Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crowning

As some might have noticed, the first page of my manuscript is up on Miss Snark’s First Victim today.  


You know how when a baby is born, their skull bones are separated and malleable in order to ease their way out of the birth canal? 

It’s a really sensitive area and it takes a long time for the bones to finally connect and harden into a rounded skull. 

They, ofcourse, go through quite a few stages before this can happen. 

First, there’s the initial:  ‘cone head’

 followed by : ‘the back of my head is flat because I’m not allowed to sleep on my stomach’

Then there’s the  ‘my head is too big for my body and I can’t lift it.’ 

And finally ‘my head is bumped and bruised because I finally started crawling and I keep smacking it on things.’
 
If none of that has permanently deformed your kids’ heads, then within two to three years, they should have a pretty normal looking solid skull.

My manuscript beginning is like a crowning head.  It’s what makes its debut into the world- the first thing a reader sees.  And it has gone through SO many different transformations in the last year and a half that I barely recognize it.  But I still don’t think it’s solid.

So I’m asking you, my blogging friends, to have a look at my baby’s misshapen head and let me know how you think I can flatten it out.  It sounds grosser than it really is.  You can see it here.

But be gentle.  The area is still sensitive to the touch:)

P.S.-  A huge thank you to everyone who commented on my Grandmother’s passing.  It was a hard week and I’m still a little shell shocked but I’m so proud of her and the life she lived and I do believe she’s happy now with those she loved.

And for those who were brave enough to read my blogfest of death entry?  I’m sorry I scared you.  Lol.  And thanks SO much for reading and your comments!

35 comments:

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

'heading' over right now :o)

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

honey I got chills! It's really great! Excellent, in fact! I love the way you've subtly let us know that Gretchen isn't your average girl. Seriously. Loved it!

Dawn said...

Checking it out now! Loving the analogy :-D

Dawn said...

Wow! Love the voice. You've nailed that. And if I ever have a Guinea Pig I'm totally naming it Grunt. Very cool.

Laura Pauling said...

Heading over there now! :)

Zoe C. Courtman said...

I thought it was definitely intriguing. Love your voice.

Matthew Rush said...

Hmm, I loved your query ... I'll go take a look and be right back.

KarenG said...

Congrats! I'll go check it out.

Matthew Rush said...

Katie. Okay first of all: This is excellent! I think that the voice is subtle but it is also kind of "proper" in a way that fits quite eloquently with the period, setting AND premise. You drew me right in with this set up!

Now, since you asked us to I will point out a couple of spots where I think you can tighten it up a bit.

The first is the image of her home being clutched by a giant murky green claw. This is beautiful (well scary, but beautiful as far as writing) imagery. The thing is I don't think you need all these adjectives. I would keep murky, it's the most unique, but I would definitely lose giant and possibly green. Both are implied since a claw that holds a house is clearly big and ivy is nearly always green.

Second is the pelting rain. This is an uncommon adjective which is a good thing but I think it weakens the idea that you've laid down of holding the umbrella AGAINST the rain. I think that phrase is awesome and gives a more vivid sense of how hard it is raining without qualifying the rain.

Third is when the lawyer locks the doors. I think you should drop the "behind him and" and begin a new sentence. This is really subtle and I am being super nit-picky here but I think the rhythm flows better that way. Plus he's not going to lock the doors in front of him if they're leaving.

Anyway keep in mind this is all just my humble opinion and these things are super subjective so please don't even listen to me unless you agree with my points in your gut.

Even without these changes you've got a compelling opening and a unique and curious character. Well done!

@Dawn, check again! That wasn't Katie's story.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I loved it - seriously! The voice was so perfect and you hooked me big-time. :-)

Justine Dell said...

Wow...Katie. Wow, wow, wow. Once I got the part with coffins and the black-eyed man. Eep! Sucked me right in!

~JD

VICTORIA SAAVEDRA said...

Loved it! Especially the voice :)

Mohamed Mughal said...

Hey, I can really relate with the analogy of "birthing" a WIP; it sure feels like that sometimes!

BTW, I just gave your blog the Trendy Blog Award in my latest post :)

Candyland said...

Candyland's short on "puter" time as the offspring calls it, but I will have a look when I get a chance to breathe. Thanks for grossing me out with the childbirth analogy, though,lol...

Crimey said...

Okay, so that picture really freaked me out, but, whatever, right? I'm going to head over to check out your entry. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I commented on the blog where the passage is posted, but to sum up my thoughts here: I loved it! You set up some expectations, then showed me they were wrong and left me with several burning questions I *need* to know the answer to!

I would luuurve to read more!

KM said...

Umm...this metaphor...simile...whatever is kind of hysterical. And I love Ms. Snark's First Victim! So cool! I'm sure your MS is awesome :)

Melissa said...

Oh man, my internets been down the last two weeks and I missed so much!

First off, I am SO sorry for your loss. I read your post on your grandmother and it sounds like her life IS a story, she definitely is a character.

Secondly, your blogfest entry... Holy crap girl! Terror and tension saturate this scene with such ferocity that my eyes were wide and my heart thumping in my chest. That's powerful writing my dear!

Third, I love the baby head analogy thing you have going on in this post.

Fourth and final, your entry. Awesome. It's smooth and you set up everything, tone, atmosphere, voice....it's all here. Excellent beginning (I'll be honest, I'm a little jealous!)

Old Kitty said...

Yay!!!! I loved your story!! Now I must confess - I clicked on your first link to Ms Snark and read a story about a teacher and his toupee thinking that was yours!! But I read on here and clicked on the proper story!! I'm so silly!!

Anyway!! WELL DONE you!! I thoroughly enjoyed your story and said so at Ms Snark's!

Good luck with this!

Take care
x

Carolyn V. said...

That is a freaky picture, but so true. I'm on my way to read your stuff now! =D

Susan Fields said...

I just read it and it's awesome! I think your baby's head is pretty perfect. :)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Ooh, I'll take a look. Great analogy btw. Hugs.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I took a read and really enjoyed it. Like many others have said, I think you have the perfect voice here for the time period and story you are telling. It really works!

WritingNut said...

Katie - I loved the analogy AND your beginning - absolutely riveting!

Slamdunk said...

I'm on the way over...

Stephanie Thornton said...

I just found your blog from Victoria S's and got quite a kick out of the conehead analogy. So true!

And I'll check out your entry at Miss Snark's- that's a great place to get feedback!

Sara B said...

I thought it was fantastic. I'm hooked and want to read more!!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Will check it out. Congrats on submitting it for review!

Also, so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'm very close to mine as well. It breaks my heart to hear of your loss.

April said...

I read and commented there! Short story is I liked it a lot!

Tamara Narayan said...

I have a tendency to fall into an editing frenzy, so I'll just email you my thoughts. I like the set up--nice and creepy.

Bekah said...

Very brave Conehead

Hart Johnson said...

And here I came running in for my tiara...

that seems really incompatible though, with the hugs I'm sending about your grandma--I've been way behind on reading blogs and hadn't seen that, but grandmas are very special people, so I'm sorry you lost yours.

*heading to look at page*

Jo Schaffer said...

(= Goin' over now!

Jo Schaffer said...

Giiiirl. You got me-- I'm so curious to read more...but more than that, your writing is good. Descriptive and deftly done. (=

LTM said...

(I left a comment there--was that wrong?)

I LOVED THIS!!! Now I'm going to have nightmares--the black eyes staring out at her??? Eeep!

No, I love love love it! Do you get anything if you win or is it just a critique party?

excellent work~

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