Thursday, May 9, 2013

First 250 Words Smash! #15

Heroic Author: Andres Vasquez
Poised and Hungry Editor: Victoria
Working Title: N/A

Cooper Ryan felt his office tightening itself around him, his chest collapsing, his ribs burrowing into his organs. Staring at the crisp paper in his hand, Cooper could not avoid its scent of almond perfume trying to find its way into his lungs. He reached for his reading glasses, in the case he had not deciphered the letters, each with unparalleled flourish and fanfare, correctly. Even without his glasses, Coops could not mistake the second name on the paper in his hands; the message was transparent. "The honor of your presence is requested to celebrate the marriage of Gianmarco Cancellindo, 8th Principe di Colloserrone, and Lucy Samson." Cooper Ryan was literally sinking into the floor. The cracking din of the stressed wooden panels finally managed to drag Cooper back to reality. He looked down to find his wide feet halfway to the ceiling of the first floor. Glancing at his wristwatch, Cooper slid the invitation into his back pocket. Control of his bodily functions returning to him, Cooper closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply and slowly. He heard the familiar winces of the floor panels, feeling his feet rise above floor. When he opened his eyes, Cooper found himself levitating two feet above the ground. Gradually exhaling, Cooper touched back down, slowly initially. The moment before touchdown, he lost control, while gravity took advantage. He caught himself on his desk. Breathing hard through his nostrils, Cooper collected his bundle of midterms and burst down the hall to his class.

Strong Points--
I really like this introduction! We get right into the problem, and then we get a glimpse of Cooper actually going through the floor. How the heck does that happen? We have no idea, but we're left with so many questions. You've avoided any sort of info dump and gotten us into the action and the character first, and I have to say that I adore that.

You also sprinkled some lovely descriptors in here. Things such as the almond perfume, the embellished writing on the invitation, I appreciate such touches, and they add to the picture and keep the reader emerged in the story. Cooper's reaction also really speaks a lot for his character, and so we've already gotten to find out a crucial part of who he is.

Some Tips--
I have to say, having all of this as one big paragraph is very daunting and very hard to read. I would highly suggest breaking this into smaller, shorter paragraphs. Not only will this make it easier on your reader's eyes, but it helps emphasize and flush out the separate ideas you have here.  Not knowing where one idea ends and the next one begins can get rather confusing for the reader, which bogs down the pace as they attempt to work it out.

Also, I believe you could benefit from rewording some of your sentences and replacing the modifiers. For example, "He reached for his reading glasses, in the case he had not deciphered the letters, each with unparalleled flourish and fanfare, correctly." This is pretty confusing. It might be better to split the two different thoughts into two different sentences, because with 'correctly' dangling at the end, I have to stop and remember why I'm even reading that word.

I would also love to see more of those sprinkled descriptors in there. Not many--no need to slow down the pace with what isn't absolutely important, but I got a lovely image of the invitation and not much else. Immerse me in the whole scene, not just that single picture.

Last but not least, and perhaps a very minor detail that most probably don't even know, but you used Italian on the invite. That's all find and dandy, but double check what the Italian form of 8th is, because I'm entirely certain that ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, ect) are different in Italian, and therefore Giancarlo's title would not use 8th.

Would I keep reading?
Yes! I really liked this, and you did a wonderful job of spoon-feeding me just enough information that I really want to know more. I really hope to see more of this work in the future!

No comments:

Post a Comment