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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#21 Buffy Andrews

The man shook violently. His eyes rolled in their sockets and his body went limp and thudded to the floor. His tongue hung out of his mouth. It looked like it was growing. I rubbed my eyes.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Buffy!

    Wow there is some creepy action going on here! I love a story that starts with action :) My suggestion for this opening would be to give the reader a bit more information to ground them in what's going on. Right now I can't tell if the MC is dreaming, watching a show or experiencing this in real life. It doesn't have to be a lot, but one or two of these sentences could be plumped up-to give us the setting, or information about your main character.
    For example:

    When dawn came the old man in the cell next to mine began to shake...
    Or.. We stood in a circle as the ceremony of Snakeworm began. A young man dressed for the initiation began to shake...

    Good luck- I am curious about the growing tongue!

    Maurissa

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  2. Thanks Maurissa. I could add...
    I watched through the window as the man shook violently.
    That would tell you that it the MC is experiencing this in real life. I hadn't thought about that. Thanks for your input:)

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  3. Buffy -
    I like the surreal nature of what's going. I'm intrigued by your comment that the MC is watching through a window. That's important to know. It could substantially add to the creep factor and give us a big clue as to the character, emotions, and motivations of your MC.

    If it fits with your story, I suggest really pouring on the creep factor. For example: "I stood outside the man's window, in the dark, waiting. He was alone now, and shaking violently. I did nothing to help him. Soon, his eyes rolled back in their sockets and his body went limp then thudded to the floor. His tongue hung out of his mouth. I watched it grow."

    Good luck with this. I feel weird saying that I'm curious about a tongue - but as I am both curious and weird anyway, I will say admit - I'm curious about the growing tongue!

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  4. I think this is a great beginning. Very creepy, and I love creepy. But like the others, i have trouble visualizing where the narrator is and what exactly is going on. You said watching through a window, so we'll go with that.
    I'm still left wondering if it's dark, or if the narrator is inside or out? These affect whether or not he/she would be able to see the eyes roll back and the tongue hang out. And you don't want to clump to much into one sentence. For example:
    His eyes rolled in their sockets and his body went limp and thudded to the floor

    That's three different things going on in one sentence. I know it's hard because it happens so fast and you want to write it that way, but his body going limp has nothing to do with his eyes.

    It's a GREAT opening. I would just break it up a tiny bit.

    I watched through the window as the man's body shook. Hid eyes rolled back in their sockets and then his body went limp and fell to the floor. His tongue rolled out of his mouth. Even in the dark it looked like it was growing.

    Or just: His tongue rolled out of his mouth--it looked like it was growing.

    Something like that. Would love to read more!

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  5. There are some good comments here. I, too, love the creep factor, but I'm hoping it can be amped up even more. The suggestions here are wondering. Keep the ALL the senses in mind and play with them. What do things look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like? Sometimes the most obscure can leave the biggest impression. "The smell of vomit burned my nose."

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  6. You guys have been so helpful. I will need to go back to tweak. Just so you know for your own curiosity, his tongue isn't growing. It's a genetically engineered weapon of war exiting. Weird, I know. And he is watching through an inside door window at a fire company where bingo is being played. But, of course, it's not any kind of bingo you or I have ever heard of. It's simply a way to spread the invasion. Anyway...this all becomes clear shortly after these five sentences. Thanks again for your feedback. I always feel five sentences is never enough to get a clear picture, ya know? Blessings, Buffy

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  7. I meant the suggestions here are wonderful. Sheesh - darn my ADD! lol

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  8. Buffy, wow! Your comment changes my whole perspective. Based on what you just said, I would definitely find a way to get to the tongue faster and ensure it isn't lost in a description that makes it sound like the guy is having a fit. Orient the reader quickly, then focus on the mouth opening and the tongue beginning to bulge and writhe and grow. It's not simply going to enlarge uniformly, right? Make us *see* the weirdness! And what does the watcher feel as she's watching?

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