Night, when words fade and things come alive. The leaves murmured as the cool winter breeze gushed through them, Grime Street was illuminated by an old lamp that flared to follow the light.

Unsure footsteps of a man echoed in the surroundings as his black shoes crunched the broken glass pieces. His eyes roamed around the warehouse, grey paint peeling off from the walls, cobwebs hanging like chandeliers, deep cracks glorifying the broken walls and all of this covered in a silvery quilt of moonlight. His wide eyes searched for a source of light as his senses were filled with the smell of rotten wood.

"Welcome to Silvermoore." A gruff voice said.

The man immediately turned towards to source of the sound as the lights in the warehouse flickered back to life. The scared man blinked rapidly as his shrinking pupils examined the warehouse again the place looked rusted, filled with unshipped cargo, splintered machinery, expensive furniture pieces resting under dirty white clothes; the man gulped visibly as he moved forward.

"I am not sure if I can do this," he said wiping a bead of sweat from his forehead.

"Oh! My backing up at the last moment ha? You know what’s at stake just follow the orders." The man growled in a gravelly voice as he caged a burning cigar in between his smirking lips.

The nervous man shook his head as he exited the warehouse not before he heard an eerily laugh from behind.

  • 2
    Hi zara & welcome. You should check out our community guidelines. We try to answer specific questions that have specific answers, and as such we don't provide critiques of writing on this site. Other sites are set up to offer critiques and are more suited to your needs and are better at facilitating dialogue, handling multiple answers and encouraging dialogue. – Kirk Jun 1 '18 at 17:29
  • To add to what @Kirk has said, you may want to check ot the tour and the help center. – White Eagle Jun 1 '18 at 17:30
  • Hi Zara, your question’s been closed for the reasons above, but we try to help where answers are generic and can help everyone on the stack. To that end, I would say that a bigger issue with your opening than whether it’s appropriate or confusing is that it’s dense with adjectives and adverbs. You’ve already created a tense scene here and you should trust that visual and your ability to write. You don’t need to overdo it. – GGx - Reinstate Monica Cellio Jun 2 '18 at 9:59
  • A good exercise is to strip each sentence of every adjective and adverb leaving behind only the strongest verb, and never put back a single adjective/adverb unless it’s absolutely essential to the meaning. It is also good practice to describe in order of what is experienced by the POV character. – GGx - Reinstate Monica Cellio Jun 2 '18 at 10:00
  • E.g. ‘As he stepped into the warehouse, broken glass crunched beneath his feet and he breathed in the stench of rotting wood. A sliver of moonlight from a high window illuminated the cracked walls with peeling grey paint and cobwebs hanging like chandeliers from the ceiling.’ So, you provide the description to the reader in the order it would be experienced if they were stepping into that warehouse, but don’t overdo it. HTH and good luck! – GGx - Reinstate Monica Cellio Jun 2 '18 at 10:00

You ask whether your opening is appropriate or confusing. An opening can be appropriate because it's confusing! It all depends what you're trying to achieve. See if you can compare how it affects readers with how you wanted it to.

A good opening leaves the reader aware of what they don't know, with a desire to remedy that; and while that's not quite the same thing as confusing the reader, there's some similarity. Many effective openings, such as the first sentence of Nineteen Eighty Four , deliberately make it clear something is "off".

Bear in mind also that an opening is very difficult to get right the first time, but can be changed later to "fit" what comes afterward. Not knowing what happens next, we can only guess at what such revisions would involve. There are one or two changes I'd make to it, but not because it's too confusing, and not because they're problematic for an opening in particular; but even those hinge on what you're trying to achieve. For example, the visibility of the gulp might run counter to the type of narrative you're seeking, while calling two people "the man" might be more opaque than you aimed for; but I can imagine reasons a writer would be doing that purposefully .

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