How you can help? By your feedback.
Here is my updated Prologue. I appreciate all your comments. Positive or Negative. If you like it, say so. If you hate it, say so. If you have any thoughts , feel free to leave me a comment. This is work in progress and not corrected for grammar and punctuation. I first posted my working prologue here.
Here is the updated prologue. Thanks for your feedback.
There was no escape.
Sweat ran down my face in rivulets. My throat was parched. I screamed! But heard nothing.
My arms ached. My legs ached. It was the most uncomfortable position to be in. Trussed up, hands tied behind my back to my ankles, bent over backwards, and blindfolded with tape over my mouth. My head felt heavy and painful. As though I had smacked my head over and over again, against some hard object. My body ached all over. My arms were sore. My feet were sore. My stomach growled. My throat felt parched. Sweat rolled down.
I did not know if it was day or night. I did not know where I was. I did not know what day of the week it was, when and how I got to be where I was. My hands hurt. In fact, my whole body hurt from being twisted over uncomfortably. I did not even know why I was there. Where ever that was.
I yanked furiously, aching to free my hands and only hurt them more. I panted in desperation and my heart beat erratically.
“This is not the time to panic,” I urged myself. “Stay calm. Think,” I ordered myself.
It was easy to say, but hard to focus. How could one go through this and stay sane. I never thought, I was claustrophobic. It was the worst possible time to realize maybe, just maybe, I was just a little claustrophobic!
The deafening silence was unbearable. It only enhanced the erratic beating of my heart, the sound triple enhanced.
I willed my heart to slow down. An impossible feat I thought. It only quickened and raced harder.
Who could have done this to me, I wondered. I tried to recollect the last thing I remembered. Earlier in the day, Chung had told me that Dr. Johnson wanted to talk to me and would be in his hanger, prepping the Bonanza for his flight the next day. I never made it there. I remember turning around the last corner and being coshed with something hard.
Why? Who could have done it? I really needed to get hold of myself, calm down and think.
Hell! I had promised Amelia to help her plan for her upcoming trip to Ensenada. She was never going to forgive me. Thinking of Amelia brought back a smile. I could still see her face, when I had gone down on my knee and proposed, the day before. She hadn’t expected it.
I saw the confusion cross her face, followed by the joy, and finally the tears. “Johnny,” she laughed in disbelief. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Say yes, before my knee gives way,” I had joked.
“Yes, of course yes!” she had shouted in exultation. “How could you even doubt it will be any other response? I’ve been waiting ages for you to get the courage to pop the question, you maddening man,” she had teased me lightly.
“You never called me Johnny before,” I replied sheepishly, as I gathered her into my arms for a kiss.
“You will always be Johnny to me,” she smiled mischievously. “Oh no, look at the time. You promised to help me prepare for the flight. You know I have never done this before,” she said worriedly.
“It will be fine. You are a terrific pilot. And Bill is not only a proficient doctor, but an excellent pilot. He always breezes through his flight reviews fabulously. And his Bonanza is always in tip-top shape.”
Thinking of Amelia, calmed me down. It always did. She always brought a sense of fresh breath where ever she went. When she walked into a room, people forgot everything else. I would have really liked to have been with her, right now, right this moment. But here I was, all trussed up.
Calm down and think, my mind protested. As the minutes ticked away, I finally felt my heart beat slow-down.
First, I felt the heat: the familiar heat of the desert beating down on me. The sun was beating down on the desert floor. This was evident in the sweat raining down, unwarranted. At least I was still in the desert, I thought triumphantly.
As my heart beat slowed to a normal pace, almost, I barely heard it.
How could I miss it? Through the silence of the moment I heard, the exhilarating whirl of a propeller: an aircraft. Taking off, possibly into another glorious hot, summer sky. That could be my Amelia, departing to Ensenada!
“Help,” I shouted.
But all I heard was garbled and muffled sounds, barely in a whisper.
Reblogged this on Fly 'n Things and commented:
Time to put some words on ether 🙂
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I love your writing. I only write my blog so far but a book is on my mind. I hope I can write as good as you write. Congrats for a great start.
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Thank you very much. I have long ways to go…
I’ve done a lot of critiquing unpublished drafts of novels, an since you’re looking for honest feedback:
This opening is something you actually see a million times in amateur fiction. The main character is terrified and confused, there’s no setting, then they start thinking about who they are and what the last things they remember are, which in this case, don’t explain what’s going on. It leaves the reader with nothing to grasp hold of, story or character wise, and no momentum to give the reader a sense of where the story is going from there.
A good opening generally has three things up front: Character, setting, and conflict. If you don’t get those things to the reader as quickly as possible, you risk losing them – they don’t know who your character is, so they don’t care about them, they don’t understand your conflict so they don’t understand what the character is afraid of or is facing, and with no setting, you leave your reader floating in black space, ungrounded.
But openings are always the hardest part – I bet what comes after gets a lot better. I generally write a novel, then go back and delete the prologue, revise the novel, then delete chapter one and revise again, because in revising, I end up realizing I just took a while getting the story going. Openings are hard 😛
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Thanks for the great feedback. I was trying to intrigue the reader by not letting on too much, but from your comments I can see it could deter the reader from reading on as well… When I wrote it I wasn’t sure if I would leave it as a prologue or move it to chapter. Still don’t ..
Really appreciate your comments and feedback.
Yeah, I could see what you were trying to do, and don’t worry, you’re far from the first to try that. The thing is, novice authors often worry about giving away too much, when really, the challenge is getting enough information to the reader smoothly, to give the reader something to latch onto. Show them the shiny, taunt them into the story with how interesting your main character is – your main character is a pilot – how interesting is that? Non-pilots don’t know a lot about aviation, and they’ll be interested. Then you can tie your worldbuilding to your character introduction, and if the conflict is related to the MC being a pilot, then wherever that conflict kicks off is often the best place to start the story.
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Thanks for the input. I have a long way to go with the story.