7.31.2005

Is it Crap...part 6


I held the lingerie up by its tiny straps. It was a froth of cheap, bubblegum pink nylon with little round doilies of gold lace over the nipple areas. With matching lace ruffles around the legs. Open crotch.
Not mine.
"I will kill him." The thought formed slowly and the words were whispered behind clenched teeth.
"Then, I'm gong to kill her." I didn'teven know who she was, but I was damn well going to find out.
Blood pounded in my head and I felt sick to my stomach. A little dizzy. Then I realized I was hyperventilating. I sat down on the unmade bed and tried to breathe normally.
It was hard because this wasn't normal.
I knew what normal was. It was my life - until now. When the nausea faded, I looked at the evidence of his unfaithfulness again.
Outside of being wrinkled, it didn't appear to have been used. At least it hadn't been laundered from the condition of the papery tag sewn into the back seam. I fingered the tag and squinted at the information printed in English, Spanish and French. Nylon/acrylic. Hand wash, line dry. Size XXL.
XXL? Craig Williams, my husband of nineteen years, was having an affair with a fat woman. I cringed at my attitude. There was nothing wrong with being fat. My friend, Lily, was plump. I was carrying a few extra pounds myself. Nothing wrong with it. Besides,XXL didn't necessarily mean fat. She could be big boned. Or tall. Maybe statuesque.
She was probably a freaking Amazon goddess.
In my bed. With my husband
That certainly explained why we rarely had sex any more. Craig was having Amazon-sex with his voluptuous mistress instead of Pygmy-sex with his five-foot-two-inch wife.
"Skye?" Craig's voice floated up the stairwell to me. "I'm home."
I froze like I'd been caught sweeping dirt under a rug. I glanced around the room, searching for a place to hide the offending lingerie. What the hell was I thinking?  I didn't need to hide the damn lingerie. I wasn't the one who'd hidden it under his side of the bed.



Not crap at all.
I like the "not usual" motif of the other woman being XXL. I'd keep reading for sure.

And for all you eagle eyed Snarklings out there, yes I know it's not perfect, but our question today is : "does it survive the 85% crap pile", NOT "is it ready to go to a publisher"

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the hubby's a cross-dresser.

Anonymous said...

The bets are on!

(And I'm glad you made that 85 percent distinction again, Miss Snark. Writers sometimes get overzealous in their critiques, probably finding it more difficult to be "nurturing" toward a manuscript and inherently wanting to see it's potential if it doesn't get itself immediately discarded after the first sentence. At least, cough cough, speaking from personal experience.)

I definitely agree that this segment stands out from the others you've posted. It's not very original, but it does seem genre-friendly and the writer knows how to economize words, how to work a sentiment, and how to move the scene along. Which is more than I can say for most genre and literary writers alike.

Bill Peschel said...

I suppose one sign it's not crap is that it could be improved without rewriting.

"I knew what normal was. It was my life - until now."

The dash is the ideal location to insert some words describing her life, much like she was able to insert the husband's name and the length of her marriage later.

No rewriting; just a few more details.

al said...

I really liked this. The story was set up quickly and had my curiosity burning. To me, that is a great start to a novel.

Anonymous said...

These days it doesn't take a reader much thought to figure that the size XXL isn't for a large-boned goddess (when his preference is for small women like his wife), but for Craig himself.

Amie Stuart said...

Survives....IMO I'd read more. Regardless of whether her hubby's a cross dresser or has another woman.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is no Amazon goddess nor is Craig a cross-dresser. I appreciate all the comments.
But I have another question. Do Agents take on authors who are 85% there? Or must the author somehow get to 100% before getting an agent?
Liz

Miss Snark said...

85% is the percentage of crap in my slush pile. An author most assuredly has to be NOT in the crap section for an agent to even consider taking on a project.

The 85% doesn't refer to how "well done" you are. It only means that of every 100 letters I get, only 15 are going to get any kind of focused attention.

rosemerry said...

I liked it and I would read more.

Stijn Hommes said...

Yes, perhaps not my genre (I didn't see the cover letter) and it might not be perfect, but it does great in drawing the reader into the story.