Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, February 23, 2007

First Page Challenge

Okay. Fellow Novel Racer, Liz Fenwick, has offered a challenge. Post the first page of your racing novel. I'm game. Here it is:
“What time do you have to leave?"

Dennis looked up from his mounds of paperwork to see his partner standing beside him. “I don’t have to be there until six. Why?”

“Unless you’re planning on being late, you’d better hit the road. It’s three already, and if you catch any traffic there’s no way you’ll make it to Serenity in time.”

He cursed softly under his breath. Wrapped in the paperwork from his last case, he hadn’t thought to keep an eye on the time. He should’ve left an hour ago. The damn traffic on I-25 was a nightmare on the best of days, and Friday afternoon it made a nightmare look pleasant. “Finish this up for me,” he spat.

“Thanks,” his partner said, the sarcasm in his voice so thick Dennis could have spread it on a bagel.

“Trade you,” he offered.

“Not on your life, buddy. Go on. Get out of here. All of this,” his arms spread to indicate the entirety of a room packed with detectives and criminals, “will be waiting when you get back.”

“Gee. Thanks.” Dennis Haggerty tried to match his partner’s dry tone, but he failed. He actually liked being at the station most days, and even on its worst days it was better than Serenity on a good day.

“You could always tell your sister you had a big case you couldn’t get away from.”

For an instant, the suggestion almost seemed valid, but Dennis shook his head. “Can’t. Kimmy needs me.”

“You mean she’d kill you if you didn’t show up.”

That was the first page of the first chapter of AWJ. I have a prologue, but I'm not sure if I'm keeping it yet, so for all intents and purposes, this will have to do. Keep in mind, this is first draft material. Most likely it will change by the time I get to final draft.

Be gentle. ;o)


Anissa said...

I like this a lot! Good tension and foreshadowing and the conversation flows really smoothly. Leaves the reader wanting more. Great job.

"the sarcasm in his voice so think Dennis could have spread it on a bagel." What a great line! Love it. :)

liz fenwick said...

No need to be gentle. it's good. You're right into the story and you want to why he's going to Serentiy and who is Kimmy?

Keep up the good work :-)

Janimé said...

And here I thought you were taking the day off ;-)

Can't wait to read the rest!

B.E. Sanderson said...

Thanks everyone.

Day off? Eh. That was yesterday. You know what they say. "No rest for the wicked." Heh.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh, and you find out on page two why he's going to Serenity and who Kimmy is.

Gotta keep 'em guessing. ;o)

Janimé said...

Ah! I missed that it was yesterday.

Well get going then!! /sounds of a cracking whip/ :)

hesitant scribe said...

I like the way you start in the middle of the action, en medias res, and you set up questions to keep us reading on. I like it so far. Dialogue's good too. I hate writing dialogue - it's the bain of my writerly life!

Oh, and have posted my first page - hesitantly!

Laura Vivanco said...

Is Kimmy not his sister? I thought she must be since the partner said 'You could always tell your sister' and Dennis replies '“Can’t. Kimmy needs me.”' Of course, it could be that the person who needs him isn't the same person as his sister, but I assumed they were when I read this.

I like the contrast between 'Serenity' which actually makes Dennis more nervous than a whole room 'packed with detectives and criminals'. 'Serenity'/his family obligations and the metaphorical way his sister might 'kill' him are obviously more troubling to him than real-life murder.

I'm not sure why Dennis is spitting at his partner, or why the partner's so sarcastic, though, given that the partner chose to remind Dennis, and Dennis would be even later if his partner hadn't reminded him. I'd have expected a bit more gratitude on Dennis' part. I suppose I tend to think of 'sarcasm' as being more negative than 'irony', but that could just be me.