One of the first things you’ll need to address as you become an author that begins to regularly do second drafts, is that the first few paragraphs (and often the first few pages) of your story probably need to be tossed out.
This is a phenomena often described by writers and editors as, “the clearing of the throat.” It’s the period at the start of your story where you’re not really writing it yet, you’re warming up. You’re leading yourself to your own story, indeed telling it to yourself first before the reader should really be brought in.
Author and editor CC Finlay mentions in this thread how new authors submitting their short stories to him often “bury the lead”. The story doesn’t begin until several pages in. Similarly, in my intensive writing workshop, we found story after story had anywhere from 300 words to 3 pages at the beginning that could simply be deleted without any loss to the overall action or understanding of the story.
A tip for aspiring writers who want to start submitting their short stories for publication is to do one simple thing: ask your friends when they became interested in your story. Ask them to mark it on the page. Then, see if you can delete everything before that.
Congratulations, that’s your new opening. True, you may need to tweak it, and move around some exposition. But let’s not waste the reader’s time. The clearing of the throat is for you, the author, not for the reader. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there’s no need to delete those paragraphs permanently, just move them to your discard document. You may need to mine them later for important details.
Furthermore, this advice is not unique to original fiction writers. Fanfiction writers may have the benefit of not needing to introduce the characters to their audience, but you still probably want to hook the reader as soon as possible. Respect their time and attention. Get rid of the throat clearing.
Summary: They dealt the cards in their hands when it came to their
relationship, but there was always one that they kept hidden in their sleeves.
Author’s Note: I don’t normally write imagines for real actors, but my thirst levels are off the chart and I couldn’t help myself when I got this idea. I wrote it mainly for myself so I just want to publish it here for fun. Enjoy!
Their relationship always seemed a bit simple once they laid
their cards out on the table.
Being cast as one of the main bodyguards for the villain in
the new Kingsman movie meant spending quite a bit of time with the main cast.
Even more so when her role involved seducing Taron Egerton’s Eggsy Unwin in the
script. They got along quickly, and it didn’t take her long to know that she
was attracted to him.
Who wouldn’t be? He was very cute and sweet and made her
laugh. She had almost let it develop into a crush. Almost.
After a long day of shooting on the set, Taron, herself, and
a few of the cast went out to a nearby bar for drinks. A few rounds in, the
conversation had turned in the direction of relationships and types. She had no
type, she said. If she was attracted to a guy, she was attracted to him; it didn’t
matter what his hair color, eye color, or race was. Simple.
Taron’s was simple as well. “I like older women,” he
answered. That was his card, and that was when she knew she didn’t stand a
chance; she was two years younger than him. One of their co-stars said that
people always end up dating beyond their types. She (almost) wanted to believe that was true and keep that glimmer of
hope, but her thoughts quickly shut it down. Why wouldn’t it work between Taron
and an older, more mature woman?
We can all agree that Jungkook’s main focus tends to go towards Jimin, like all those gorgeous photos he took and the amazing Tokyo video that, shipping aside, is a masterpiece of editing and filming.
What’s interesting is how he seems to have this love for Jimin’s back (don’t think about the jibooty, you brats).
With that I mean how he tends to film Jimin when he’s not looking, when he has his back turned towards him or when he doesn’t see him. I find it almost lonely but beautiful. He takes pics of Jimin when he sleeps, when he walks in front of him, when he looks at the sky. Always when the other isn’t looking at him directly.
It’s as if he wants to say “I love you even if you’re not looking at me.”
You know why I don’t talk about the things that matter? Because that’s exactly what they are. They are too important for me to be tossed away like that. I can’t stand the fact that I may spend several minutes carefully choosing the right words to tell something that might mean the whole world for me just to realize, in the end, that it barely reaches other people.
They were sitting with their fingers tangled together, each point of contact a burning distraction that took Bitty out of his head and thirty years back in time. Then, it had been all passion and adrenaline and fire. Now it was softer, more familiar, but no less intoxicating.
Jack smoothed his thumb over the skin of Bitty’s wrist, turned his head to kiss his temple. Bitty sighed into the affection, still unbelieving that this was something he had, that this was something he deserved. The mantle above the fireplace held evidence of their lives. Pictures frames filled with memories, a 3rd grade art project of their granddaughter’s, the first puck Jack ever got from an NHL game all those years ago.
“You ready for tomorrow?” Jack asked, shifting slightly to let Bitty rest his head on Jack’s shoulder. The TV was on low, mainly just for the noise as they were too wrapped up in each other to bother watching. Bitty was warm under their shared blanket, where Jack had one hand resting high on Bitty’s thigh.
“Mmhmm,” Bitty hummed, closing his eyes. “You know I always love seeing my grandbabies. You think your knee will be alright with all that walking, sweetpea? You know the doctor told you there ain’t no shame in using that cane–”
Jack groaned. “I’m 50, Bits, not dead. I’ll be fine.”
Bitty snorted. He removed his hand from Jack’s so he could cup his husband’s face and press a soft kiss to his nose, his chin, his lips. Jack tasted like hot cocoa and sugar and Bitty never wanted to let go.
“My big, strong, handsome man,” Bitty breathed against Jack’s lips, his smile deepening the lines already etched onto his face. He rested his forehead against Jack’s as he said, “Of course you will be. I’m just trying to take care of you, honey.”
Bitty was rewarded with another kiss, a hard press of lips that made him dizzy. Thank you, it said. I know, it said. I love you so much, it said.
‘If I fall, I will just fall on the couch. Nice and soft couch.” And indeed I did 😆🙈
I fall sooooo many times guys. So. Many. Times. No wonder I have blue marks absolutely everywhere! 😅🤷 But I have to start somewhere, right? The more I fall or struggle with a pose, the better I feel once I nail it… Yasss
I was just pondering on the absolute stillness that Killian’s
life would have suddenly been after Alice became his whole life. I mean, a baby is a lot of work and she would
have provided plenty of ‘movement’ herself, as she grew. But, while he’s used to the confined quarters,
they’re stationary. His life is now
stationary. His goal, his drive is
suddenly stationary, in a way it never was before.
I think about the quiet hours, while Alice is sleeping or playing
or drawing, that he would have, to spend time thinking over his life up to that
point, in a way he never has before.
Sure, he had down time to ponder before, but with his forward momentum
goal of revenge, his mental frame for considering his past would have been
totally different compared to being alone with his daughter, in their tower,
with a completely new perspective with which to assess his long history.
I wonder about the potential for a sort of meditative
quality that this new life perhaps might have opened the doors for, without a
new destination ahead or a new piece of information to uncover or scheme to
plan or his life in danger at every turn.
Because of Neverland, he was used to every day being the same,
day in day out, on into the future, but it was a toward a dark and nebulous
goal that was anchored to some point in the future.
Now, in his tower, with his daughter, he knows that, again,
every day will be the same, but his goal is a bright and vibrant thing that
lives with him in his present. It’s that
shift from forward thinking to present moment thinking that I’m curious about. My sense is that, perhaps, this is first time
he’s ever really allowed himself to be anchored by the here and now. I think he appreciated the here and now with
Milah (and to a degree with Liam, life circumstances permitting), but the life
he lived with them was also quite forward.
New missions, new ranks, new ports, new destinations to move toward
while seeing the world.
But with Alice, she is the ‘new’, anchored in the present
with new words and new steps and new imaginings. Of course, thoughts of the future exist in
this life too, but I imagine more of a shift in weight or ratio than an all or nothing.
Basically, I’m just picturing him, sitting quietly one
night, Alice on his lap while he reads to her, cozy by the fire. And suddenly, he finds himself weeping,
overwhelmed by the peace he feels. Alice
worried that something is wrong. Are you hurt, Papa? And No.
No, my little starfish. I’m not hurt.
I’m happy. I’ve not been this happy
in a long long time.
And then I wonder about him integrating that movement back
into his life, in pursuit of not just freeing Alice from the tower but in pursuit
of enriching her life while she’s there.
Because I do think that Killian Jones is a Man of Action™,
and he wouldn’t be able to sit idly (and clearly didn’t based on flashbacks),
while there was something he could be doing for her.
So, he reconnects with that forward motion part of himself,
that part that chased revenge for 200 years, but that before that, chased sunsets
and glittering shores with his love and enemy vessels with his brother. But now, his motion is out and back again,
like the spokes on a wheel or the rays of the sun. And even this core part of his being has been
altered by this new person in his life.
This glowing addition. She is an
anchor, but in the very best way. She
keeps him from drifting astray, from getting lost again in the tumult of his grief
I’m really interested in the Cabal as the main antagonists, to be honest, because they’re really the only race so far to try and understand Guardians from a non-magical/Light/Dark standpoint
I mean, to the Fallen we’re magic zombies, to the Vex we’re paracausal entities that just sort of exist for some reason, and to the Hive… do the Hive really know what we are?
Regardless, the Cabal are the first ones to do a systemic report on Ghosts, on Darkness Zones, and how to kill Guardians permanently. That’s huge! I mean, sure Oryx came in to wreck everything, but that was very much an extraordinary threat. I like the idea of a threat coming from being brought down to Earth, so to speak, by a force that seemed so very unequal to us.
This is much more interesting to me because the Cabal have no space magic, just sheer unrelenting force and systematic analysis. Destiny 1 was kind of mostly about Light versus Dark - well, what about Light versus very determined space turtles?
I think what I’m trying to get at here is, that feeling of all of our wondrous, enormous powers failing in the face of complete and total force. No battling gods, no Light vs Dark, just the “biological automata” as Oryx would put it kicking us up and down the Solar System.
That being said, I can’t say Ghaul having some sort of connection to the Dark, and powers of his own, wouldn’t be cool.