The Weekend Writing Warriors share 8 sentences over the weekend. Here are mine from the start of Lily & the Mechanic a historical novella set in Victorian London.
Last week Lily entered the Bond Street Bookshop and arranged to enter the illicit shop underneath.
She took a crisp, white scented handkerchief from her coat and held it firmly to her nose as she descended the stairs. Lily of the Valley flooded her senses as her eyes took in the few cloaked men who turned away as she stepped into the room.
The tables were full of boxes containing postcards of plump derrieres, breasts of all sizes and shapes, and their owners in every situation imaginable to the erotic and lurid mind. Shelves and cabinets warrened the space laden with all manner of objects, belts, buckles, batons and whips. Large wood and stone members sanded down into a gleaming and insertable shine had pride of place and filled a glass cabinet in the center of the room. But none of this interested her as she walked across the space to the counter at the other side.
Establishments such as this were not so very new to her, she’d picketed in front of many of them throughout the city. But tonight’s purpose was new. Being pragmatic as well as a realist, if she couldn’t close them down, she would use them to her advantage.
© Elsa Holland
Image © Dascha Friedlova
Link to Weekend Writing Warriors and the list of other authors
This is so visually… striking. Love it.
Fascinating. I want to know her purpose for braving such a place.
Oh wow, this took an unexpected turn. And she seems so blase about it all. Now I wonder what she’s up to? Verrry intriguing!
Thanks Christina 🙂
Last week I had a feeling this had something to do with sex XD I liked the first two lines quite a bit because it’s not often one goes into details about smell, and it creates a more vivid description 🙂 I’m curious how the protagonist is going to work with the establishment to shut it down. You definitely have a good hook for the start of your novel ^^
These two lines were a bit difficult to read. “Shelves and cabinets warrened the space laden with all manner of objects, belts, buckles, batons and whips. Large wood and stone members, sanded down into a gleaming and insertable shine, had pride of place and filled a glass cabinet in the center of the room.”
I tried looking up warrened, but it wasn’t in the dictionary. The closest thing I found was “warren,” but it was only a noun, and it’s being used as a verb here. I don’t know what “insertable shine,” means either :/
I would simplify that sentence to something like this,”Large wood and stone members, sanded down and polished to a shine, were displayed in a glass cabinet in the center of the room.” Well, that’s just my opinion 😛 The fact that the they are displayed in a glass cabinet in the middle of the room already implies that they have the best display spot. Also, by members are you talking about penises? I wasn’t 100% clear on that XD
Looking forward to learning more about this situation 😀
Great feedback thx for that. I’ll look at the sentences I agree they are a little wordy and can still be worked 🙂
I love the thought and feedback you give, thx for that!!
I felt guilty saying something because your prose is quite beautiful overall :$
Thank you but I really do appreciate your insight 🙂 !!
Well, you mentioned the words ‘erotic’ and ‘lurid’, so basically I’m hooked. lol. Wonderful description throughout! One thing I wanted to mention on an editing note is that you never need a comma before or after a colour. Using your first line for example: She took a crisp, white, scented’ – there’s no need for either comma here. 🙂
Thx Evelyn! I didn’t know that about a colour thanks for that 🙂
You’ve painted quite an interesting picture here. Fascinating.
I was hooked before learning she’d picketed such places in the past. Excellent little twist. The writing is wonderful.
I’m hooked. She’s already established herself as a very worthy heroine.
Fascinating snippet and what a beautiful blog.
Thank you Victoria 🙂 🙂
Wow, you’ve painted such an amazing scene I was pulled right in. Fantastic 8! I’m curious to know more.
Thx Elyzabeth, you are very generous!
What an interesting twist! I’m burning up with curiosity about what her plans are. Great job of describing the place.
Thx Alexis. You are very encouraging I appreciate that!
your snippet is wonderful and so is your blog!!!
Thx Tamara 🙂 !! 🙂
Wood, huh? What about splinters? o_O That’s quite a shop she’s in, I wonder what she plans to do there.
I was okay with the use of the word ‘members,’ by the way–it fits in a nicely old fashioned sense.
Thx Caitlin. Hadn’t thought about splinters, you’d hope they were well sanded. The most affordable were made of wood, the stone and ivory where much too expensive for general folk 🙂
I wonder what she has in mind. And was the handkerchief to mask some smell (what?) or to hide her face?
Thx Sue. It was to mask a smell but edited a bit for the 8 sentence format. Loved your snippet this week BTW 🙂
Now that’s interesting, about the picketing. wonder what’s changed for her? Loved all the detail, intriguing snippet!
So what is her plan? You’ve piqued my curiosity.
Ah… next week 🙂 But when did what we planned and thought we were doing every be the case? Thx for reading & commenting 🙂
Lovely prose. You drew me right into the scene. I look forward to reading more about this brave heroine. 🙂
Nicely descriptive, though I’m wondering if she’s thought this plan through… “I’m strongly anti-pornography, so I’ll use an adult shop to fight against it!” Huh? Is she secretly hoping she fails and gets lured into some kind of bodice-ripper romance?
Good point D.R. Given my genre a bodice-ripper is of course on the cards. 🙂 She’ has more of an empowering women rather than an anti porn position but I’ll give it a bit more thought!
Haha! Oh okay, carry on then. I’m picturing her running into Matthew Crawley from Downton browsing the “rounded bottoms” section, and them both being painfully British about it.
I love your mind! 🙂