Saturday, October 16, 2010

First 250 Words Blogfest

A couple of weeks ago, Elle Strauss hosted a First 250 Words Contest. I was fortunate enough to be one of the finalists. Today, she's hosting a Blogfest so everyone can share their openings. Here's my entry, the opening of Across Two Universes:

            After standing so long under the hot stage lights, Paul would have crossed the wormhole without a spacesuit for a drink of water. The greenroom was down the hall, but crew members dashing around and setting up for the next scene made the backstage area an obstacle course. As he reached the hallway, a costume programmer yanked him off to the side.
            “You’re Paul Harrison, right?” she asked. “Your sister’s at the back door. She says there’s a family emergency.”
            He removed his sweaty face mesh. “Just her? What’s wrong?”
            “She was too upset to say.”
            Dad and his sister had been shopping for supplies to be sent up to the spaceship; why wasn’t he here too? Frowning, Paul sprinted down the corridor of narrow dressing rooms to the back. Cass peered through the security window. Mascara was streaked across her face, and auburn hair tumbled around her head. After he let her in, she clung to him so tightly her jacket became entangled in his holoprojectors.
            “What’s up, Sis?” He strained his ears to follow the onstage dialogue. “I have to go back before my next scene.”
            She looked up at him, her blue eyes glistening. “Mom’s in the hospital.”
             Shit. A spasm of itching crept over Paul’s arms. “She was fine at lunch. What happened?”
             “I don’t know!” Cass released him. “Dad got a call from one of the ushers saying Mom threw up and passed out.”
            “I’m right here. How come no one told me?” 
I hope you enjoyed that! To visit the other blogs participating in this contest, please check here


The Golden Eagle said...

Now I'm curious to know what happens next! I loved reading your excerpt. :)

Madeleine said...

Intriguing! I like the setting you describe.

Summer Ross said...

Very curious indeed! we get a little taste, then BAM you hit us with a good hook! nicely done

Shallee said...

Interesting setting! I'm curious about the characters, as well. I like that you didn't dump us immediately into the "mom's in the hospital" moment, but gave a little time to get a feel for the characters and setting. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Great scene! I loved the tension and feel of it. Sci-fi can be tricky to master, but your writing seems very suited to it, like it's a comfortable genre for you.

My one critique - 'A spasm of itching...' For some reason, it sounded off to me, but that's just my humble opinion!

I really enjoyed it and you've left me wanting more!

Elle Strauss said...

Loved your opening line. Nice to see a male POV here. Thanks for sharing!

Francine said...


Fast-paced action and Wam, bad news! Good hook! ;)


DLCurran said...

Great setting and great hook with the Mom. Nice! :)

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

This is a nice start. I, too, didn't quite get itching. It wasn't a feeling I could relate to.

Marieke said...

I want more! Just that, really, more! :)

LM Preston said...

Oh, this wet my appetite for more. Thanks for sharing the links to the participating blogfest 250 words. I can't wait to hop around.

Brenda Drake said...

this definitely is intriguing and I would turn the page. I want to know what happens next. Great post1 :D

Rachael Harrie said...

Really enjoyed this, and you've balanced so nicely the sci-fi world-building vs jumping into the action. I'd probably agree about the itching. The other thing I wonder about is his comment that he needs to get back before his next line, when it's fairly obvious there's some family emergency. He comes across as a bit uncaring (though that may be your intention). Would love to read more.


Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I'll have to think about whether it's worth keeping the itching. (It does get explained later, but perhaps it's too late by then.)

This weekend has been very busy for me, so I haven't had time to visit the other people participating in this blogfest. I promise to change that either tonight or tomorrow.

Clarissa Draper said...

That's an amazing opening. So much drama. I love the fact that even though it's fantasy, it didn't read that way.


Janet Johnson said...

You definitely have me curious to know what happens. And I love the space references . . . you blend them in so naturally. Got that's its sci-fi without having it slammed down my throat. Good beginning!

kathrynjankowski said...

I love the opening line.

Agree that his mentioning an upcoming scene when his sister's there about a family emergency comes off as callous, but maybe that's your intent?

Thanks for sharing!

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