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Prologue of My New Novel

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FinalExam View Drop Down
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    Posted: August/30/2007 at 7:50am
Well, you guys know I'm planning a new novel; many of you answered my questionarre. I did the prologue last night. I'm not sure how it is; I'm so intimidated by the prospect of writing this novel that I'm a horrible judge. Thought I'd post it and get some thoughts. Not much is happening in the story just yet, just introducing the characters and establishing how they know one another. The first chapter will take place a year later.


UNTITLED

A novel by Mark Allan Gunnells

PROLOUGE
      “A toast,” Natalie Vincent said, raising her wineglass. Her dinner companions followed suit. “To Zachary and Paul, the two men in my life. I don’t know what you guys are going to do without me.”
     “What are we going to do without her?” Zach said, turning to Paul.
     “Well, I for one am going to enjoy the peace and quiet.”
     Natalie reached over and swatted both men on the arm. “Be nice. After all, I’m about to become a huge superstar. You want to stay on my good side.”
     “Huge superstar?” Paul repeated. “I thought you were just going to be on a soap.”
     “Hey, not just any soap. I’m going to be the newest vixen on Lovers and Liars, which is only the country’s most popular daytime soap opera.”
     “Finally,” Zach said, “all those years of being a bitch in real life are paying off.”
     “Type casting anyone?” Paul said with a smirk.
     Natalie stuck out her lower lip in an exaggerated pout that made her look like an overgrown baby. “Okay, I see how you guys want to play it. Whenever I get you two together, it’s always a game of Let’s-gang-up-on-Natalie. I thought perhaps tonight might be different seeing that it’s my farewell dinner, my last night in town before moving on to the bright lights of New York.”
     Zach leaned over the table and kissed Natalie. “We’re just teasing. We honestly don’t know what we’re going to do without you.”
     “Seconded,” Paul said. “After all, what good is a f** without his f**hag. I mean, I’ll be only half a f** without you.”
     “Don’t worry about that,” Natalie said, smiling at her friend. “You are one hundred percent f** and always will be.”
     “Well, thank you. You know how to make a boy feel better.”
     “Now, if you two gentlemen will excuse me, I need to go powder my nose.”
     “Is that a drug reference?” Paul asked. “Are you already on your way to being an E! True Hollywood Story?”
     “Or maybe she’s going to throw up her meal,” Zach suggested. “You know, bulimia is all the rage among the big stars.”
     Natalie got to her feet then paused, looking down at Zach and Paul for a few seconds. Finally she murmured, “My boys,” and headed toward the restrooms on the far side of the restaurant.
     After Natalie had gone, Zach and Paul fidgeted in their seats, sipped their wine, examined the tablecloth. Paul and Natalie had been best friend for the past five years, and Zach had been Natalie’s boyfriend for the past six months. The two men got along well enough, but when Natalie wasn’t around to act as a bridge, they found they had little to say to one another.
     “So,” Zach said after a moment or two, “Nat said you got a new job.”
     “Well, I’m still writing for the paper, but I have been commissioned to do a couple of articles for Southern Pride.”
     “Southern Pride?”
     “It’s a new gay and lesbian magazine based out of Atlanta. Sort of like People, but with all the people being gay and southern.”
     Zach nodded, twisted his napkin into some type of origami creation. “Sounds interesting. I didn’t realize there were a lot of gay people in the South.”
     Paul blinked then gave a sudden, short bark of a laugh that came out more like a cough. “We’re actually all over. We don’t all live in San Francisco, you know.”
     “Oh no, I didn’t mean…” Zach trailed off and lapsed back into silence.
      “You still working as a DJ for that rock station?” Paul asked.
     “Yeah, but they finally moved me off the graveyard shift. I do the morning show now, six a.m. to noon.”
     Paul drank some more wine and glanced toward the restrooms. “Natalie tells me you two are breaking up,” he said then winced at the bluntness of the statement.
     “It just seems the best thing to do under the circumstances. I mean, long distance relationships are hard enough as it is, and with out relationship being so new, it just makes sense.”
     The two lapsed back into a vaguely uncomfortable silence until Natalie returned to rescue them.
***
     Later, in the parking lot outside the restaurant, the three stood by Paul’s Celica. He was going to head home, and Natalie and Zach were going to spend the rest of the night together.
     “I’ll call you in the morning before you leave,” Paul said, wrapping his arms around Natalie and squeezing. “Don’t forget about me once you become the next Susan Lucci.”
     Natalie smiled, but the shimmer in her eyes suggested she was fighting tears. “Oh, forget Lucci. I don’t want to be stuck on soaps for my entire career; I plan to use it as a springboard to movies. Hopefully I’ll be the next Julianne Moore or Meg Ryan.”
     Paul nodded and struggled to hold back tears of his own. Natalie had been in his life everyday for the past five years; he just couldn’t imagine her being so far away. Turning to Zach, Paul held out his hand and said, “It’s been nice knowing you.”
     Zach took Paul’s hand and shook. “You, too. Good luck with your writing.”
     Natalie looked from one man to the other, laughing softly, but said nothing.
     Finally Paul got into the car and drove off, looking in his rearview mirror and seeing Natalie and Zach climbing into Zach’s Kia Sportage. Paul had a suspicion that he may never see Natalie again, and it made him feel as if his insides had been scooped out.
     He also suspected he’d never see Zach again either, but that didn’t leave him feeling much of anything one way or the other.

We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote christophersnow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2007 at 9:16am
Excellent! Very clever and funny. I can tell you do make your dialog authentic. I'll be interested to read the whole thing one day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote breezit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2007 at 9:22am
I agree with Snowman. Very well done. You really have a gift with dialogue. My only criticism is it's kind of short for a prologue.
"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.” Dean Koontz

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FinalExam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2007 at 9:41am
I agree it is a bit short. Of course, once the novel is written then starts the fun of rewriting, so it is probable that I will beef it up. I'm very pleased to have my dialogue singled out. I mean, not that I think I'm a master of it, but it is something I love writing. For some reason, I get off on hearing the voices in my head, and when I go out, I often listen in on other people talking just because I love nuances of conversation and the way people talk to one another. Anyway, maybe I'll post some more as I write it.
We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2007 at 9:45am
Very well written, and easy to read. You certainly got me interested in what might happen to them. I was expecting a horror, or is it going to be?
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