Thursday, October 9, 2008

F2S 40

I raise the cup to my lips, pause for a second while I think about the implications of my action, and then I drink every last drop of the bitter tasting liquid. The note is written, enveloped, and sitting on the kitchen table.


  1. Cut enveloped. Is that even a valid verb? This sounds a little sad and depressing for my taste, but you do get to the conflict straight off.

  2. I think if the writing is tighter, what is happening will have more of an impact. a lot of mystery here.

    don't need - for a second

    too wordy - while I think - why not just show what he is thinking in the form of a question.

    too wordy - note is written,

    enveloped - just say, The sealed envolope on the kitchen table held my fate.

  3. It sounded like s/he was considering the implications of the action of drinking, but after reading on, I think s/he was thinking about the note???

  4. Present tense is not my favorite, I always picture some deep, dark voice over. But, hey, that's my problem not yours.

    I'm reading this and I understand the POV character is committing suicide. If that’s the case, I wonder why the second sentence deals with the suicide note. It just doesn’t follow, at least in my mind.

  5. If this is what I think it is -- a suicide attempt in progress -- the author needs to become better acquainted with his/her character.

    This is based completely on an assumption of what is going on, but if I'm right, this character's thoughts should be fragmented and not so calm.

    Unfortunately I'm not grabbed by the writing either. A story that has a character "pausing for a second" in the opening line turns me off immediately.

    Also, the word bitter is a modifier; therefore, you need a hyphen - bitter-tasting.

    The sealed note sits on the kitchen table. Bitter liquid flows over my tongue; it's too late to change my mind.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong about where you were going. In that case just ignore my ramblings and have a great day! ;-)

  6. I am so not a fan of first-person present narration, and that colors everything I might say here. (So you've been warned.)

    I would remove "tasting" from the first sentence. It's implied, right?

    The first sentence could be made into two with good effect, I think. This sounds like a suicide, and people in that state of mind don't often run on in rambling prose. They're either depressed or vengeful, and often they're in a hurry to get things over with before they change their minds. Just something to think about.

    I can't quite get a read on whether this person is cold and calculating about all of this, but I'd venture a guess that he or she is. I'm gritting my teeth as I write this (because of the first-person-present thing), but I'd read on to see what's up.

  7. I raise the cup to my lips, pause for a second while I think about the implications of my action, and then I drink every last drop of the bitter tasting liquid. The note is written, enveloped, and sitting on the kitchen table.

    I don't like present tense narration, especially with first person. But that's just me.

    Do you need "every" last drop? Just say "I drink the last drop"

    And "enveloped"? Is that a word? I'll have to check.

    I, too, am confused by the narrator's tone. The language is too smooth and unhurried. There needs to be some more tension here.

    I would read on, though, just to see if he/she dies or not. ;)

  8. I wouldn’t say I’m completely hooked yet, but I would probably keep reading a bit further to find out more. I think my hesitation is based on the prose being a bit flowery (“implications of my action, “bitter tasting”). In a charged emotional scene like this one, you want to focus on the action, not making the language pretty. Short, terse words and phrases will mirror the sense of foreboding you want your readers to experience. Long, poetic lines do the opposite—make the scene feel intangible to readers so they can’t connect with your character.

  9. I also thought this was a suicide. I am usually OK with present tense, first person narration at least for short spells, but I find myself wondering here how a whole novel is going to fit in the minutes that this person (why do I feel like it's a woman--because the person kills herself in a kitchen?) is dying.

    The tense, if you keep it up, ties us to a rather dismal present with possibly only this one, methodical character. I'm not sure I could handle a whole novel of that.

    On the upside, I liked the way this character handled her (his) suicide--the dispassionate, methodical tone interested me. And I liked enveloped.

  10. Unless this is fantasy or paranormal where the person comes back as a spirit or ghost or something, or else something goes wrong to prevent them actually dying, I wouldn't read on, simply because I don't like depressing books.

    That said, these first sentences have potential precisely /because/ of the calm, collected tone of someone apparently about to kill themselves...

  11. I liked the voice but not the subject. Just not my genre..

  12. These lines belong to a piece of flash fiction that was published last year in a printed journal.

    The first two lines are the lightest, as the piece describes in graphic detail the effects of the poison.

    (I was going through a dark period when I wrote it.) lol

  13. It's interesting and scary. I would be more hooked if I read what the implications were. I might also flip the two sentences.

  14. I don't like present-tense, first person, or suicides where we listen to the MC's disturbed thoughts. So...three strikes for me, not my cup of tea.

    I do think the calm tone is interesting. It indicates this person is not afraid, or in a hurry, and that they have thought this moment through carefully.