Another Failed Beginning

by

So apparently I suck at this.  This beginning is amusing and I like it (unlike that first version gah), but it would end up in the wrong place (like that first version gah).  I tried to write in third person and forgot that I need to do third person with a perspective here.  Without a character’s perspective to lock me down, I flew off the handle into goofing off with the narration.  Perhaps NaNoWriMo’s “write as fast as you can and damn the torpedoes because otherwise you’ll never get anything done you lazy sod I mean you’ve had years and you haven’t written a novel” theory isn’t for me.  Maybe I can find somewhere between my overediting and NaNoWriMo’s 80 WPM approach.

Either way, time to start over.  In the meantime, here’s Beginning Two, in all its gory:

“This is the find of a lifetime,” said Dr. Grant Allen.

“That’s what you said the last time.”  Frank Rich spat his tobacco out into the baggie Allen had made him bring.  “Is this a second lifetime, then?”

They stood, side by side- or as side-by-side as they could on the uneven cave floor.  Allen wore a grey t-shirt with “National Archaeological Digging Month” written in red raised lettering on its front, with “November Is NaArDiMo!” written on the back in yellow.  His jeans were faded and wrinkled, and he had a miner’s helmet on, replete with light on the top.  The other man had the same helmet on his head, but there the similarity of dress ended.  Frank Rich believed in being prepared, and it showed.  His clothes were shiny and new-looking, though they were not, in fact, new.  His red pants and blue long-sleeve shirt were made of new “technological materials” (as he liked to say), designed to regulate body temperature and cushion from a fall.  He had a backpack on that practically doubled his size, and he was not a small man to begin with.  He had six inches and seventy pounds on Grant Allen, much of it muscle.  He also wore a handlebar mustache, and no matter how technological his clothes were, the shirt was purple and the pants green.  The overall effect was that Mr. Rich appeared either comically serious or seriously comical.

“Well,” said Allen, “this time, I didn’t make the mistake of telling my colleagues about it.”

There were footsteps behind them.  “Hello, boys, did you find it yet?  Oh, Jesus Christ, yes you did.”

“Hello, Sarah.”  Rich put his tobacco baggie away.  “What do you think of this?  Looks like my kid could draw it.”

Dr. Sarah Valonis laughed.  “Usually they say that about modern art.”  She turned towards the cave wall.  “Not about something painted 15,000 years ago in a pigment made of charcoal and fish oil.”  She cocked her head.  “Guess the animals here aren’t drawn that well.  Then again, even adults didn’t paint using realistic perspective until a few hundred years ago.”

Allen waved the conversation away with his hand.  “It’s beautiful, is what it is.  And we’re the first to see it.”
“Well,” said Sarah, “aside from the girl who found it.  But we’re the first archaeologists to see it.  Which is what matters, in the end, right, Allen?”

“Absolutely.  Boy am I lucky that the first person the little girl told about it was her teacher, who’s a good friend of mine.  What if she tells her parents first?  Little difference like that, and now we’re going to be famous.  Speaking of which, where’s that photographer?”

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2 Responses to “Another Failed Beginning”

  1. gryfft Says:

    Ya need a hook, bro.

  2. Sebatinsky Says:

    “Frank Rich believed in being prepared, and it showed. His clothes were shiny and new-looking, though they were not, in fact, new. His red pants and blue long-sleeve shirt were made of new “technological materials” (as he liked to say), designed to regulate body temperature and cushion from a fall. He had a backpack on that practically doubled his size, and he was not a small man to begin with. He had six inches and seventy pounds on Grant Allen, much of it muscle. He also wore a handlebar mustache, and no matter how technological his clothes were, the shirt was purple and the pants green. The overall effect was that Mr. Rich appeared either comically serious or seriously comical.”

    This was where I first found myself engaged in the story – even though I’m not usually a big fan of physical character description.

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