Blurb

The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.













Friday, August 24, 2012

Mirrors and An Upcoming Blogfest

Within the last couple of weeks, I read some where that opening your scene with your MC in front of a mirror reeks of amateur writing. The article stated it was a bad technique to describe what your MC looks like.

But what if the mirror is used to show the misery the MC is going through and not necessarily what they look like?

The opening chapter to Secondhand Shoes is a mirror scene. To me it clearly shows a miserable girl who hates her wedding day, fears her mother, and doubts herself. Its not about what she looks like on the outside. Its about what her feelings are reflecting.

Here’s a diddy from that first scene:

Except for the hiccups, I stood, softly crying, staring at my reflection in the full length mirror. Black mascara streaked my cheeks. I poked a couple fingers under the high lacey neckline and scratched.

Gram appeared behind me, wearing the lavender chiffon dress she wore in her casket six months ago, not one of her white hairs out of place. It looked like she maintained her weekly shampoo and set. “I’ve seen wrong in my life but this takes the cake,” she said. “Forcing an eighteen-year-old girl to marry any twenty-seven year old, much less a scallywag. Your mother’s crazy.” A frown sagged her jowls.

The tops of my arms itched, too, and I rubbed them, not responding to Gram’s comment, letting the lace do the scratching. My reflection squirmed in the white A-line dress. Its bodice and skirt were taffeta, the sleeves and fabric above the bustline to neck was lace. I hated the dress.

“It’s looking cheap up close but pretty from a distance. More your mother’s taste.” She stepped beside me, standing a foot shorter than me, fingering the lace on my sleeve and tisking. “What did they make this out of? Synthetic? It must itch like crazy.” She looked around the room. “Well, we’ll have to take care of this.”

“How?” I asked.

“The best thing you could do is take off that darned thing and run, child,” she said. “Pay no mind to your mother’s pooh either.”

One More Thing…

Before I go, I ask that you all hop over to Siv’s blog, Been There, Done That. She’s been promoting a very cool blog and bookfest coming on Labor Day, Meylinda’s Labor Day Blogfest and Bookfest. They’re looking for bloggers to help promote this. There will also be drawings for participants to win FREE books.

Click Here for more information.

And Secondhand Shoes is still in the proofreading phase before it goes to formatting.

Hugs and chocolate,

Shelly

34 comments:

  1. I think it's a good opening. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi Shelly! I think some guidelines are meant to be broken, and of course, it depends on the situation in front of the mirror. Yours is not simply a device to show an appearance. So there are exceptions.
    Loved your list on my blog today! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. I know guidelines are good. And thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Thanks Shelly! There will be free ebooks for everyone that week-end, including the book with my first short story in it. That book, "Open doors" has already made it to the top 100 list on Amazon and it hasn't even been released yet...big smile!

    I really loved your opening. You set the mood very well. Have a great week-end!

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    1. Thank you, Siv. I'm also debating whether or not to do the blogfest. It's all about time.

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  4. Interesting excerpt. I will look into the blog :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Eventually, she does but its how, where and when.

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  6. I like that mirror scene. I kept reading not to start with a prologue and I'm still debating. You have to do what feels right. I guess writers who know way more than I do about this, will give you the right suggestion.

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  7. Your mirror opening scene is an example of successfully breaking the rules. When a writer uses the mirror to reflect the MC's hair and eye color, weight, and height, the boring facts can turn a reader to another story rather than the next page. Your description of the MC goes miles beyond the physical and includes the wonderful grandmother as a special treat!

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  8. I have to agree with everyone, and when I read it, knowing that this was considered a cleche, I thought, "no, this is well done". So, yep. I think the way you carried this scene off was well done. (^;

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    1. Lorelei that means a lot. Thank you.

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  9. Lila really does work well as a character, and starting her like that makes sense.

    And Gram's more than memorable!

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    1. Sidekicks should always be just as memorable as the MC like in the Wizard of Oz.

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  10. You must go with your instinct, of course. Still, starting with a mirror scene puts off any agent or editor reading your submitted manuscript. It's not fair but they have read so many poor novels which start that way, it is instinctual on their part to cringe when they see a new author use this device.

    Thanks for visiting my post today, Roland

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    1. I understand. But I wanted to do something slightly different.

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  11. I like the diddy. As I grow older, I don't stare in mirrors too much anymore. :)

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  12. I think so many women feel that way when they look in the mirror. Not satisfied with what they see. It's sad.

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    1. Lila is upset over the days events.

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  13. There is no question in my mind that Gram is the main character of this part of the book. She is so full of experience and the desire to share. Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. Gram is adorable.

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  14. The hurry up and wait proof reading stage. that's a fun one. But best of luck to you with it, sound fascinating.

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    1. Yup. Still waiting, too. Thank you.

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  15. I think it works! You give us an unique view and insight~ I love it!
    Hugs n' chocolate to you :D

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  16. I agree, the mirror works in this case and I think Gram is right; take that dress off and run!

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  17. You can break all rules! How else is she going to see that her mascara's run? (although Gram could say, "you've got mascara down your face but I think it's fine as it is.)

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Plus, Gram is a ghost.

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I'm dying to know what you think.