Advice Needed – What do you think of this alternate beginning to “Come With Me”?

A couple of days ago I posted the first draft of my rewrite of a short story I wrote a few years ago called “Come With Me”. You can catch up on that here.

As it was a short story I took it for granted and used a moderate amount of artistic license to forgo the need to explain why the main character, 15 year old Eric, would meet a girl and instantly think it was acceptable to run off with her to another world.

I made it apparent that he hated his home life (he was living with an aunt he hated as his dad had murdered his mum). He then meets a girl called Lucy who he finds out is from another world and she asks him to go with her and it’s a story of these two characters journey to find this portal.

As a short story I believe that works, it was only 4000 words long and I was happy with the way it turned out and received good feedback from both my University tutor and my readers on here.

But now there’s a problem, I’m looking at turning it into something longer which makes the beginning no longer very believable. I, as a reader, would be irritated by the fact that the main character decides to give up his life, no matter how bad it was, to go to a new world (after not batting an eyelid to the fact there was other worlds out there) with a girl he’s only just met. It just doesn’t work as the opening to a longer piece. I don’t think it does anyway, someone else could have some good points as to why it IS a good opening and if you do feel free to leave them in the comments below!

So this is my dilemma. How do I make the opening good?

I was thinking of either:-

A) Making the opening longer

OR

B) Rewriting the opening to fit with this: ‘Eric and Lucy have known each other for a long time, Eric’s been in a foster home for a good portion of his life but then suddenly a year or two before the start of the story Lucy appeared, being brought into the family. Over that time Eric and Lucy have become best friends and during the opening of the book he discovers the secret of her new world. He trusts her with everything and after she shows him a vision of her world (like in the stories current state) he takes a while to come to terms with it but eventually does, and helps her find the portal to this new world.

The problem with making the opening as it stands longer is that I think it will be boring to stay in the real world for too long and also jarring for people unfamiliar with it to be in the real world for a while then suddenly swap to this foreign world.

Option “B” negates the need to explain why he would just run off with Lucy, having known her for years, it gets rid of the “love at first sight” feeling the current story gives off, and it allows room to expand on his acceptance of this brand new world, accessed through a magic portal.

Lucy “showing” him the new world, combined with his trust for her, will explain why he comes to terms with it so easy. Perhaps after calling her a liar and being scared of her for a little bit.

Anyway, I feel I am rambling now. Sorry for that. Just trying to get my thoughts in order.

If you have any comments on this let me, any help is much appreciated!

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4 thoughts on “Advice Needed – What do you think of this alternate beginning to “Come With Me”?

  1. Hey Daniel,
    I think you should stick with the original opening and take the bite to put your skill and fictitious thinking into play by employing your second part as proposed. Fiction is just what it is; fiction, and therefore must be very strong in stretching the imagination of your readers and followers. Curiosity is the name of the game my friend, and I think you should consciously accept the challenge of people who would question the validity of actions taken by the main character Eric, as he is free as anyone to let his mind wander to parts unknown on a whim or fancy. We do it all the time anyway, what’s the difference with your Character?

    1. I just don’t feel it is convincing enough, obviously I am my own worst critic but I don’t know. Something just feels really off to me, there’s no real explanation other than Eric is giving in to the whim of his naivety but I don’t feel it’s enough. I think the alternate opening I discussed may be a lot better, and it will give a sense of history between Lucy and Eric.

      What I don’t want is people to think this is just another soppy teen lit, twilight-esque fictitious story. I want Eric and Lucy’s relationship to be deeper than that. There will be hints of romance between them but I’m never going to let them kiss within the story or ever become more than really close friends.

  2. Hey Daniel,

    I read the story and I can see you buried the lead – as the folks in the news industry say.
    It takes a few pages to find that your protagonist’s mother was killed by the father. That’s a mind blowing opening if ever I saw one. I’d focus on that aspect and make it a nagging fear of the hero, could he be a killer like his dad?

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Yeah I think because I’ve rewritten a short story which worked as a short story and I am really looking towards making it into a longer piece the opening is really annoying me because it feels off, but now you’ve given me a good idea. I think I will open it with the flashing lights of the police cars, so esentially start the story a week earlier. I’ve also thought of a good way of Eric to meet Lucy. I’ll work on it over the next couple of days.

      Thanks a lot for the comment, it’s a great help (:!

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