Author Topic: First Paragraph  (Read 19617 times)

ArteEtLabore14

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2010, 02:28:30 AM »
OK.  Paragraphs 1-3:

     It was late August in 1962 when I first saw Albert Parker. After all this time, I still remember the year quite distinctly. It was my first teenage summer, lifeís first great transition, and I had been waiting months for something special to happen, something magical. Something like having Marilyn Monroe show up on my doorstep. In my dreams she would ask me in her breathless whisper to take her. At the time, I wasnít even sure what that meant. Hell, it didnít matter. Just having her show up would have been enough, as long as the rest of the gang saw her. Of course, Marilyn never came to 722 Reichold Street in Brickdale. Albert did.

     It was a humid, hurt-your-lungs-on-a-deep-breath morning. A blistering sun was rising over the railroad switching yard at the far end of the street. Its orange glare filtered through exhausted-looking trees. Sinuous heat ribbons shimmered over the motionless freight cars, subtly defining their rusty shapes like so many slumbering beasts.

     I was already sitting on the curb under the big oak, trying to find relief in occasional humid puffs of air, when a battered gray panel truck pulled up. A tortuous squeal signaled its stop across the street. An angular middle-aged man unwound from the driverís seat. Sunlight lit the edges of his short brown curls that were rapidly turning gray, and gleamed brightly from his balding crown.
Herron -

I just read the first paragraph, and then this updated version with paragraphs 1-3. I like it.

Your writing is very visually expressive and the few qualms I have with it are mostly minor.

1) Something feels off about about the first few sentences. I can't quite put my finger on it but I definitely think that section could be improved. "After all this time... to take her." Again, I'm not sure what it is but something there is striking me as not quite right. The end of that paragraph is, in my opinion, the best part of the whole thing.

2) Others have pointed it out already, and it's partially a personal preference thing, but there seem to be a lot of commas. They bog down the story a little bit and I think if you reworked some of those sentences to get rid of some of the commas it would read smoother.

3) Just some editing things, and again probably preference.
- Change first sentence to, "It was late August, 1962, when I first saw Albert Parker."
- 3rd paragraph. "An angular middle aged man unwound himself from the driver's seat."
(Italics denote suggestions)
- The last sentence of the 3rd paragraph with the description of the man's hair doesn't make sense to me. I'm struggling to picture it in my head. I think it's the curls and the balding crown that are giving me trouble. It's probably just me, but you might want to rework that as well.

None of the things I suggested are absolutely imperative, but all the same you might want to have a look. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more of this short story.

- AEL14

Offline A.J.B

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2010, 11:37:56 AM »
Quote
After all this time, I still remember the year quite distinctly.

I would remove the comma as there isn't need for a pause.

Quote
An angular middle-aged man unwound from the driverís seat.

I, personally, wouldn't use 'unwound' as it makes him sound like he was tangled about it. Descended from, got out of, perhaps?

So far it looks good. I found very little, as stated above, that needs tweaking or looking at in any way. It reads well and the description is very good.
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 11:53:58 AM »
Hi Sweets - I also found the sunlight/hair sentence hard to picture. Possibly giving the focus from the balding crown first then drawing the eye down to the hair tips might make an easier read? JMO

Sunlight lit the edges of his short brown curls that were rapidly turning gray, and gleamed brightly from his balding crown. [put this part immediately after 'Sunlight' and then continue as is.

Thanks  :-* :-*

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2010, 03:33:00 PM »
Hi Sweets - I also found the sunlight/hair sentence hard to picture. Possibly giving the focus from the balding crown first then drawing the eye down to the hair tips might make an easier read? JMO

Sunlight lit the edges of his short brown curls that were rapidly turning gray, and gleamed brightly from his balding crown. [put this part immediately after 'Sunlight' and then continue as is.

Thanks  :-* :-*

Thanks.  I agree about the hair section. I've read it aloud to myself a few times now, and find it awkward.  I'll work on it some more.  Was at it until 3:30 am and actually finished the story.  Needs some tweaking (anything I write at 3:30 am needs tweaking  ::)).

 :-*
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 04:07:11 PM »
And that tweak will take you only seconds to do!

More please [okay, that might take a little longer]. :-*

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2010, 06:57:54 PM »
5800 words worth of tweaking.  ::) ;)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2010, 07:00:49 PM »
You say that like it's a hard thing to do. Get on with it you damned gifted wordsmith!

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2010, 07:02:08 PM »
You're too cute to say "no" to.   ;) :-*
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2010, 07:03:23 PM »
Good - get yourself motivated - no...not that way - that's a distraction - that can be a treat as a reward for work well done. ;)

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2010, 07:04:23 PM »
I'm hoping you think it's worth the wait.   ;)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2010, 07:05:05 PM »
I only ask for good stuff - standards! Standards! :D

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2010, 07:06:10 PM »
I'll try not to disappoint.   :D ;)
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2010, 07:07:08 PM »
You'd better not, I trust you are a man of your word/s.

Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2010, 08:24:32 PM »
I think I might start a new thread for the whole thing.  Will call it "Albert."  (what else?)
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Offline herron

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Re: First Paragraph
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2010, 09:04:20 PM »
I think I might start a new thread for the whole thing.  Will call it "Albert."  (what else?)

Or maybe not.  At 6,000 words it's a bit too long to put down complete.  ::)

I'll post a couple more paragraphs tomorrow.
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