18. I love the vivid setting here and the risk-seeking girl. I wondered about the "escape the guilt" line--it didn't seem quite apt for how this kid is acting. She seems actually quite angry and wanting to scare the adults (and deep down, wanting to punish her mother)--totally understandable and relatable in the circumstances. I'd be more hooked by a more raw emotional range. It will take some fearlessness on your part to let her be a little more "bad" emotionally as she sorts through hurt feelings that Mom has Michael now.

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  19. Hooked and I want to know about the cute kayaker on the next page!

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  20. Love the changes you made. Great opening.

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