Saturday, October 16, 2010

First 250 and a Few Cringes

I decided to join up with Elle Strauss First Page Blogfest last minute because...I don't really know. I like what I have been seeing around the blogfest this morning and hope for the same, good advice/input. So here is the first 250(okay..263 because it was a better stopping point than the middle of a sentence) of INTO:

      A figure, cast in shadow, skulked around the vine-covered stone wall that bordered Shady Way Orphanage. It stooped low, rooted around the ground, and raised just to do it all over again.
      Faith couldn’t be sure of its motive for the behavior from where she perched. The window seat of the crumbling mansion wasn’t an ideal spot to be night watching. Behind the filmy, funk-clogged windows of her dorm room, she was surprised she could see the silhouette at all.
      Her hand went absentmindedly to her stomach where the slight bulge was apparent to no one but herself. Rubbing her hand up and down the front of her dad’s old Pink Floyd T-shirt, she watched the human shaped form stand abruptly. Its head whipped back and forth as if searching for the source of a sound.
      The bun and sharp, long nose was recognizable even from the distance. Too familiar was Mrs. Simp’s profile, the widowed director of Shady Way. What she was doing out on the long, sloping, lawn was anyone’s guess.
      All nightlife was quiet and still, aside from Mrs. Simp. Birds were roosted, waiting for the dawn. Even the cook’s stray cat, Sully, had called it a night.
     The moon became obscured by thick clouds, plunging the lawn into total darkness, and pulling Faith’s attention away from the window.
     Having lost interest in the questionable behavior of Mrs. Simp, Faith meandered as quietly across the warped, creaking, wooden floor as possible. The other residences of her dorm had long been asleep, something that Faith was desperately missing out on lately. Her dreams had become vivid and troubling.

And now...I cringe.


  1. Well, I wouldn't cringe! I'm interested in both Faith and Mrs. Simp and what she'd be doing late at night outside. I must have misread, because I had thought it read creepily enough to be a graveyard. ~smacks head~ Just one thing that jumped out at me: using the word 'perched' seriously had an image of Faith dressed up in a bird costume pop into my head. Yeah, I'm just that nuts! :) Great job, though. I'd be interested in reading on.

  2. Ooo.. lots of good suspense there! I liked it. :)

    I'm a new follower, putting you up to 77 now. Cheers! Found you on Quinn's site (he's so awesome) and hopped over for a look. Love the look of your blog. And loved the Hobbits reunite post.... I still watch those movies all the time. I'm such a LOTR geek. :)

  3. DL, good! Don't smack yourself I wanted it to feel like creepy graveyard stuff! It isn't a very active opening so I needed creepy on my side lol.
    Thanks for stopping in!

    PK, Thank you! and Thank you for the 77!! And yes Quinn is awesome! I can't get enough LOTR. I could watch just Return of the King over and over and never get tired of it. Man. Now I want to start a LOTR marathon.

  4. Ooh, creepy! I'd definitely keep reading this one to find out more about the characters and what's going to happen to them!

  5. Creepy! I would definitely read on too! :)

    (And yay, LOTR marathon sounds like a GREAT idea)

  6. First sentence is great-opens with mystery and sense of setting. Not sure why the mc is referring to the shadow as it, when she seems to easily recognize it as the director.

    I felt drawn into the mc's situation right away, orphan, pregnant, staring out at the window at night, but it lost steam for me when the mc immediately lost interest in "the questionable behavior of Mrs. Simp". Why would she lose interest right away? I'd like to see a lead into action instead of the promise that she's just going to go to bed now.

    Thanks for joining in last minute--this is a great posting!

  7. I'd have preferred to know up front that the shadow was Mrs. Simp--just because I like that sort of thing. I'm immediately interested in the character because of her predicament but I agree with Elle about the loss of interest over Mrs. Simp. It starts out with her weird behavior so if it were me, I'd keep playing to that strength. Otherwise, I think you're doing pretty fab! Well done!

  8. I think I would agree with LT and Elle. That the first line draws the reader in and playing on the creepy shadow that she cannot quite make out would make the reader feel some sense of concern/intrigue for her as a pregnant mum with creepy people lurking outside.

  9. One of the first notes I wrote on your hard copy was asking for more of a reaction from Faith that it was Mrs Stamp. Like more surprise. But other than that, I think its a great start and draws the reader in. You are so awesome for posting yours!! (and I am still loving it btw, and need to find time to read more- I only have a few weeks until we send them back!!)

    I was too chicken to post my first 250...I probably should have.

  10. Hi Colene, really glad you joined in this blog fest. It's been great! I love how your MC is pregnant in an orphanage - a great twist and makes me wonder who the guy is.

    Yay LOTR!!! It's interesting, when you mentioned the behavior of the shadow, my mind was drawn to the Ring Wraiths in LOTR and how they look/act in the books/movies, particularly the head whipping back and forward bit. Love the name Mrs. Simp, I hate her already :) I'd agree with the other comments you've received as well. Great start.


  11. I read through all your comments and love that I'm being discussed -- and that I'm awesome :)

    Anyway, I really like how creepy this is. I agree with some of the others that it was a little weird when Faith just lost interest in Mrs. Simp. Also, when you started off with the shadow ... I thought the shadow would turn out to be the MC. I'd keep reading. I'm really interested in the dreams. I have a thing for dreams.

  12. Creepy!!! I'm glad you joined!!! Definitely leaving me wanting more!

  13. I like this suspense! Very evocative language too. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Such an intriguing post! I agree with what other said though, keep the action going with the shadowed figure. Maybe have your MC 'think' it's Ms. Simp, but not be too sure? The bulge in her belly has me wondering too...hmm, very interesting!

  15. Faith may have lost interest, but I have not. What was Ms. Simp doing out there??? I want to read more and find out. Also, intrigued by the bump Faith has that only she is aware of. I would say you sucked me right in, which is good! I want more, more, more.

    Thank you for your prayers for my brother. He is home and doing well. Exercised two days in a row now. Eating better. No permanent heart damage but scared enough to make a big change!

  16. I like the mood you create here, and how you slowly build the scenario for us detail by detail. I agree with others about Faith losing interest not feeling quite right. I also was a little thrown with the first sentences seeming to be an omniscient narrator, when the story is third person limited POV. It's an easy fix--let us know immediately that Faith is seeing the figure.


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