Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 750222 times)

Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1005 on: July 05, 2009, 04:04:29 PM »
Where is the person who is watching the raindrop? Indicating where she is or what is going on while she is watching the raindrops will hook the reader into wanting to read more. Perhaps she is a captive? Or about to be sent away?
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Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1006 on: July 05, 2009, 04:08:19 PM »
Here's the first paragraph of my novel.

Joyce

          As the summer of 2005 mellowed into clear, crisp autumn, I couldnít believe I'm now a senior in high school. Since my freshman year, Iíve waited for this day to arrive. Now that it has Iím filled with tremendous anticipation as I step on to Lakeside High School campus. Looking around I see nothing has changed. Except I could hear the sounds of the boyís gym going up. The boys were getting a spanking new gym with shining hardwood floors and us girls had to settle with their old one. How wonderful. Not.


Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1007 on: July 05, 2009, 04:20:29 PM »
Here's the first paragraph of my novel.

Joyce

          As the summer of 2005 mellowed into clear, crisp autumn, I couldnít believe I'm now a senior in high school. Since my freshman year, Iíve waited for this day to arrive. Now that it has Iím filled with tremendous anticipation as I step on to Lakeside High School campus. Looking around I see nothing has changed. Except I could hear the sounds of the boyís gym going up. The boys were getting a spanking new gym with shining hardwood floors and us girls had to settle with their old one. How wonderful. Not.



Joyce, why does the reader care that the character is a senior in high school? This could be a 3rd or 4th paragraph, but it needs something more immediate to grab me.
"Sometimes, you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." -- Kobi Yamada

Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1008 on: July 05, 2009, 04:28:28 PM »
The pane of glass felt cold against my fingers; numbly I watched the large raindrop make its way slowly down the sheet, to join its brothers and sisters before merging into a giant pool at the bottom of the window frame.


I'd probably changed the above to read something like this" Placing my fingers on the cold glass, I watched as the large raindrop made its way slowly down the sheet, to join its brothers and sisters before merging into a giant pool at the bottom of the window frame.

Joyce

Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1009 on: July 05, 2009, 04:29:47 PM »
Should I drop the first paragraph then?

Joyce

Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1010 on: July 05, 2009, 04:53:45 PM »
Should I drop the first paragraph then?

Joyce

No! It's well-written and a good way to indicate how the character feels, just not something to initially grab the reader. I would just start with something closer to the conflict that gets the reader wondering, "What is going to happen next?" Something that makes the reader sit up and take notice and want to continue reading.
"Sometimes, you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." -- Kobi Yamada

Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1011 on: July 05, 2009, 05:27:24 PM »
okay, thanks for the compliment.

I've tweaked this some. Let me know if it has the right hook.

Joyce

As the summer of 2005 mellowed into clear, crisp autumn, I couldnít believe I'm
now a senior in high school. Since my freshman year, Iíve waited for this day to arrive. Now that it has Iím filled with tremendous anticipation as I step on to Lakeside High and head toward English. I took a seat in front so I could see the black board. As I waited for the class to fill up, I got the start of my life when Marc Hayes, the boy I liked in eleventh grade walked into the room.

Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1012 on: July 05, 2009, 05:30:25 PM »
Joyce,

This is better. An instructor I once had said every reader has 100 other things to do besides read your novel and you have to keep reclaiming their attention. You're getting there. Keep it up. (BTW -- what happens next?  ;))
"Sometimes, you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." -- Kobi Yamada

Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1013 on: July 05, 2009, 05:38:50 PM »
The first two lines of the new book:

Afterward, Rachel would wonder if going to the cemetery had been a mistake. If, in choosing to visit this sanctuary of the dead, she had somehow betrayed the living.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1014 on: July 05, 2009, 05:46:48 PM »
Afterward, Rachel would wondered if going to the cemetery had been a mistake.

Maybe?

Offline Cypher

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1015 on: July 05, 2009, 06:02:37 PM »
Skip -- thank you. I like that and have made the change.
"Sometimes, you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." -- Kobi Yamada

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1016 on: July 05, 2009, 06:08:41 PM »
Quote
Afterward, Rachel would wonder if going to the cemetery had been a mistake. If, in choosing to visit this sanctuary of the dead, she had somehow betrayed the living.

I agree with Skip, leave out the "would."  Telling the reader what will happen in the future isn't generally a great idea. It always leave me (personally) feeling cheated; as if I'm missing out on details now since the author is skipping ahead.

Other than that, these two sentences have me curious enough to continue reading to find out why she feels she is betraying the living.
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Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1017 on: July 05, 2009, 06:11:26 PM »
Here's the next paragraph to my story.
Let me know what you think.

I wish I didn't know him. Last year, I invited him over to my house to watch movies.  The next day at school I thought I would surprise him and meet him at his locker. But when I approached it, Iím the one who got surprised. He wasnít alone, Evan, my friend since fourth grade was with him and they were kissing. From where I stood, it looked like they were really into it. He glanced up and saw me. Our eyes met for a brief moment before I turned and walked away. Okay maybe I should have confronted them but the shock of seeing his lips on hers made my stomach churn.


Offline Pandora2

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1018 on: July 06, 2009, 04:59:38 PM »
Well, I survived a weekend watching my newly licensed son drive a Porsche (among other playthings) around the driving school auto-x track.  No, that is not the first line of my novel.  I'm afraid that may pale by comparison.   :D
Here's the real thing:


     She knew the fence was electric when she put her hand through it.

     She was careful.  There were three strands, of white braided plastic, and room to slip her palm between them, towards the mare whose history she did not know. A horse she had seen on countless drives between the oncology clinic and her townhouse. Unkempt, her shoulder thick with muscle, bristling with dull fur like a dog with the mange.

Offline ma100

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1019 on: July 06, 2009, 06:39:01 PM »
Hi Pandora
To me, this is not giving me much of an image at the moment and it's a bit telly for a first paragraph. I hope this helps not hinders. :) My brain isn't in review mode at the moment.

Quote
 She knew the fence was electric when she put her hand through it.

     She was careful.  There were three strands, of white braided plastic, and room to slip her palm between them, towards the mare whose history she did not know. A horse she had seen on countless drives between the oncology clinic and her townhouse. Unkempt, her shoulder thick with muscle, bristling with dull fur like a dog with the mange.


Maybe ...Careful not to touch the electrified wire, she slipped her palm between the white braided plastic.

But to be honest I would show the horse in the first line without the bit about her house or history which seems a bit info ish.

The neglected horse ...or something along those lines.