Brand New Opening Scene ~ 1,203 words

Mith

Confused
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Sep 12, 2011
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Mordor (Oldham)
#1
Good evening everyone.

Ever since I scrapped my last WiP just after Christmas I've been working on something else, which I'm going great with so far. I'm ready now to throw the opening scene on your tender mercies. It's still in first draft, so there's likely to grammar and punctuation errors that I haven't picked up on, so if you spot them, you know what to do.

This scene is something that I've never tried to write before, so a bit out my comfort zone, so if you could let me know how it reads, flows and could be improved. And would you be interested enough to read on.

Anyhow, do your best!


***

2013

‘Possible target sighted, approaching house,’ Riley’s voice came through loud and clear in my earpiece.

‘Confirmed, blonde male with neck tattoos just passed us, likely is the target,’ that was Howard.

‘Roger that, keep eyes on,’ I said. I sat in the passenger seat of a black SUV, alert and waiting for a confirmation of ID. I looked over at the driver, ‘Pete, take us in a bit closer, let’s be ready.’

Pete Henderson scratched his short, red beard, grunted an affirmative and eased the big car forward, no lights on so as not to advertise ourselves.

I activated my mic and addressed my team, ‘this is Carter, do we have confirmation yet?’

‘Hold on Alex,’ Riley came back at me. There was a few seconds pause then, ‘confirm, confirm, that’s Simon Reeves, and he’s going inside.’

‘He don’t look like much does he? You really think that lanky streak of piss is our man? He looks like he’d have to fight his own shoelaces.’ You couldn’t miss the contempt in Bailey’s voice.

‘Well Bailey appearances can be deceptive, as anyone looking at you and thinking there’s intelligence there can attest to,’ I said. There was a snort of amusement from one of the team. ‘Alright boys, keep it serious, we’re going in soon. And try to keep the magic to a minimum, Conclave might be debating about revealing it to the world, but it’s still only talk yet, so let’s not give the clears any gossip, ok?’

Henderson moved us slowly down the street, we could see the target house ahead and to the right, all the windows had curtains drawn, but only the upstairs window showed any sign of light. A shadow moved in the yard of the house next door, and a hand gave us a quick wave. That was Riley, he’d never be seen unless he wanted to be. At the other end of the street another vehicle was approaching, also lights off, that would be Howard and Bailey. That just left Thorne, and right on cue his voice came over the headset.

‘Eyes on back of the house, there’s at least two in the kitchen, will try and get closer to confirm.’

‘Be quick, but careful,’ I said.

‘Aye boss,’ he drawled back.

I checked and rechecked the pistol I carried, it was still loaded with silver rounds. I hoped that was all I’d need tonight, silver was a great all-rounder most of the time, but against some of the things that stalked my world it was barely an irritant. However Reeves and his gang were all human, sorcerer’s maybe, but definitely susceptible to silver. So between that and all our magical talents we should be fine.

‘Four in the kitchen, two male two female, two stood near the window and two sat at a table in the middle of the room.’ I didn’t realise I’d been holding my breath until I heard Thorne’s voice.

‘Roger that Thorne. Keep the back covered, if any come out take them down quietly, if not wait for the noise to start and take the two in the window out.’

‘Aye, aye,’ he said.

I made a gesture to Riley and he slid through the shadows, in to the yard and underneath the big downstairs window. For a moment he went completely still. Then his voice came through.

‘One in the front room and one just left,’ he paused, ‘I can hear footsteps going upstairs.’

‘That’s six accounted for, so there’s another four plus our man, all likely to be in that front bedroom,’ I hoped I was right, there’d be some unnecessary fun if not. ‘Ok team, on my word we’re going in, fast and hard. Put down anything in your way, only stipulation is Reeves is to be taken alive.’ I waited for the responses before carrying on. ‘Howard, Bailey, you’re in first, take the door down. Henderson and I will be right behind you. Riley, Thorne, keep the front and rear doors covered, we don’t want stragglers escaping through them.’ Again they all responded in the affirmative.

The two big cars slowly converged on the house, and I knew everyone was just chomping at the bit to start causing some damage. Well no time like the present.

‘Go, go, go,’ I said through the headset.

The silence of the night was broken. Both cars pulled up simultaneously, all four of us were out the vehicles almost before they’d stopped moving. Howard and Bailey charged through the gate into the small stone yard. I noticed a white nimbus form around Bailey’s legs as he approached the door. He took a few seconds to set himself, then he kicked the door. It flew open like it had been hit with a battering ram. Almost immediately there were panicked voices inside the house and then the sound of a window shattering. The two point men flung themselves inside, weapons firing as they did so. I raced through the door after them, Henderson and his shotgun right on my heels. A body lay just inside the door to my right, another halfway up the stairs. The entrance room was thick with the smell of gunpowder and hot silver, and I had a second to think that I really should wear a mask on raids like this. There were grunts of pain from the direction of the kitchen, I ignored them as I moved up the stairs. I was near the top when a large, bearded man with a pistol appeared above me. I dodged to the left and his shot missed. I didn’t even think to use my weapon, just concentrated and flung my hands forward, hitting him in the knees with a blast of air. There was a crack and he fell backward with a thud. I jumped up the last few stairs and kicked him in the jaw to end his night.

The door at the far end of the hallway slammed shut, and there was a click as a lock slid into place. I looked back at Henderson and raised my eyebrows. He knew exactly what I wanted and stepped by me, shotgun at the ready. He advanced halfway down the hallway before pulling the trigger. A mass of flame roared out of the barrel and hit the obstructing doorway. It disintegrated. Dragonfire rounds really were quite effective.

For a brief moment everything was quiet, as all the living people in the house fell in to a stunned silence. Then the moans of pain started to come from the bedroom that now resembled a portal to Hell.

We moved quickly down the hallway, following the scorch lines on the loud, seventies style wallpaper. Inside the room, away from the burning doorway three figures lay on the ground, moaning and bleeding, definitely no fight left in them. I looked further in and there, stood in the remnants of the window, was Brad Pitt, well a younger looking, tattooed likeness of him. He grinned, waggled his fingers at me and jumped. There was a thud and a grunt, then nothing.

‘sh*t, sh*t! Riley, Riley. Riley come in,’ there wasn’t any reply. ‘Pete take care of these idiots, I’m going after him.’
 

CTRandall

I have my very own plant pot!
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#2
The story and writing are engaging and you do a good job of drawing the reader in from the start. My only complaint might be that there's a little too much description and banter between team members before the action starts. I emphasize "a little". I'm being really picky with that crirticism.

The main issue is punctuation and capitalization. (The grammar is pretty solid.) Watch out especially around your dialogue tags. Some examples: "Possible target sighted, approaching house." Use a full stop here. Only use a comma in a dialogue tag for things like "Riley said" or "Riley whispered." Riley's words here are followed by a separate sentence.

Same thing for "...likely is the target." Only use a comma if it were "...likely is the target," Howard said.

So full stops at "looked over at the driver." "addressed my team." "one just left." He paused. "I can hear" "in that front bedroom." "Riley, come in." There wasn't any reply.

Switching to full stops means you need to capitalize some of the following phrases, as well. And even when you use commas, capitalize the start of dialogue. For example, "Confirm, confirm" and "Sh*t, sh*t! Riley, Riley, Riley, come in!" Tnere wasn't any reply.

Also, you've got a lot of comma splices here. You can break up a lot of the sentences with full stops, especially the radio communications. "Possible target sighted. Approaching house." Even though these are sentence fragments, each has a subject (even if it's implied) and verb. Each can stand on its own. I won't list all of these (it's late, I'm sleepy and I want to spend a few minutes on my short story before I doze off) but I'm sure you get the idea.

Finally, there are a couple of minor inconsistencies. Carter makes a crack about Bailey's intelligence and then immediately warns everyone to "keep it serious". Carter also warns against using magic, then does it himself.

Needs polish but the main elements are good!
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
5,800
Location
North Scotland
#3
I enjoyed the way you kept the movement going and the story constantly moving forward.

The thing that was missing for me was the main character. Carter was merely the vehicle to tell the story rather than a vibrant character on his own. You can clearly build a character because you've given us insights into the rest of the team.

It might help to have a short moment at the beginning with just one other character before launching into the rest of the team.
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
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#4
I thought this was generally pretty good and technically strong. :)

My one quibble is that at the start of story we might expect a focus on the protagonist, to help introduce them to the reader. But in this opening, your protagonist exists to observe and connect discussions between other characters - making your protagonist appear somewhat passive.

It may be worth skipping all that setup with the cars and start the story with your protagonist outside of the house. That way we're immediately in the emotional tension, and the setup could be summarised with a couple of sentences as required.

Just a thought. :)
 

Penny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
169
#5
I think the setup is strong but possibly too strong?, it lost me somewhere in the middle around when they start faffing around with getting inside the building.

Your guys say. let's move closer so we can be ready. and then... instead of jumping right into the action with GO GO GO as the ID is confirmed, they go and set up to raid the house.
I think I agree with @Brian G Turner about skipping the setup. right up until they storm the house it is very bogged down with explanations on where everyone is going and who is doing what and so on.

whereas he could just kick the door in and save the discussions for later. There does not seem to be anything vitally important going on before they storm the building other than introducing the team members, which can be really done at any point.
If the setup is just a vehicle for introductions It may not be necessary.

Least that's probably the direction I would end up going, I would try to cram the setup info somewhere inside the fight scene or aftermath.
And if I really wanted to get into it about some conclave hiding magic from the muggles. what better way than to blow someone out the window MIB style and then have to flashy thing everyone. >.>
:D

Just my opinion tho, hope it helps
 

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