Novel The First Chapter

Discussion in 'The Writer's Corner' started by Fire-Wolf, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Fire-Wolf S.P.D Smoke Pot Daily, Legalize It!

    Beep! Beep! Beep! The alarm clock screeched. A teenager's hand smacked the top of the alarm clock setting it on snooze. Ten minutes later it rang again. The boy opened his eyes. 7:10 am. He switched the alarm to off, and scratched his eyes. Through his blue curtains he could see small holes with darts of light shining through them. He groaned as he slowly crawled out of bed. He walked to his closet past the foot of his queen sized bed. The room was light enough that he could see the door to his closet easy enough, the door was cracked open slightly and he swung it open and grabed, boxers, navy blue jeans, a black t-shirt, a hoodie, and a towel. He swung the door to the closet closed and walked down to the bathroom door.

    After his shower he brushed his teeth, combed his hair and got dressed. 7:25 am, he walked to his desk and grabbed his backpack. After he swung it over his shoulders he started walking to his door and started down the hall. As he passed by his parents door he could hear their snoring. He walked through the arch into the kitchen and walked to the cupboard, swung it open, and grabbed two packs of Cookie Dough Pop Tarts. He opened one and put the other in the pocket of his hoodie.

    During his walk to school he saw Mary Jane, the girl of his dreams. She was a block ahead of him, he knew she had moved but he didn't know that she had moved so close to his house. He could see her long curly brown hair, and her perfectly proportioned butt in her tight blue jeans. After he realized he was staring at her, he felt awkward and looked to the right and saw a small house with a rather yellow yard. The house was a dull shade of blue, with several pieces of siding missing here and there. Through the window was an old bald lady, or maybe a man? Staring at him as he walked by their house. Distraught he looked away from the man-woman and looked at the dull looking houses to the left. The yards were a full spectrum of wonderful mixtures of green and yellow. People haven't been watering their yards much since the shortage.

    Before he had realized it he had caught up with Mary Jane. Oh well almost to school he thought. She was listening to music and didn't notice him yet.

    "Hey MJ, I didn't know you moved around here. " He said to her with no response. Thinking she ignored him his face turned beat red as he shoved ahead of her.

    "Hey Chris!" She called after him.

    Thinking she wanted to insult him he pushed on for the next block and took a right, assuming she would wait until Royal street to turn for the school. He pushed the next few blocks, cursing himself for trying to talk to a girl out of his league. Then he took a left and on the block ahead he could see the gray and blue building. It stood 2 stories high and looked as if it could collapse at any moment. Of course it wouldn't because then the state could be sued by hoards of angry parent mobs. As he walked in the front doors he saw the familiar sight. The lunchroom/main hall was filled with students waiting before class. Tables of jocks, emo’s, skaters, hippies, nerds, special ed kids, preppy girls, cheerleaders, and anything in between. Somehow they all co-exist through a treaty of 'stay out of others business'. Rumors don't spread easily, and some are shunned for venturing outside their groups. Of course some groups have alliances based mostly on popularity. Chris saw a couple of his friends sitting at their table.

    Chris sat down at the table and Joey and Ed were deep in an intellectual debate.

    "No no no, I told you once I'll tell you again, its simply not possible!" Joey said to Ed.

    "Says who?" Ed swiftly replies, "The government? Wouldn't be the first lie they have told us. I'm telling you, one day we will find a way to travel back in time. Maybe not in our lifetimes however..."

    "This again guys?" Chris says to them. "Joey, nothing is impossible. And Ed, perhaps humans lack the capacity for time travel, and will meet our demise before we master time. Your both right and wrong, don't you get it?"

    "Now we got a philosopher now huh?" Joey says sarcastically.

    "I don't know, I think he had a point." Ed says in Chris's defence.

    Chris sighed and looked over to see Mary Jane walk through the front door. She looked around for a second and saw him and waved at him. After a moment of hesitation he waved back and she started walking towards him. Slightly shocked he looked back at his friends and they both shrugged. He looked forward and MJ sat down at their table. Her beautiful green eyes shone like delicate emeralds set in place by a master artisan, in contrast to her jet black eyeliner.

    "Hey Chris, your in AP Biology right?" She asked.

    "Yeah, why?" He replied.

    "Well I know this is pretty random but I'm failing that class and really need a tutor and I figured you were the go to guy for that." She told him, "and well I don't know if you knew but I recently moved and I saw you on your way to school. I called after you but you looked like you were in a hurry."

    "Oh really? What are you struggling with? I could totally tutor you sometime." He said to her.

    "Would after school work? My test is in a week..." She said desperately.

    "Yeah after school would be fine." He said after a hesitation. He tried thinking of plans but had none he could think of.

    "Oh great thank you so much!" She said as she hugged him.

    "Yeah no problem!" He told her as he hugged her back.

    "I gotta head to class now the bell is about to ring. Bye!" She said standing up.

    "Bye see you after school!" He said as she walked off.

    "Wow Chris got his first hug from a girl other than his mom!" Joey said teasingly.

    "Oh whatever! You and I both remember Melinda in 7th grade, and I don't recall you ever having a girlfriend either!" He said.

    "He has you there." Ed said to Joey.

    "Shut up! Both of you." Joey snapped.

    "Must've hit a nerve with that one." Chris says as the Warning bell rings. "Time to go." Chris said as he stood up. On his way to first period gym he saw Garret down the hall. His bald head and thick neck stood out from his grey wife beater. But what stood out the most was the zits on his face and they covered his bald head too. When their eyes met Garret spat on the floor, and growled.

    "Whatcha got for me today twerp?" Garret growled in a deep threatening voice.

    "Get lost!" Chris said to him and tried to bash his shoulder. But when their shoulders met, Garret's stood strong and Chris's gave out. The force of the blow was enough to spin him around and make him lose balance and slip.

    When he crashed Garret looked back at the noise and just laughed, "what a pussy!" He howled as he kept walking.

    After setting himself on his feet again Chris began to walk toward the locker room door. He opened it and the smell of body odor infiltrated his sinuses. He got changed and headed back out the door to the Gym room.

    As the day went by from first period to sixth, Chris just floated by. He couldn't get Mary Jane off of his mind. She was on his mind while he worked out in Gym, and wrote in English, calculated math, and talked about history, while he experimented in Biology, even during a business lecture, which usually had him enthralled. But she was much more captivating to him.

    After the final bell rang he walked out the front door and looked around to see if M.J. was out yet, but she wasn't. He waited for about fifteen minutes before he saw her walk out the door.

    "Sorry, I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long." She apologized. "My boyfriend was upset I couldn't see him tonight."

    "Its alright." Chris said as his heart sank. "Shall we start walking?"

    "Yeah sure." She said.

    Most of the walk was awkward silence. Chris didn't know what to say, and MJ just thought that he looked cute shy. But as they got closer to his house she pointed at the house on the corner of his block "that one is mine." She said to him.

    "Oh really? I didn't know anyone had bought it yet." He told her. "This one is mine." As they turned into a narrow driveway to a cracked white house. The green trim was brighter in his youth, but age has faded its color. "My parents are at work so I have to unlock the door really quick." He said as he fumbled for his keys.

    "That's fine." She said, smiling.

    After he unlocked the door he showed her into the kitchen to set up things for study. He pulled his biology book out from the bookshelf and set it on the table.

    "Do you have any siblings?" She asked him.

    "No, I'm an only child." And he asked, "and you?"

    "I have two brothers, one is a senior, the other is in prison." She replied.

    "The youngest huh? Did you get picked on as a kid?" He asked.

    "No, we all had to stick up for each other in those days. But now me and my brother moved away from our parents, and now things are different." She said looking away as if in pain.

    "I'm sorry..." Chris said, sorry he had brought up a sensitive subject. "Shall we get started?"

    "Its okay, it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t know," She said.

    As the night grew long, and they had shared many stories, MJ checked her cell phone and said "Its getting late, I should get going."

    "Alright, thanks for keeping me company." He chuckled.

    "Sorry, I'm sure you had better things to do than teach me." She said apologizing, assuming he was being sarcastic.

    "Don't apologize, its better than being home alone." He told her, as he walked her to the door.

    After he opened the door she began to walk out and turned around in the doorway. "Earlier, when I told you that my boyfriend had kept me late, I lied. I was taking a test, I don't even know why I lied. But I thought I should let you know that." She said and looked away, blushing.

    "Don't be sorry, sometimes we don't know why we do things. It doesn't matter to me." He said sympathetically.

    She looked up into his deep blue eyes and felt her heart skip a beat as her nerves almost bent beyond return. Her urge to kiss him was unbearable, and she wondered if he could see the agony in her eyes.

    He looked into her eyes and was swept over with the best feeling of his life. She looked so vulnerable standing there. Like a gentle breeze could blow her over. He never felt like this before and was over taken by the moment. When she looked up into his eyes, something took over him, and he leaned in and kissed her.

    Her lips tasted like peaches, and the moon shone beautifully over her long hair. The breeze blew her hair gently as they kissed. It was magical, how he had always dreamed it would be. He never could have imagined he would kiss the girl of his dreams. But here and now, it happened.

    After they kissed they both withdrew, and blushed. "I better get going." She told him, "good night and sweet dreams."

    He couldn't hide his flushed cheeks, and could see her blushing and smiled at her, "good night, sweet dreams."

    He closed the door after she was out of sight behind the bushes surrounding his house. As he walked back to his room she was all he could think about. He couldn’t sleep much that night, when Mary Jane was on his mind. He wondered if she was having the same troubles as him. But there was no way to know. He was still awake tossing and turning as his mom returned home from work, and his day after her. He wondered why they would take the same work hours in their jobs, but decided it was to spend more time with each other. As this momentarily pulled his mind away from Mary Jane he was able to finally doze off around 3:00 am.
  2. Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

    I think this is the first bit of storytelling that I've read of yours so I just wanna tell you thanks for posting and sharing your story with us. As long as you don't write too much at once, I'll try to read any story that isn't rife with grammatical errors and terrible writing.

    I feel I should start by asking you if you know you're writing in 3rd person omniscient? If so, it's not entirely clear that that's the case until towards the end of the first chapter. There are several instances where you describe Chris' character from an outward perspective earlier on, but you tend to keep the thought processes focused on Chris until the very end, when it suddenly and blatantly switches over to MJ's thoughts. It's rather abrupt but difficult to avoid, one of the reasons I'm not particularly found of that sort of perspective.

    There are a lot of issues with tense and pluralization, but they're not so bad as to really detract much from the story. You seem to be rather selective when it comes to describing your environments (something I tend to have a problem with, as well); sometimes, I can totally envision the setting, characters and their actions, while at other times it seems like things almost teleport from one spot to the next (he get's out of the shower, but I never saw him get in... when did that happen?).

    Your dialogue is pretty solid at points, I imagine because you're drawing off of real-life scenarios for a few of the parts. I like the relationship between Chris and his friends because it seems pretty real and believable so far. Also, the brief interaction between Garret and Chris was one of the most believable bullying scenes I think I've ever read - bully insults victim, victim tries to stand up briefly and is pushed back down, bully insults victim again and continues on his way, unperturbed. It was just very realistic and plausible, I thought.

    Characters seem to be decent and introduced at an appropriate rate, so far, and there's plenty of room and direction for you to take each of the characters in. It definitely has some potential, if you can start to work out the kinks and if you really want it to be a successful read. Just one bit of advice: when you're writing a story, every single little thing matters! Even something as simple as the house with the yellow yard. Is it yellow 'cuz there's a drought? Is it yellow because the owner doesn't take care of it? If not, why doesn't he/she, and how you can make that an important aspect of the story? If you're not going to refer back to it for one reason or another later in the story, then it shouldn't be in the story at all. Everything matters. Never forget that.

    Anyway, good luck man. I'll try to keep up with it if you keep on writing, but I can't make any promises. Keep in mind, the shorter the sweeter, especially in regards to online prose. Keep on writing!
  3. Ninva Retired

    Like Fatmankev said, this is the first time I've read your prose, and I'm glad you decided to post some of it here for us to read. I must admit that I didn't get through your entire piece, and that isn't to say your work was worthless and shouldn't be attempted again. I just found a lot of it to be long and somewhat tedious to get through.

    Here are two rules that I feel like you can benefit from to make your next revision less tedious for the reader:

    1. Each sentence has a meaningful purpose.
    2. Don't be repetitive.

    Firstly, in the first part of your story, a lot of what was written was an attempt to create an atmosphere, which can be achieved in lesser paragraphs. Read the second paragraph of Turgenev's Sketches from a Hunter's Album: Yermolay and the Miller's Wife. I recommend reading the (very fine) Richard Freeborn translation of this text, though. It was published by Penguin Classics, if you're curious. Turgenev does a similar thing with time and light. He uses the light to symbolize certain periods of the day and uses the lightning to cast beautiful imagery. A few things to note in this paragraph: be aware of the narrator and his voice and his rhetoric (even though this is a very close, literal translation from Russian to English), the scene changes, and the character interaction. ;)

    Secondly, don't use the same word twice, especially in a paragraph. Though many writers use the same pronouns at the beginning of their sentences, the appearance looks so unorganized and primitive. Look out for cliches. Instead of using the word "started" in the sentence: "After he swung it over his shoulders he started walking to his door and started down the hall." use action words to describe his motion. "Started" is mechanical and boring.

    Good luck with further writings, and I'll be checking up on anything else you decide to share with us.
  4. Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

    Really cool to see the way you dissect literature, Ninva, it almost makes me wish I'd gone to college for creative writing or something along those lines. Either way, I wish I'd graduated, haha.

    And to Fire-Wolf, heed Ninva's advice - he has an excellent grasp on the finer concepts and techniques that make our language so excellent.
  5. Fire-Wolf S.P.D Smoke Pot Daily, Legalize It!

    Thanks to both of you for taking the time to read this little prose.

    And to Kev, aye there is a draught. I mentioned that in the last line of that sentence. I also thought I was just writing third person, what is omnicient? But the interaction and everything so far hasn't been derived from my life, but rather my friends. I wanted to leave this chapter open, that way I can truely take the story anywhere. With the question about atmosphere, I agree. I tried adding a lot at the begining but then my atmosphere degraded through the chapter. I will work on that more.

    Ninva, I thank you for taking the time to help me out, and give me some critism. I tried to make each sentence have meaning and purpose, but I know what your saying. I added things which weren't important to simply push the story along. I also tried to remove those words that kept getting repeated, but as you found I missed a couple.

    Thanks both of you and I will listen to your advice on my revisions and the rest of the book. Which I may work on sooner or later.
  6. KaerfNomekop Swim, fishies. Swim through the veil of steel.

    At this point in the story there's already several paths being paved. It could go the way of reality, in which the relationship between Chris and Mary Jane develops, maybe even getting them to split up. It could go the way of fantasy, where normal life is turned on its head when he wakes up. The references to time travel and the inevitable demise of humanity might take the story places too.

    Descriptions don't always have to be evenly distributed throughout the story. You can put descriptions at the beginning of the chapter, then go straight into action and never leave until the end. Just don't bring up more descriptions later on, because that would be raising the corpse to kill it.

    A lot of it brings back memories, which goes to show how realistic your writing here sounds.
  7. Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

    Just to clarify, 3rd-person limited is the standard style used by most writers. In 3rd-person limited, the reader hears the thoughts and watches the actions of a particular character, namely the primary protagonist; however, they can change whose perspective the reader is viewing the story from by either making a break in a chapter, or by starting off a new chapter through someone else's eyes. At any given point, though, you only know one person's thoughts unless they express their thoughts through actions or dialogue.

    3rd-person omniscient is from the 3rd-person perspective still, but the reader can hear the thoughts and processes behind the actions of several characters, or all of them, rather. Omniscient means 'all-seeing', I believe, or all-something at any rate, and so you can see how you'd arrive at the concept. Towards the end of your chapter, before Chris and MJ kiss, it switches directly from Chris' thoughts to MJ's thoughts and back to Chris'. This is a perfect example of a 3rd-person omniscient scene. Honestly, I believe you did it by mistake, so I'd suggest you try to be more aware of it because it's a very disgruntling style, both in writing and in reading.

    Also, don't describe your main character by your main character in 3rd-person limited. He can't see his eyes, so never talk about his eye color when it's in his perspective. I don't remember if you actually had this problem or not, but I thought I remembered coming across it.

    Last thing - in the middle of your story, you describe MJ's eyes, and you do it in vivid detail; it actually seems wrong and out-of-place given the way you write the rest of your world. You have a very pretty and descriptive way of writing about her eyes, but there is no other spot in the story where you make similar descriptive comparisons; everything else is so much simpler. I've got to be honest, it sort of shook me out of your world a bit, and I think you should actually dull it down a little. Or else spruce the rest of the story up. That one's up to you.

    Either way, good luck and keep it up.
  8. Fire-Wolf S.P.D Smoke Pot Daily, Legalize It!

    This story I think is going to go realistic, with things that could actually happen.

    To Kev, thanks for clarifying that. Yeah I will make revisions and change it to third person limited. I described her eyes like that because that was how Chris saw her, and everything else to him seems so dull. But I see what you mean, the descriptions before it aren't vague, but they aren't as detailed as that one.
  9. Fatmankev Chef, Writer, and Midnight Toker

    As long as you know that that's why you described it like that, then it's perfectly fine. Sorry for criticizing, you knew what you were doing, there.

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