Friday, November 24, 2006

New Beginning 163


"Get away from me, you freak!" Annette backed away from the bed, clutching the sheet to her chest.

The man's big, lost puppy-cow-sheep eyes widened with bewilderment. "Honey, what's wrong?"

"Don't you dare honey me, you pervert. Who the hell are you?"

He blinked. "Don't you remember last night?"

"Last night?" She dug around in the recesses of her mind, but couldn't come up with anything useful.

"We got married last night. You really don't remember?" He looked more confused than she felt.

She hiked up the sheet, ran her fingers through her tangled hair and stared at the man.

He wasn't remotely close in looks to the guys she dated. She usually went for the GQ candidates, but this one looked more like someone on the cover of Hoser Monthly. He wasn't ugly, just a little plain. Not her style at all.

"What are you talking about?"

"Married, Annette - we got married last night. I'm Phil Smedley, your husband. We'd been dating for six months. You were in an accident a few weeks ago, a car crash. You and the gal in the other car survived, but the doctor said you both might have occasional memory lapses. Guess he was right."

Annette caught sight of herself in the mirror and stifled a cry. The girl who stared back was plain, with hair sticking up and and a few extra pounds around the middle. It wasn't her!


Somewhere across town, Paris Hilton woke up from another dream about the car crash. She took one look at her bed partner and smiled. Evil Editor. Now this was more like it. She couldn't remember her boyfriend Phil much at all.


Opening: Chumplet.....Continuation: Kate Thornton

34 comments:

NUT said...

People, please, have mercy!

Remember my head injury.

What a heartless bunch...

Must resist hysterical bouts of laughter, to avoid pulling the stitches...

Too late.

Why do I always get x-rated verification...

Dave said...

The movie version could star Kevin Federline

batgirl said...

Well, it starts with a bang, and I'm intrigued. One very minor point - sheep have small dark eyes, not like puppy or cow eyes at all. Of course, only people who have looked the sheep in the face and lived to tell will know this, so it may not be an issue.

Zombie Deathfish said...

Nice opening line, but the minute I read "we got married last night" I lost interest. I have a feeling we're in for some rather predictable hi-jinxs as Annette struggles to recover her memory, explain to her boyfriend why she's married and somewhere along the line discovers her new husband is the perfect man for her after all.

Cathy Writes Romance said...

I like it. All of it. I'd cut back the puppy-cow-sheep eyes thing. I did a double take on that. After reading the rest of the beginning I understood it, but still feel the same effect could be had with puppy-cow eyes, or maybe even just cow-eyes, since she's not too favorable to him at present.

writtenwyrdd said...

It was okay. I had full-blown expectations for a Silhouette Romance plot (e.g. quick fluffy read with no surprizes) however. This means the opening is not anything new. That doesn't mean it was bad; but the market is going to be dictated by the expectations you're setting up here, Author.

I would also can the 'puppy-sheep-cow' thing, more because it sounds like you cannot make up your mind than anything else. I also question a guy who just met this woman being so vulnerable that he can make puppy eyes. It doesn't quite work with the expectations of a romance genre novel the rest of it sets up.

Otherwise, it seems to work well enough.

Anonymous said...

It's not bad writing, but the setup's been used a hundred times. If this is SF or mystery, I might continue reading to see if there's a twist. If it's romance, I'd stop right there and put the book back on the shelf.

Aconite

Bernita said...

It would seem that a version of the old moon-calf expression "making sheep's eyes" doesn't cut it - maybe because it immediately sets up whimpy in big letters.
Otherwise, don't care how often this plot is done,always find it fun.

nut said...

I would LOVE the story, if the 'husband' was really a manipulative kind, out to do something... well... evil.

However, you know the drill: don't take anything that Nut sais seriously. Because of the 'insane' factor.

P.S. Sheep have rectangular pupils... at least the ones I saw. Of course it is possible that it was a bunch of aliens, pretending to be sheep. Another possibility is that I hallucinated the whole thing.

GutterBall said...

I vote for hallucination, Nut. I mean, how much fun is it to see stuff that isn't there?

As for the opening, I'd probably have to either know the genre (if it's not romance, I'd read more) or read more than just this to get a feel for "like" or "dislike". If it's category romance, this is probably a letter-perfect opening. If it's single-title, you'll need something to set it apart.

And like Aconite says, if it's sci-fi or (pretty please!) horror, I'd read on just to see where such a set-up would lead. Woot for carnage!

Word ver: bjcfqytx - Good Lord. Are they trying to kill me with this?

Anonymous said...

We're running out of openings, folks. There's only 3 in reserve.

illiterate said...

I guess I'm the only one here, but I liked "puppy-cow-sheep eyes". And the blinking. Its hillarious.

Made me choke on the dougnut, which was my floatation device in the pool of coffee.

Nut said...

"Don't you dare honey me, you pervert."

Must memorize this one, and use it frequently.

HawkOwl said...

Meh. I didn't relate at all, I didn't care what happened before or after (or, really, during), and I don't like any attempt at humour. I'd all for author intrusion, but not in the form of random humour at inappropriate times. Oh, and I don't like a lot of thinking about backstory in the middle of a heated conversation.

I wouldn't read on.

Eleanor said...

The shock beginning line is fine for an Evil Editor post, but for a book I think it would benefit from taking a little longer to get going. I'd like some context - who is Annette? Where is the scene happening - is it a place she knows? It's relatively unusual to spend your wedding night at home. How different is her situation from what she expects? How exactly does she realise that the man is there? These things could help us care about her more. There's nothing wrong with what you have as such - I just think it could be more affecting if the screaming didn't come right out of the blue.

Anonymous said...

Now we have 4 openings.

Gerri said...

I'm thinking there were copious amounts of alcohol and/or illegal drugs involved...

I'd like to hear about the hang-over in the beginning. Otherwise, *snort*. Sounds like Brittany Spears.

batgirl said...

For what it's worth, Brewer (Dictionary of Phrase and Fable) says that 'to cast sheep's eyes' at someone is to look askance, as a sheep does. So it's the manner of looking, as animals with their eyes on the sides of their heads look at things, rather than a characteristic of the eyes themselves.
Yours, pedantically.

McKoala said...

I'm with the opponents of 'lost puppy-cow-sheep- eyes, but it does make me think that he's hiding something am I right?! Why is she running her fingers through her hair? If she's so worried about the sheet, she'd be using two hands.

I have discovered that I'm not keen on books that start mid-conversation, but that's just a personal thing.

Great continuation!

Cheryl Mills said...

"dougnut"

Illiterate, my brother Doug choked on his doughnut when I told him you'd choked on a 'dougnut'.

Ladies, beware. He's got lost-puppy-cow-sheepish eyes, too.

I need a whole lot more than this to make a decision. So far, I'm not falling in love with the story, but then again, this line:

She dug around in the recesses of her mind, but couldn't come up with anything useful.

makes me think it's a joke.

Chumplet said...

Let's just say that it was a moment of insanity that potentially involved court-ordered rehab.

Yeah, it's cliche, but it was fun!

I haven't tried carnage yet. Or snakes and sharks either, although it's been suggested several times.

Maybe I could put a sea monster under the Drive-Thru Weddin' Chapel.

As usual, kudos to Kate. She should have a book of her own. Of this stuff, I mean...

Verification word: oh, I got a cramp.

sundae best said...

"Maybe I could put a sea monster under the Drive-Thru Weddin' Chapel..."

I'd totally read that...

Chumplet said...

sundae best said...

"Maybe I could put a sea monster under the Drive-Thru Weddin' Chapel..."

I'd totally read that...

I swear I'm in the wrong genre.

GutterBall said...

No carnage? Awwww. You know, a lot of romances would be so much better with a little carnage thrown in for karma. Carnage karma. Instant fun for everyone!

illiterate said...

Cheryl, I name all my... stuff. Doug Nut is just one of many!

Okay, caught misspelling again. I even did this to my own name, several times, and once, called Miss Snark a Ms. Still waiting to get my nitwit badge on that one.

There's just no cure for me, I fear...

nut said...

Chumplet: sea monsters! Yes, yes, yes!

Zombie Deathfish said...

Maybe I could put a sea monster under the Drive-Thru Weddin' Chapel.

DO IT!

Chumplet said...

The only carnage I've written so far was a hockey fight. Okay, and a car wreck. Gotta have a car wreck.

My current MS is turning into Pride and Prejudice meets Strange Brew.

I still haven't figured out how to get the sharks under the Zamboni.

Dave said...

Am I the only person ever to see the movie (or play) Boys in the Band?

The main character excoriates the "gay denial" of "Christ was I drunk last night, I can't remember a damn thing" for all those closet cases who need an alcohol induced stupor to have sex with another man.

As we all know (thanks to Mark Foley), alcoholism and drunkenness cause gayness. That's why all those local bars are filled with gay men...

Oh wait, that's not the case, isn't it? Ooooops...

Rei said...

The man's big, lost puppy-cow-sheep eyes widened with bewilderment.

Uck. If you're going to keep this, at least add a comma after "lost".

Please don't keep this. Trying to picture a puppy-cow-sheep took me into places that you weren't trying to bring me. ;) Even once my mind parsed the word "eyes", it still struggled to try and merge my mental images of puppy eyes, cow eyes, and sheep eyes.

I know you like the imagery of all three. Please, for the sake of your readers, choose one.

Chumplet said...

Puppy-cow-sheep eyes was supposed to convey innocence and cluelessness, and Annette's contempt for any of those traits.

The words were bunched up together as if to say, "Whatever... I don't care, some kind of stupid animal."

I wasn't aware sheep had weird eyes. I guess I wasn't brave enough to look one in the face.

The opening came from a dream. I guess I must dream Harlequin! Sometimes my dreams end with rolling credits and soundtrack music, too...

I think I'll join Nut in the looney bin.

nut said...

Chumplet, you're welcome to my loony abode. Just don't forget to bring your sea monster.

Oh, and I once had a dream about being kidnapped by pirates... Poor fools, I pity them so!

Anonymous said...

Chumplet, arguing with your critiquers, or explaining what you meant by such-and-such as justification of it, is a common newbie's mistake. Don't do it. You won't get the chance to explain to the people deciding whether or not to take on your manuscript what you really meant or what you were going for.

The only appropriate public* response to a critique is: "Thank you very much for your time and effort. I appreciate it."

* What you think or say to yourself is your own business.

Aconite

Chumplet said...

Chumplet, arguing with your critiquers, or explaining what you meant by such-and-such as justification of it, is a common newbie's mistake. Don't do it. You won't get the chance to explain to the people deciding whether or not to take on your manuscript what you really meant or what you were going for.

The only appropriate public* response to a critique is: "Thank you very much for your time and effort. I appreciate it."

* What you think or say to yourself is your own business.

Aconite

Ouch. Thanks. I really needed that today... I really appreciate it. Yup, really I do.

FYI, I'm just chumming with the minions, and if I want to explain, I'll explain. I don't argue with the minions.

I always appreciate their comments, and they know it.