Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A New Fairytale

So, a new year, a new story idea.

Tis one I've been thinking on for over a year now - just no time to get it down - and obviously that perpetual fear that if I try, it won't come out right and I'll have wasted an opportunity.

Anyhoo, after a feverish few days of really consolidating the story plan I've committed to an opening paragraph (the actual plot is going to take a lot more effort as I'm actually trying to work out the chronology of what to tell when, and what flashback to use where, for maximum suspense and effect).

Without much further a'do, here is the opening to my contemporary Fairytale (imagine: Twilight - Vampires x Brothers Grimmest ala Angela Carter)

Fornitale, or as I originally conceived it, Wrapped Around Your Finger:
Rapunzel! They spun out my new name in breathy whispers. Spreading the message behind my back while I lingered on thoughts of the night before. Subconsciously I felt their attention, just as I'd felt certain on my way to school that everyone knew what I'd been up to. But I pushed the guilt away, consoling myself that my secret was safe. No one could know. I scooped my braided hair from one shoulder to the other and cradled it across my chest as I lost myself to my childish mistake. Little did I realise how my indiscretion had already gone to press, weaved into the fabric of the school consciousness by the note soon to spiral over my shoulder and skitter across my desk. Its arrival was to be heralded by a fanfare of sudden quiet. A wake up call I'd feared, but long needed.
Anyone have any thoughts?


esruel said...

Hey Rich
Long ago, I did a review of someone's work at Critters. Although I liked what she did, I ticked her off for producing something that was too small to earn me a credit. You've done much the same: you write better than ever, there is no doubt about that :-), but I felt I needed a lot more to be able to comment. But I don't really want a lot more: I will tick you off again - what on earth has happened to that fantastic 'book' story you were working on? Unless this is part of it, I feel this should wait and that you must focus on that one project and get it done. I just fear you are passing up something special.
Rant over! :-)

R1X said...

:) The other work cannot be sidelined because it's needed for my final project, so don't worry about that... er... I've just got to rewrite all that I've done (and I'm not there yet - mentally - to deal with that)

In the meantime, and while I smooth out the ARG I've been creating with our friend MG, I've been sidelining my own work anyway.

And suddenly, I had to get down everything I possibly could about this new idea.

Nothing is lost to the past. I WILL do it... I promise.

solv said...

Target audience?

Es is right: we can comment on your word play, and little else.
And your elegant prose is indeed elegant. Always has been, always will be.

What about story? Plot?
Give us three chapters and we'll tell you if we want to read on or not. That's the test.
Or are you prizing elegant prose above all else?

R1X said...

Elegant prose is always my thing... er... read: failing.

Target audience is adult with an incy toe in Young Adult.

Write 3 chapters! Are you mad? I might mess up the possibility of being able to write something good if I do that.

At the least am I showing or telling?

solv said...

A bit of both, which is cool.
Although it's hard to tell because your first-person pov sways peculiarly between limited and omniscient ( I could never make that work :-), so any attempts to bond emotively with a show kinda go off in uncertain directions.

R1X said...

Yes, I'm trying to use that good-ole hindsighty narration trick you'd planned for Corus: "What he would never know..."

Did you use that in the end?

Anyhoo, I won't be omniscience much... but then I might - they key to the novel is the fairy tale element and whether or not it's written by our protagonist Rapunzel.

solv said...

Nah, I scrapped it. In hindsight, I think it might have been a knee-jerk reaction to the 'don't get the sense that this is going anywhere' comments, and amounted to little more than a desperate series of prophetic tells.
It's actually quite a toughie: How do you demonstrate that your story really is going somewhere?
When I overhauled the structure and started the series of consequences earlier, my problems seemed to vanish (yet to be road-tested!).
So my question to you is: What are your priorities? Would you rather be admired for your prose, or would you rather grip your readers from start to finish? I'm not saying you can't achieve both goals, but it's definitely worth creating an abstract - a clear intention for your work as an author.