Wednesday, August 19, 2009

46 Secret Agent

TITLE: Green As Envy
GENRE: Romance/ paranormal



PROLOGUE

DANGER LEDGE LIGHTHOUSE
THREE CHURCHES, MAINE



No rain had fallen yet, but the clean, salty smell of it hung thick in the air as Cappy swayed in his old rocker and stroked the butt of the rifle laid out across his lap. A Winchester given to him by his father when he was a boy, it was a reliable and sturdy gun. He had planned to pass it down to his two boys when they came of age, but John Jr. had no interest in such a barbaric pursuit as hunting and Wade was too damn slow to be trusted with any type of weapon. So the gun was going to fight to its dying breath with him.

He scratched a match on the side of his chair. The flame hissed and flickered across a craggy face that had seen more sun and wind than not. Between his chapped lips, the cigar fired to life despite the last twenty years of abuse it had taken in his pocket. His sons had been afraid the cigars would be his end— but, oh, if only they knew how wrong they were.

He inhaled indulgently, sighed, and fell into the comfortable habit of smoking as if he had never quit. Ah, that hit the spot. Guilt nipped for breaking his promise to his sons but, hell, wasn’t a man allowed one final victory dance?

20 comments:

the cautionary tale said...

evocative writing but I don't know what this is about.However that would make me want to keep reading because I want to know what a rifle contributes to a 'victory dance'. hooked.

eliza dolittle said...

I'm hooked. My only quibble would be with the name 'Cappy', but I have a feeling it will be important later on in the story.

duwarr said...

"Barbaric pursuit" doesn't work with the narrative voice. I don't think Cappy would refer to hunting like that.

"Indulgently" is an unnecessary adverb in the lat paragraph. I think the sentence reads more smoothly without it.

Those are my only quibbles with this. I think it's interesting and I'd continue reading.

Marilynn Byerly said...

The viewpoint keeps fading in and out. If the reader is inside Cappy's head, the line-- The flame hissed and flickered across a craggy face that had seen more sun and wind than not. -- is wrong. Cappy can't see his own face. You do this a number of times.

The vocabulary also fails. Would someone like Cappy use the term "barbaric pursuit?" unless he was quoting his educated son?

Imagine Cappy talking to you and try to give the reader that voice in the narrative.

CassieK said...

I enjoyed this. Some might want to call it overwriting but I love the imagery you evoked and I'm intrigued enough about Cappy to read on. Name is cool too. Well done!!!

Callie said...

He's smoking a cigar and stroking his gun. You hooked me. I would keep reading to see who he's going to blow away. Well written!

Chris Eldin said...

I'm only skimming through these (not my genre), but had to stop and say I liked your voice a lot.

annarkie said...

Great character description, I agree with reevaluating certain word usages, and maybe consider cutting enough in the first two paragraphs to combine them.
I felt hit with almost too much description (as good as it was)before being introduced to any conflict.
Is there a way you could talk about his reasons for not passing the gun down later? If not I'd recommend trimming it a bit.

Lucy Woodhull said...

I agree with Marilynn - the description is lovely - IF we're not in Cappy's POV. It'd be like me writing "Lucy tapped away at the keyboard, her raven locks swishing across her porcelain face." I don't think about my raven locks when I type, as a general rule :)

I do want to know what Cappy is about to blow away though!

Catherine Kariaxi said...

OK... doesn't seem like romance paranormal thus far. But then I don't think this guy is going to survive the prologue.

'barbaric' is a female term, so I don't know why the son would use it if the guy was quoting his son. And I couldn't figure out why it'd come from the guy spending quality time with his gun on the front porch.

My thought is the guy is about to do something very nasty to himself in a suicidal way. First finish the cigar (breaking promise to sons) and then... bang?

meg said...

suicide with a winchester? Is that possible?

It reads tight with an interesting voice.

I'm going to come down on the not hooked, simply because I'm not seeing the genre listed yet. In other words if it was faced out on the book shelf under paranormal romance--then I think the reader would pass it by.

theflightytemptress said...

I really liked this, though I agree with the comments above, especially duwarr and Marilynn Byerly. I think you've got an excellent talent for description, you just need to edit around where you put it.

However, I'd be hooked. In a bookstore, I'd give it a couple of more pages to see what happened before I'd decide for sure. :)

Xiexie said...

You got me. I'd read on.

The only place where POV switches for me is the sentence Marilynn pointed out. Just change ...flickered across a craggy face... to hiscraggy face.

Keren David said...

He's had a cigar in his pocket for 20 years? Really?

Krista G. said...

Hooked. Love the voice, love the old man, love his stupid son Wade (or Cappy's description of him, anyway). I particularly like how, this being paranormal, everything is very normal...so far.

Secret Agent said...

I'm on the fence about this one. I'd probably keep reading to find out what Cappy is planning. The writing is strong and clear, and I want to find out what happens next (which is all you need to do with an opening). That said, it's not immediately clear to me how I would pitch this because the opening feels more like a Stephen King novel than paranormal romance. I noticed you typed "romance/paranormal," an unusual way of putting it. Maybe that means this manuscript wouldn't actually fit into the paranormal romance subcategory, but it's too early to tell.

Anonymous said...

It's paranormal romance (I was drugged up due to a kidney stone when I submitted this, so I have no idea why I wrote romance/paranormal.)
The story deals with ghosts, reincarnation, and psychics. I know it's hard to tell that from the opening 250 words!

Callie said...

Your mature writing draws me in. I'd like to settle down in an armchair by a fire and keep reading this. Good luck.

beth said...

Well written, but the subject matter just doesn't grab me. I think it's mostly a "It's me, not you," sort of thing.

Bron said...

I really liked this, great voice!