Author Topic: Which intro?  (Read 9665 times)

MagnoliaJackson

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Which intro?
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:19:43 PM »
I wrote two introductions to my story and I’m now wondering which one is better? What first impression does both of the intros give you?

Option 1:
Jude is grateful when the orange glow of light, extruding from the hotel entrance, arrives at last. He doesn’t acknowledge the magnificent structure of the pillars, or the shine of the marble stretching out into the distance; all he longs for is to escape the baking hot coach he has been imprisoned in for some time now.
The last 24 hours had been a blur to him. The excitement and nervousness blending into one emotion at once. The thrill and impatience dancing on his mind. He had time to think on the plane though, study his thoughts, his fears. Back when the cool rush of recycled air, streaming down from the AC was readily available. Now on the coach, sweat drips through his hair and binds his clothes to his back. He has been longing for even a drop of hydration as he feels his tongue gradually sticking to the inside of his mouth. His brain is fogged up, all he hopes for is that the first impression he’ll make won’t be a bad one.
Needing to get off the sauna of the bus, he wills himself to his feet. He makes his way to the front, past the other passengers, grasping at the head rests of the seats for stability. The doors open and suddenly humid, but new air is let in. It feels like a relief to Jude, yet the air awaiting outside is still overbearingly clammy. He sighs and closes his eyes, listening to the freeing noise of crickets chirp in the distance. He only comes back to his senses once the bus driver complains, in his broken English, about him blocking the exit.

Option 2:
The worst feeling is not being able to appreciate the moment you’re in, because of the fact that you are struggling so damn much.

This is the situation that Jude is in.

He doesn’t react when the orange glow of light, extruding from the hotel entrance, arrives at last. He doesn’t acknowledge the magnificent structure of the pillars, or the shine of the marble stretching out into the distance. He doesn’t even jump up to escape like the other passengers. He just stays in his seat, exhausted, in a puddle of his own sweat.

The last 24 hours had been a blur to him. The excitement and nervousness blending into one emotion at once. The thrill and impatience taking all control of his body. He had time to think logically on the plane, to study his thoughts, his fears. Back when the cool rush of recycled air, streaming down from the AC was readily available. Now on the coach, sweat drips through his hair and binds his clothes to his back. Again, the uneasy pain in his stomach is back. Now he knows he is way too far to turn back to the familiarity of home. He has been longing for hydration, as he feels his tongue gradually sticking to the inside of his mouth. Longing for a quiet place to rest where he can lay down flat.

He’s been telling himself that it’ll be better tomorrow. He’ll adjust to his new life and routines. But in this moment he doesn’t believe himself. He watches with loathe as the lady with the screaming toddler pushes her way off the static coach. He had been sat next to her the whole journey, and despite Jude wanting to help calm the toddler, she refused all sympathy. Instead reverting to scream at the child the whole way, resulting in a two way shouting match. Jude’s not one to judge, but he just wishes the woman changes her parenting style before it scars the little girl permanently. He can’t help to think it already has.

Mentally drained, he inhales before knowing he needs to get off the sauna of the bus, so he wills himself to his feet. Behind the other passengers, he grasps at the head rests of the seats for stability and slowly makes his way to the front. Outside feels like a relief to Jude, yet the air awaiting is still overbearingly clammy. He sighs and closes his eyes, listening to the freeing noise of crickets chirp in the distance.



Thank you for your feedback. :)



hillwalker3000

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Re: Which intro?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 10:06:42 AM »
There's nothing with the way you write. It's more a case of what you have written.

Openings, like most first impressions, are important. Many readers turn to the first page when picking up a new book, and if they're not gripped before the end of the first paragraph it's less likely they will continue reading or spend their money. In the case of both your openings, you claim to be classing them as 'introductions'. In my experience, stories (whether short or long) do not require introductions. It's better if the reader is allowed to plunge head first into the situation you have created without any warning of what might follow.

Option 1 - you take 277 words to tell us Jude is getting off a bus in a hot place. It's not enough to stir my curiosity - and I found the use of present tense rather distracting. It's like listening to a voice-over. All I see is the author telling me the story when the author should at all times be invisible. You also tend to over-write - phrases like 'orange glow of light' (it's obvious that any glow will concern light rather than sound, for example) or 'had been a blur to him' (who else could they possibly have been a blur to?). Little things like this will make the reader question their faith in you as a storyteller.

Option 2 is longer - 419 words that don't add very much to option 1. The first two sentences can be safely removed since they are generalities that will mean nothing to the reader at this point in the story. But what follows reads like a witness report. If you want the reader to engage with Jude, desperate to know what happens next, you have to cut to the chase. Something along the lines of:

As soon as Jude stepped out of the baking hot bus he knew he was in trouble.

Maybe this isn't exactly the case here, but you get the idea. You would do better giving the story a touch of intrigue that will hook the reader. Dragging out a scene of discomfort that is only a temporary situation anyway before the 'real story' begins is not the way to go. We'd rather know where he is and why he's there - which will hopefully become apparent once the plot kicks in.

Just one opinion - use or lose.

H3K