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PMB
April 24th, 2012, 06:07 AM
Introduction

Myname is Seth Parker. I’m the survivor of a seventeen-year career with the Army’s Special Forces, Black Diamond, commandos. We were deadly.But my six years of private mercenary practice which followed, were by far, the most rewarding of my entire career. We called ourselves the Red Devils. We made a lot of money and we kicked a lot of ass. We killed for our country, we killed for money, and then we retired. That was three years ago.

** *

Ten days ago, Columbian authorities arrested my twenty six year old son Bradley on suspicion of drug trafficking. They impounded my boat, the Georgia Belle, with the evidence on board.Incarcerated within Columbia’s La Modello, prison, the most notorious and murderous in thec ountry, he faced thirty years of hell, if he survived. I needed to get him out at any cost. Someonehad set him up. Why, or by whom, I did not know and it did not matter. The eventual truth would shock me.This is the story of what happened.


Day One

TheEmail

Injest, I would say to people. ‘Just call me Seth, for short.’ I had one of those single-syllable names that never varied. It was always just Seth. I wished sometimes, I had a name like my friend Jonathan, who on any given day wasc alled Johnny or John. Then there was my other friend Robert, who on any given day was called Rob, or Robbie, or even Bob. I sometimes wondered what it would be like if I had a name like William. I could be Bill one day, then Willy the next. But who wanted to be called Willy? Other times, I thought if my dad’sname had been Seth too, then on any given day, I might be called Seth Jr. But it wasn’t.

Sillythoughts like this were a constant when I worked out in my gym. Like now, running a steady pace on my treadmill, daydreaming through my window at the Seattle cityscape, attempting to pass the twenty minutes of boredom, with five minutes to go.

It was dark, about six thirty. I always had to keep my mind occupied, which was an exercise in itself, while working out, or I couldn’t get into it. For the moment, the lighted Space Needle was right there in front of me with my full attention focused directly at it. Other times I watched television but I hated television, or I’d stare at the myriad of stuff in our apartment loft. If my mind was occupied, then I was right into it. With five minutes to go, a good sweat had drenched my T-shirt. Mygaze then shifted to Bear who was looking up at me, with his goofy face.

Incoming emailhad chimed on my laptop at the start, so I reminded myself. ‘I must remember to check my emails when I’m finished. Probably another one for the trash bin.’ I thought. But I always checked anyway.

** *

This time, when I did, I wished I had checked sooner. Mesmerized, I read the text on my screen several times, just to be sure I had read it correctly. It had come from Bradley’s friend, Manuel. He’d never sent one before, only Brad. But it had come from the same address.

My blood pressure and heart rate were suddenly on the rise. I began seeing stars at the periphery of my vision and could hardly breathe. I felt pressure building in the blood vessels of my brain. Was I was becoming apoplectic? I read the message one more time to be sure I wasn’t imagining things.

Bradley has been arrested by Columbian authorities on suspected drug trafficking charges and taken to LaModelo prison. Your yacht has been impounded with the evidence on board. I don’t know what to do. Manuel.

Suddenly, my idyllic world was threatened. Was I having a bad dream, as if chased by something evil, mired in quicksand unable to move, an impending doom about to snatch me away to its’ lair? My mind was like a whirling dervish. Bradley’s life seemed in serious danger. I wanted more information. My fingers stammered over my keyboard as I managed a reply. Then I hit, send. My heart pounded in my throat.

After wiping sweat from my brow with the sleeves of my sweaty T-shirt, I leaned back in my chair, clenched my hands behind my head and had a deep sigh. I needed to take stock. But there was nothing I could do at the moment. I needed to hearb ack from Manuel.

Brad must be scared out of his wits, all alone and worried, I thought. Worried whether or not his mom or I knew what had happened. I needed to call Janine in Guadalajara to let her know, but decided to wait and call later. I needed more information from Manuel, first. Brenda would want to be notified, as well. Then,I looked down at Bear. I pondered my options.

We’d brought him home from Tonga on Georgia Belle nearly two years ago. He had been an adorable puppy, all white with his little black eyes and his little blacknose. He looked like a polar bear cub. His mother had had some Shepherd in her,but the rest of him was an eclectic mix of everything else from the island,which we were sure included dingo. He had a feral edge and a wolf-like wildness to his stare. He was our buddy.

Glaring at me with those eyes, his ears were up and his head was cocked. I was sure he sensed something was wrong. ‘If only you could talk buddy.’

When I looked at my watch, I realized he was only trying to tell me he was hungry. It was seven o’clock and his dinner was already an hour overdue.

I had forgotten. Brenda had called more than an hour ago to say she had to work a double shift at the airport. One of the girls had called in sick. She asked me to pick up some dinner for myself, and a bag of dog food for Bear. It had slipped my ever-forgetful mind.

I didn’t feel like grocery shopping now, and besides, it was too late. So I asked Bear if he wanted some fried chicken from ‘Steve’s Washington-Kentucky Fried’. He liked Steve’s fried chicken and so did I. Arugh! Arugh!’ He barked his approval.

‘Sorry bud, daddy forgot. You’ll just have to wait a bit.’ I called for delivery.

qwertyman
April 25th, 2012, 10:08 AM
Hi PMB, my feeling is the Introduction, which is a straight bio-info-drop, should be revealed piecemeal at relevant moments during the body of the book. In other words my advice would be, start with 'Day One'.

I don't know how you came up with the 'In jest' para? I have to tell you I didn't like it. There is only one first para in a book and it's not this one.

The workout reads like constant contradictions. You need to 'get into it' indicates concentration is required - but your running a 'steady pace'. In my experience if your running a set pace, that's it - it's a steady slog till the end. If your running a programme of inclines and varied pace, you should say so. Then you have to concentrate or your off the back.

This is the useful information I acquire as the reader. He works out. His gym in the loft of 'our' (he's married or sharing) apartment which is also used as a store for a myriad of stuff, but has a view of the Seattle skyline (sounds affluent). He takes his laptop into the loft when he works out? It's 6:30 and it's dark so it's winter. He has a dog called Bear.

Good, I'm grounded, bring the story on.

He gets an email.


Bradley has been arrested by Columbian authorities on suspected drug trafficking charges and taken to LaModelo prison. Your yacht has been impounded with the evidence on board. I don’t know what to do. Manuel.


Consider tweaking this and dropping some info at the same time. So that he can read it like this.

Seth, - that's me - Bradley - that's my son - has been arrested by Columbian authorities on suspected drug trafficking charges and taken to LaModelo prison. Geogia Belle - that's my boat - has been impounded with the evidence on board. I don’t know what to do. Manuel. - Who the f****'s Manuel?

*
Just a suggestion. Good luck with it.

Trilby
April 25th, 2012, 10:51 AM
I would start here - with the email. The prior info can by spoon-fed throughout the text, as and when needed.






TheEmail
Bradley has been arrested by the Columbian authorities on suspected drug trafficking charges and taken to LaModelo prison. Your yacht has been impounded with the evidence on board. I don’t know what to do. Manuel.

Suddenly, my idyllic world was threatened.

IMO. WOW! What a great beginning, what a hook. It has everything a great beginning should have -we the reader are thrust, slap bang into the heart of the action. This beg. has the, What, why, who and the how factor.

'Who' is Bradly and 'What' is the relationship between Bradly and the sender and receiver of the email?
'Why' is his idyllic world threatened? - 'What' has it got to do with him?
'How' and 'who' is going to solve this problem?


Was I having a bad dream, as if chased by something evil, mired in quicksand unable to move, an impending doom about to snatch me away to its’ lair? My mind was like a whirling dervish. Bradley’s life seemed in serious danger. I wanted more information. My fingers stammered over my keyboard as I managed a reply. Then I hit, send. My heart pounded in my throat.

After wiping sweat from my brow with the sleeves of my sweaty T-shirt, I leaned back in my chair, clenched my hands behind my head and had a deep sigh. I needed to take stock. But there was nothing I could do at the moment. I needed to hearb ack from Manuel.

Brad must be scared out of his wits, all alone and worried, I thought. Worried whether or not his mom or I knew what had happened. I needed to call Janine in Guadalajara to let her know, but decided to wait and call later. I needed more information from Manuel, first. Brenda would want to be notified, as well. Then,I looked down at Bear. I pondered my options.

We’d brought him home from Tonga on Georgia Belle nearly two years ago. He had been an adorable puppy, all white with his little black eyes and his little blacknose. He looked like a polar bear cub. His mother had had some Shepherd in her,but the rest of him was an eclectic mix of everything else from the island,which we were sure included dingo. He had a feral edge and a wolf-like wildness to his stare. He was our buddy.

Glaring at me with those eyes, his ears were up and his head was cocked. I was sure he sensed something was wrong. ‘If only you could talk buddy.’

When I looked at my watch, I realized he was only trying to tell me he was hungry. It was seven o’clock and his dinner was already an hour overdue.

I had forgotten. Brenda had called more than an hour ago to say she had to work a double shift at the airport. One of the girls had called in sick. She asked me to pick up some dinner for myself, and a bag of dog food for Bear. It had slipped my ever-forgetful mind.

I didn’t feel like grocery shopping now, and besides, it was too late. So I asked Bear if he wanted some fried chicken from ‘Steve’s Washington-Kentucky Fried’. He liked Steve’s fried chicken and so did I. Arugh! Arugh!’ He barked his approval.

‘Sorry bud, daddy forgot. You’ll just have to wait a bit.’ I called for delivery.

I have only commented on the beginning of your story because, you have a far different style of writing than I and don't feel capable to comment. Your writing style is good and reminds me a lot of Chandler. Good luck and well done.

PMB
April 27th, 2012, 01:09 AM
Thanks trilby

So many ways to approach this story's beginning. I've tried unpteen already. In my latest, I try to set a mood while he is in his apartment prior to the startling email. Trying to get that all important first para down. For this latest attempt, I delay the receipt of the email trying to capture something impending to the reader, but not sure if it is the way to go.
this is my latest first para attempt.
Arare January storm closed in from the North Pacific. Driven hard by strengtheningwinds, wet snow and freezing rain splattered heavily on our windows, creating flowingripples as they melted, distorting the city’s lights into a myriad of shifting,white sparkles.Standing,staring, the images of the Space Needle, the city backdrop and the distant blackvoid of Peugeot Sound, danced on the glass. The storm’s effect on Seattle’svista was dazzling. It was now six-thirty, the forecast called for freezingrain throughout the night.

PMB
April 27th, 2012, 01:14 AM
Hey quertyman
I took your suggestion an ran with it a bit. I never liked that other first para either and I took out the into for now, trying to introduce those elements within day one.
how about this for a first para to the story?

A rare January storm closed in from the North Pacific. Driven hard by strengthening winds, wet snow and freezing rain splattered heavily on our windows, creating flowing ripples as they melted, distorting the city’s lights into a myriad of shifting,white sparkles.Standing,staring at the images, the Space Needle, the city backdrop and the distant black void of Peugeot Sound, they danced on the glass. The storm’s effect on Seattle’svista was dazzling. It was now six-thirty, the forecast called for freezing rain throughout the night.

Mutimir
April 27th, 2012, 02:25 AM
Why does this have 3 introductions? I am lost.

My name is Seth Parker, survivor of a seventeen-year career with the Army’s Special Forces Black Diamond commandos. Ten days ago, Columbian authorities arrested my twenty six year old son Bradley on suspicion of drug trafficking. Incarcerated within Columbia’s La Modello prison, the most notorious and murderous in the country, he faced thirty years of hell, if he survived. I was certain someone must have set him up. The eventual truth would shock me. To make matters worse, they impounded my boat the Georgia Belle. I have killed for my country, for money and then I retired. My plans are now forced to change for an impromptu family renunion.

playingthepianodrunk
May 9th, 2012, 05:22 AM
Yes I agree with qwerty just jump right into let the reader be shocked.