Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday: Fun Edition

I just finished reading John Scalzi's Old Man's War (review over at SF Safari tomorrow) so I don't have any SF sentences today. My current book is my first Neil Gaiman novel, The Graveyard Book. I'm particularly fond of opening sentences and how well they hook you into reading more. Here are the opening lines of this YA novel.
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.

The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.
I particularly appreciate how the menace of murder is still there but lessened to an off-screen moment. And the detail of the blade and handle being "wet" gives you all you need to know. That Gaiman himself is the narrator of the audiobook is even better.

As for my two/three sentences, these are from the I-don't-know-what-it-is story I started in last week's Pulp Edition of Two Sentence Tuesday. For some reason, when I looked at those four women affixing silencers on their pistols, four names came to me: White, Snake, Jaime, and Bill. Yes, Bill is a woman's name. I'm working on the origin of that name. I hope it's funny.

Anyway, after the four women put their silencers on their pistols, they realize that one of them is going to have to 'babysit' the infant while the other three do their job against the father. Two of the women, Snake and Bill, are refusing because they have kids at home and they don't want to be stuck babysitting another kid on their 'girls night out.' Here is Snake's reason.
"I'm already paying my own sitter for tonight," Snake said. She shook her head. "Had to call in a favor just to get the little bitch to my house tonight."

"What was the favor?" Bill asked.

"Pay her double."
Again, I'm not sure what kind of story this is or where it's going. But it's fun and I'm going with the flow.

Interesting side note: when I read the four pages I have to my critique group, the guys didn't have a lot to say. The three women, however, all enjoyed it and I got the most (only?) chuckles from them. They all liked it and wanted to know more. Me, too.

For more Two Sentence Fun, head on over to Women of Mystery.


Laura K. Curtis said...

I can't wait to see where that story goes...it sounds fab so far. But then, like those who giggled in your critique group, I'm female. And I do envy you reading your first Gaiman. I liked the Graveyard Book a lot, though I think, all said, Coraline is even better. And American Gods is a veritable classic.

Leah J. Utas said...

Your sentences gave me a chuckle. Thanks.

Clare2e said...

Guess my ovaries are speaking out, but I think your scenario is very amusing and novel, too!

I've only read the beginning of the Graveyard Book on Kindle. I want the hardcopy (when I have time to read it immediately) for the artwork.

I must concur on American Gods. Love!!

Scott Parker said...

Laura - I've known about Gaiman for a long time. Not sure why I never cracked one of his books. Really liking this novel, though. And he's a splendid reader.

Leah - Glad to make you laugh. That is the point of this story.

Clare2e - The one thing my critique group commented on is for me to give my four heroines a single defining characteristic per lady. I think that Bill's thing will likely tie in to how she got her nickname. Artwork? Didn't know there was artwork. I'm going to have to find a copy and see what you're talking about. Thanks.

Barbara Martin said...

Your lines are great to read, Scott. Of course I'm interested in reading more.

I've read the Graveyard Book and found it wonderful, though I agree with Laura about Coraline.