Author Topic: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"  (Read 133 times)

AJTrelawny

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the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« on: November 28, 2018, 02:17:24 PM »
Here is the clean bit from my 'A Naughty Elf' story.

I am planning on hitting the publish button on Friday so its available on Saturday 1st December.

I can't seem to get it to look nice on here though! It looks better on the KDP previewer, I promise.

I'm just curious what you guys think of this as an intro to my story.

Do you get a good sense of Isabella as a character from this introduction? Do you like her? Do you want to read more?

I've loved writing her, we've had a laugh. I love that my job is now "playing with my imaginary friends!"
   


A Naughty Elf by Aj Trelawny.

The red and green polyester uniform was hot and scratchy, the bells on the skirt were annoying as hell and the stupid pointy hat made my head sweat. I spent all day averting the advances of children who wanted wipe their snot on me or their equally slimy dads who thought it was acceptable to make lewd comments or worse still try to look up my skirt.
            The grotto opened from 10am until 8pm every day except Sundays, when it closed at 5. However, our shifts often over ran because we had to help reorganise the grotto after the sugar crazed hordes had left.  It was on one of these late nights I first spotted him. He was too young to be playing Santa but, in the suit and with the beard, the children wouldn’t care. He looked lost and somewhat bemused.
“Can I help you Santa,” I said. I put on my work smile, hoping he would find it genuine.
“Oh no, I’m ok. Just surveying my domain,” his voice much deeper than I expected and he chuckled as he spoke.
“The Gents changing room is through the double doors over there, they will be locking up soon.”
“Thanks…,” he paused and waited for me to fill in the gap
“Isabella”
“Goodnight Isabella,” his voice echoed off the walls and filled my ears. It still echoed in my ears as I stepped out onto the street ten minutes later. He had stirred something in me, something I feared would not easily be resettled.
            The street was busy with shoppers and revellers. A band played Christmas songs on the corner, I stopped and listened for a while. My smart watch buzzed, I fumbled in my pocket and retrieved my phone.
 “Hello?”
“Hey Sis, are you coming for drinks? Your mulled wine is going cold!” My sister was never one to mince her words.
“Ok, where are you?”
“Under the advent calendar house, in the main Christmas market.”
“Ok, I’ve just left work. See you in ten minutes.”
“Are you wearing your elf suit?” My sister's laugh was more of a cackle. She found it hilarious I wore an elf suit for work.
“No!”
“Shame, you’d fit right in here. See you soon, hurry!”
 I ended the call and merged into the crowds. The sounds of happy people mixed with those of stressed out shoppers surrounded me like a noisy blanket.

The scents of sausage, gingerbread and mulled wine filled the cold night air as I approached the market. Normally that many smells would freak me out but at Christmas they seemed to work.  I located my sister; sat at a table next to Christmas tree decorated with red and gold baubles and twinkling lights.
“Issy,” she shouted over the music and slid the mug of warm mulled wine towards me. “Catch up, I’m on my third.” I had to laugh at her, she didn’t do things by half. The wine was warm and sweet, with citrus tones and the hint of cinnamon. It warmed my body but also my heart. “Tell me all your gossip,” she said.
“Well, there is a really fit Santa this year,” I shuddered slightly as I remembered his voice. “He is so young, about twenty-one I reckon!” Her eyes lit up as I spoke. “Dark hair, blue eyes and a rounded arse that even the baggy Santa suit couldn’t hide.”
“Sounds delicious, carry on.” My sister sipped her wine, the warmth steaming up her glasses. I giggled, it was like something out of an old-time movie.
“Well, that’s it really, I only spotted him today.”
“Mysterious,” she grinned.

We spent the rest of the evening moving from bar to bar, sampling all the mulled wines available in the market and a few schnapps bars too. I staggered onto my bus at about 11 pm. My head would hurt in the morning.

Gyppo

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2018, 10:54:58 AM »
      Quick look at your free sample.

   Quite a convincing little store elf.  She comes over as a bit cycnical, but well into the Christmas ethos.  A bright eyed little observer of the world, which comes as no surprise ;-)

      1)  Missing word.  ...wanted TO wipe their snot on me.  (It's very easy to miss out some of the smaller words - I do it myself when in full cry -  and I suspect many readers would fill them in almost automatically, but why give anyone an obstacle or a gap which spoils their flow whilst reading.

        Finding missing words is like looking for trout camouflaged against the river bed.  Once you get your eyes 'tuned in' suddenly they're easy to see.  One trick is to create a copy in a different font from your personal preference, sans serif instead of Times Roman for example, which forces your mind to read rather than just absorb.

       2)  It's your story but maybe a different word choice here....  'I shuddered slightly as I remembered his voice.'  Shudder suggests revulsion, whereas shiver can be pleasurable.  Same action as cold, but in context suggests a different stimulus.

       Yours to ponder upon ;-)
   
   Gyppo

AJTrelawny

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2018, 12:32:52 PM »
 Thanks for the feedback.

I will fix the missing word and change shudder before hitting the publish button.

It's interesting that my editing software didn't pick up.the missing word - highlighting perhaps the need for human interaction before publication!
 That said my beta reader didn't spot it either!

Dansinger

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2018, 07:10:19 PM »
I located my sister; sat at a table next to Christmas tree decorated with red and gold baubles and twinkling lights.

Another missing word here. Either a or the Christmas tree would work.


“He is so young, about twenty-one I reckon!” Her eyes lit up as I spoke. “Dark hair, blue eyes and a rounded arse that even the baggy Santa suit couldn’t hide.”
“Sounds delicious, carry on.”

Now that has always made me shudder. Girls talking about guys that way. But don't change it. It sounds true. I have a female friend who loves to talk that way about men. Personally, I haven't a clue what's so attractive about a guy's arse, and like female arses way better. Of course, I'm always looking at arses. Perks of being in a wheelchair. :D

Oh, and I envy your Santa for his voice. Sounds like he's got the sexy voice every guy would love to have.
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AJTrelawny

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 08:30:59 PM »
I will fix that missing word too.

I'm glad you think she sounds real, when talking about Santa's arse. I want my characters to be realistic.

Thanks for the feedback x

dry-fly

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 05:18:21 AM »
Hi AJ

Romance has never been my bag but I believe your main character will be agreeable to your target audience. The writing is not bad. But the title evokes a steamier experience than what follows. I think this opening could use a dash or two more of that stirring, lusty element which keeps the genre at the top of the charts. And I believe you are set up quite well to sprinkle it in because your initial attempts were very close to begin with. For example:

Quote
He had stirred something in me, something I feared would not easily be resettled.
This aside is very close to what romance readers want, I think, but in my estimation doesn't quite get the job done.

Instead of
Quote
something I feared would not easily be resettled
perhaps a physical symptom would serve to show the reader how the MC feels about the young Saint Nick. A lingering flushing of the cheeks, perhaps. Or if she is meant to be a "naughty" elf, something a little more salacious. I'll leave it to your imagination.

This moment alone could potentially be enough to keep readers reading, but it's possible there is room for more. What about the young Santa catches the narrator's attention? What is so titillating? A strong jawline? A bulging bicep in the big red suit? Besides having a deep voice, we don't learn much about him or the narrator's feelings for him until drinks with sissy later. Now it did just occur to me that these gossip sessions are necessary tangents in romance stories because it allows the MC to elucidate their feelings for their flame (not to mention it's a realistic order of succession for many women), but it seems more indulgent to the reader and therefore more beneficial to the story when these tangents follow the overwhelming moments of lust characteristic of the genre.

Lastly, the way this intro wraps up is underwhelming. I believe romance readers would find it more compelling to hear of the MC's drunken half-hope half-fear of running into the young Santa at the next bar they visited. Perhaps she falls asleep to a warm, sensual thought of some bearded, red-garbed hunk.

Hope this helps,

DF

AJTrelawny

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 11:32:08 AM »
Thanks for your feedback.

Right after the drinks with Sis she has a dream about the Santa. It jumps straight into the sexier bits there and she wakes up from her orgasm.
I didn't want to include that in the excerpt because I wasn't sure about the community guidelines.
Later in the story she finds herself on her knees in front of Santa and they both have have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

dry-fly

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Re: the clean bit of "A Naughty Elf"
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 04:24:32 PM »
That's all fine, and good on you for being considerate of the community guidelines, but I still think this opening is lacking. Perhaps not here, but in your personal draft you might fix it up a bit before publishing. Just my two cents.

DF