Friday, April 2, 2010

First Page Blogfest

In Potterverse, I'm a Slytherin, hands down. I also used to RP more often than I drew breath, so I've got a zillion of these little beauties to thrust at you. In the meantime, I decided to partake of the First Page Blogfest, my very first participation in one. Mostly because it required no effort on my part. I already had this stuff written, after all. ;-)

Blogfest is here:


And here's my first 24 lines:

My life did not begin until I experienced death, and the irony does not escape me.

Travis Makowski was my name before I died. Now I’m just Sam. No reason, really. I didn’t name myself after a movie star or my favorite pet from childhood. It’s a simple, average name, one that’s easy to remember. Sometimes I still turn my head when I hear someone say my old first name, but for the most part I remember my new name.

Not hatched from an egg or conjured from a cauldron, I had parents before I died. Like a lot of kids, I had more than two. I suppose they are out there still, continuing on as they always did; watching television, shopping at the local super store, trudging through the menial and unrewarding jobs they bitched about so much at dinner.

I never blamed them for not wanting more than they had. Sure, they wanted to win the lottery and retire, but they never tried to see past the next horizon. They were good people, but boring and small-minded, and I knew I’d never want to be like them. I wanted to get out of school and get the hell out of Iowa as soon as possible.

Wish granted, I guess.

I wanted more out of life than a crappy job, more than to just get by and have enough for beer and the occasional visit to the Shrine of the Next Pop Culture Movement, a.k.a. the Cineplex of Doom.

Okay, I added the ‘of Doom’ part. I just can’t shake the feeling those flashing neon lights are the eulogy for independent thought disguised as entertainment. Then again, most of my ideas have no bearing in reality.

Except my idea of death. I’m pretty sure I’m dead.

I was never sure if someone listened when I prayed. To avoid talking to myself like a crazy person, I usually avoided prayer, but gazed upwards on occasion and gave an apologetic smile just in case.


Unknown said...

Good voice, Christi :) I love the subtle snarky humor - just right, not over the top.

JE said...

I LOVE IT!!! I knew I would!!! I'm sooooo excited about this new project of yours!!!!! I'm telling ya', it's got best seller written all over it.

Did you ever decide how to kill him? I dying to know!!


Christi Goddard said...

Steph: Thanks a bunch.

Justine: I can email you some more if you wish. I've started on chapter 4 tonight, but I can show you the first three. And yes, the death scene is in chapter one.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Love, love, love that first line. And I love the tone and the voice of this. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Awesome voice - I'm rooting for the dead guy already :) Hmmm, sounds a little odd :)

Charity Bradford said...

I love the attitude coming through. This blogfest thing has given me many books to keep a watch for. I can't wait to find out how he died and what he is doing wandering around. I also loved that he named himself Sam.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Sam is also my character's name. But your hero has more attitude. Exposition at the beginning can be fatal, but you handled it like a pro. Congrats. Roland

Christi Goddard said...

Sarah: It's my favorite line. I originally wrote it for another story, but when I dropped the prologue, it became the first sentence of this one. :-)

Jemi: I'm kind of rooting for him, too.

Charity: Well, I hope I can get printed so you know how it all works out. :-)

Roland: Yeah, I was a bit nervous about the exposition, but after this I quickly get to the point and move forward. Thanks for following me!

sally said...

This is wonderful. I mean, I'm not sure I'd be a fan of the content if I had more, since I am not into dark fiction much, but this kid is smart and has a very strong voice that is fun to read. Love it.

Katie said...

I really like the line "Not hatched from an egg or conjured from a cauldron..." Something about the alliteration of "conjured from a cauldron" just sounds good.

I also love the final paragraph. It has great characterization! From this tiny snippet, I already feel like I know something about the character. Great job! :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Spike the Buffy Slayer, is it? I can't stop smiling over that one.

Thanks for the kind words about my own first page. Four agents, after having liked my partial, have requested to see my entire novel. Still I get rejections, and your encouraging words help blunt their sting.

Also thanks for reading my other posts. Sometimes when you blog, you don't know if others are readign without commenting, or you are murmuring to the cyber-winds. And I have read some of your other posts, too. And "serendipitous kismet" is an accurate phrase for what I felt as well.

I have just come off a 212 mile gauntlet of a rare blood run for the blood center for which I am a courier, among other things. The sawdust is running out of this outcast doll, but I had to write you and say THANKS and 'Hello, new friend.'

Have only happy surprises this weekend, Roland

Anne Gallagher said...

Fantastic as usual. I love this kids' attitude. I love how he thinks about his parents and their lives. I LOVE that. Get out of Iowa attitude.

Christi Goddard said...

Sally: I'm glad you liked it. The rest of it is a bit funnier. It's sort of a comedic urban fantasy. He's not a vampire or a zombie.

KM: Thanks a bunch. I've got a good feeling about this project. I hope it's as much fun to read as it is to write.

Roland: I've not even gotten requests, so you're ahead of me. From what I've read, you've got amazing talent. Hang in there.

Anne: Your praise always makes me grin like an idiot.

Tara said...

I knew I'd love this. And, boy do I! I know I don't comment here often, but I do read. My eyes are messed up (I refuse to say I'm getting old!) and the black-lit blogs make them wonky so I read and hit the road ;) But I love it here. And this opening is beyond fantastic!

Kelly Lyman said...

Oh, I'm hooked. I love his voice and want to know how he died-I'd turn the page for sure. Thanks for participating!

DL Hammons said...

This is great stuff!! The tone, the (as somebody phrased it already) snarky humor, the curiosity about his situation, all comes together nicely. This was well done and I would definitely be turning the page(s). :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

I love your voice! I want to read the book. I know I should give you constructive criticism, but without digging too deep, I really have to say it's great.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Hello, Christi. I was looking forward to seeing how Stevie's first page would read, but she wrote that she felt uninspired to join in the blogfest. I thought you might find what I wrote to her of some interest. If not, send me a cyber black eye!

A good habit is to write a paragraph each day whether you feel inspired or not. Usually by the end of the first paragraph, you will find yourself led to finish what occurred to you in a second one. Often you will find that you have written a whole page.

The next day if still uninspired, read over the page of yesterday. Pretend you're an agent, short-tempered with hurting eyes. Red line through what you think he/she would. And promise yourself to just re-write the first paragraph. I guarantee you will re-write the whole page. Following this habit, in a week of no inspiration, you will find yourself having written at least four very good pages.

Try it. Come check out my first page and see what you think. My hero was born in 1799, and his thoughts are couched in purplish terms which strike sparks from today's crisp, no-nonsense, direct culture. It is a purposeful foreshadowing of his physical struggle with said culture. Have an inspiring weekend, Roland

April 3, 2010 2:38 PM
Have a happily surprising weekend, Roland

Mia Hayson said...

I saw your first line on a thread in NB's forum and am now so so glad I got to read the first page! It was ACES, just like I thought it would be *grins*

Christi Goddard said...

Oh, goodness. I take some time to write and come back to all these comments!

Tara: I totally understand. I have the same problem at other blogs.

Kelly: I would tell you, but then it'd ruin the surprise :-)

DL: Thankya kindly. On the next page space invaders inpregnate him with their spawn who grow up to be QVC marketers.

Lisa: I hope to someday give everyone the opportunity to read it all *wink wink*

Roland: You're incredibly random. Don't ever change.

Mia: Yeah, at the time it was the first line of Lesser Evils, but I cut the whole first chapter and with it, that line. So I carried it over to my new WIP.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad I bumped into your post, you weren't linked yesterday when I read my way around. Thank you for posting, I enjoyed this page so much! I enjoyed it so much you've got me repeating myself!

The voice is very strong - you have created a tone somewhere between lost and distant.

Well written. I'd love to know more.

Christi Goddard said...

Elaine: Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. If I ever get published, you'll get to read more. :-)

Roxy said...

Loved that last paragraph. I also enjoyed the "I'm pretty sure I'm dead," line. You have a gift for incorporating humor with serious material. Great first page!

Christi Goddard said...

Thanks so much, Roxy. It's a lot to do with comments like yours on my short posts that I started writing this new WIP in the same voice I use in my shorts. Otherwise, I never would have. If I have any success, you'll be one of the reasons why.

Callie Forester said...

Hi, this is Callie Forester at chimera critiques. I'm just writing because our site went down for about a week and a half--so in case you stopped by I wanted to let you know it's back up and working fine. :) thanks for entering our contest!!

On another note, I read your entry here and I really like it. You immediately captured my attention. It's really well written! If you are interested in getting the first chapter critiqued, feel free to submit to our site, I'd love to read more of this! Callie

Christi Goddard said...

Callie - Okay, I wrote out this HUGE explanation as to why I'm not comfortable posting more than a little of my work, but I deleted it. In short, thank you very kindly for the offer, but I'd prefer not to.

The contest was fun, and I look forward to seeing the outcome. The last I looked, there were some really good comments.

Thank you for reading and enjoying my first page. I really appreciate it.

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