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Author Topic: Opening paragraph of a romantic suspense  (Read 354 times)
jcwrites
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« on: October 09, 2018, 04:58:42 PM »

CAMBODIA, 1973

Sam Ellis couldn't take his eyes off the woman standing beside the Citroën. French maybe? Mid-thirties, trim figure, dark hair pulled back. She seemed alluringly out of place in her white blouse and yellow slacks and sandals. Where she belonged was sipping an aperitif on Via Veneto, not joining up with an armed relief convoy.

(full chapter posted here: https://querytracker.net/forum/index.php?topic=23157.0 )
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 03:51:07 PM by jcwrites » Logged
amyina68
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 10:05:55 PM »

I would take out "alluringly." Other than that, pretty good!
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jcwrites
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 10:05:18 AM »

@amyina68

I knew "alluringly" was wrong when it popped up on the page.

Thanks for calling it out.
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Munley
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Mr. Fluff -- from the SPCA


« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 02:17:37 PM »

CAMBODIA, 1973

Sam Ellis couldn't take his eyes off the woman standing beside the Citroën. French maybe? Mid-thirties, trim figure, dark hair pulled back. She seemed alluringly out of place in her white blouse and yellow slacks and sandals. Where she belonged was sipping an aperitif on Via Veneto, not joining up with an armed relief convoy.


The signing up for an army relief convoy comes as a complete surprise at the end of the paragraph. Why start out with this woman standing next to some car (even it is an unusual car) instead of near something that clues the reader in that the context is people signing up for a relief convoy? Let us see for ourselves the odd contrast between her clothing and what she's about to do, instead of just having some guy not be able to take his eyes off her (which is a handy, cliche expression that tells us nothing special about either character beyond a physical attraction on his part). I get that this is romantic suspense, but still . . .

While I think the situation and contrast are interesting, I think you could go at it at a more compelling way.
Recently watched a Soviet film about women forming their own platoons during WWI, trading in their lovely locks and form-fitting clothing for crewcuts and fatigues because so many male troops out there were accepting booze bribes from the Germans and sitting out battles. Seeing the transformation of these women was really something to behold.
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vivaviolet
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 01:22:26 PM »

This is nice. I agree that "alluringly" jumps out but it does something for Sam's voice. Love the white blouse/yellow slacks/sandals retro combo. Very 1973!
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jcwrites
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 03:48:40 PM »

Thanks for the comments, and my apologies for not responding sooner (family reunion).

I've posted the rest of the chapter here: https://querytracker.net/forum/index.php?topic=23157.0
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 03:53:03 PM by jcwrites » Logged
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