Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 766012 times)

Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #375 on: October 10, 2007, 09:02:01 AM »
I'm sorry that this is a little long... I'm shipping this around agencies at the moment and my beta-readers all loved it and said it was definitely a page turner  :)


Elodie

Samantha woke with a start as the telephone rang on her bedside table. She focused in on the clock as she groped around for the receiver. It was only six-fifteen am, who could it be at this time of the day? ‘Yes?’
   

Offline Foxy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #376 on: October 10, 2007, 10:49:51 AM »
Good opening, Elodie, however, "woke with a start" is an awful cliché. I'd get rid of it, after all, you don't want to give an agent an excuse for rejecting your submission in the first sentence. I would also avoid following one sentence that contains "as" directly with another containing "as". So, maybe something like this:

Samantha woke as the telephone rang on her bedside table. She focused in on the clock and groped around for the receiver. It was only six-fifteen am, who could it be at this time of the day? 'Yes?'
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Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #377 on: October 10, 2007, 01:51:03 PM »
Thank you very much Foxy, your version looks much better than mine. It's strange isn't it, no matter how often you go over your own work, you never seem to see the flaws until someone else points them out  :)



Elodie

Offline desertprincess

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #378 on: October 11, 2007, 01:01:46 AM »
Hi Everyone,

This is an interesting topic.
I guess I'll put my writing out there.
This is one of the beginings I was toying with.
Don't know if I'm going to use it as a prologue or for my first chapter.
Or maybe the jacket liner.


Jonathon Marconi came to Santa Cruz for a reason, to get his life back together. Three months passed since his wife, Sara died. She was killed by a drunk driver when she was coming home from work. It was his brother, Adrian, a police officer for the Bridgeport PD, who notified him of Sara’s death. Jonathon was in New York City that day and didn’t have time to drive the three hours back to Bridgeport, so he used his helicopter to get home.

Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #379 on: October 11, 2007, 01:24:37 AM »
The dream had seemed real, even if it contained several impossibilities. Alan lay contemplating it with his eyes still closed. Perhaps he was dreaming this moment because something was dangling over his head, he could sense it.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline kieah

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #380 on: October 11, 2007, 09:31:10 PM »
Jonathon was in New York City that day and didn’t have time to drive the three hours back to Bridgeport, so he used his helicopter to get home.

I like it all except this last line...it doesn't flow well in my mind.

I thought something like this
'Three hours away in New York at the time, he hadn't had time to drive home'
but then it hit me that that means his brother must have
1. told him by phone (how awful)
2. driven to NY first (wasting 3 hours)
3. lived in NY and was notified by Bridgeport police to tell Jonathan as they knew he was in NY (too complicated therefore unlikely -simplest explanation and all that).

Anyway just something that niggled and took my brain away from the story.

one of these days I'll get to this

Offline kieah

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #381 on: October 11, 2007, 09:38:50 PM »
Perhaps he was dreaming this moment because something was dangling over his head, he could sense it.

Fantastic - I was interested in the beginning and the totally hooked with the
Quote
something dangling over his head
part.  I loved how
Quote
he could sense it
...so we don't even know if it is really there.

However
Quote
he was dreaming this moment
???  It felt awkward like it was a mistake, like it should have been 'at this moment' even though I know you cant use that there (sorry I don't know if that makes sense).
one of these days I'll get to this

Offline kieah

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #382 on: October 11, 2007, 09:55:04 PM »
Anyway Hi, I'm new and this thread really caught my attention.  I read it all the way through (took a while because with a little baby I'm a little time poor) and loved so many of your openers!

Back in the day, in my young naivety I thought when I settled down, had kids and became a SAHM I would have all this free time to work on my writing. HA!

It hasn't worked that way but I am trying to make time now or I will never get started...so here is the opener to my first real effort (started about 5 years ago), its the prologue.

Dark.  Along the horizon they stalk.  They are known by many names, and in this land it is ‘The Horde’.  They are not men, and no-one has lived long enough to fathom what kind of creature they are.  Little is known, only that they are nomads.  A never-ending tide of death - that sweeps the land as a tsunami devouring every soul in sight.  There is no hiding; no negotiations.  They are The Horde and they have swept down upon this land*.  The wind carries a stench of rotting flesh before them; behind lies nothing but bones.

* I'm unsure here if I should try to find another word or introduce the countries name here, as it is I'm not too happy with the feel of the use of 'land' for a 3rd time.

Thanks for your input in advance!
Kieah
one of these days I'll get to this

Offline quilter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #383 on: October 12, 2007, 11:37:46 AM »
"That was the best day of my life.I love you for being my love.."he said.                                                                     She replied with a smile.                    "Will you marry me?"                           Her smile faded away slowly.Suddenly,she stood up and started walking towards the waters,making him go numb and curse himself under his breath for having said that..                                                                                  "i'll be yours until death do us apart"The reply startled him pulling him back to life.She was aware that this,was the right time to don a bridal outfit,but what she was unaware was that death will certainly do them apart,quite sooner than they both could imagine...

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #384 on: October 17, 2007, 02:32:30 AM »
Quilter,

I liked the beginning half. The later part seemed to give too much away. I know this type of foreshadowing is typical. but telling me so soon that one of the main characters is likely to die, told me too much. I wouldn't miss that last, very long and complicated sentence.

You've got it on spot with the first part, though. IMO. I loved that she was walking away and he was kicking himself, then the unexpected, yes. Masterful.

Nadine

Offline Lilguido

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #385 on: October 19, 2007, 04:16:33 AM »

Dark.  Along the horizon they stalk.  They are known by many names, and in this land it is ‘The Horde’.  They are not men, and no-one has lived long enough to fathom what kind of creature they are.  Little is known, only that they are nomads.  A never-ending tide of death - that sweeps the land as a tsunami devouring every soul in sight.  There is no hiding; no negotiations.  They are The Horde and they have swept down upon this land*.  The wind carries a stench of rotting flesh before them; behind lies nothing but bones.

* I'm unsure here if I should try to find another word or introduce the countries name here, as it is I'm not too happy with the feel of the use of 'land' for a 3rd time.


Heya Kieah,

I liked your opening very much. Not a critic by any stretch of the imagination, but I will offer my thoughts. I do understand your concern about the multiple uses of the word 'land', as I often find myself in similar situations. It seems to me you do have a few choices that, imo, wouldn't destroy the feel or meaning of your work.

They are known by many names, and in this realm it is 'The Horde'.

or perhaps go ahead and introduce the country with the first instance of 'land'

They are known by many names, and in this land, <insert country name>, it is 'The Horde'.

The second instance of 'land' is fine I believe, I would not change it.

It might be a bit difficult to try and work the name of the country into the third instance, unless you change the order of the last couple sentences.

There is no hiding, no negotiations. The wind carries a stench of rotting flesh before them, behind lies nothing but bones. They are The Horde and they have swept down upon <country name>

Which would allow you a lead in into a description of the country, if that is your intent.

Anyway... there's my two cents. Hope to read more of your work,

-Lilguido
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Offline bob414bob

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #386 on: October 19, 2007, 05:38:29 AM »
Okay here's mine.



Eysha jerked awake to a shrill scream, followed by a dull thud. Throwing aside her deer hide covering, she leapt up, straight into her mother's arms.
  “Hush!” Solar hissed, clamping her hand over Eysha's mouth.
Wide-eyed, Eysha glanced toward the door flap in time to see her father grab his spear and run outside. Solar relaxed her grip on Eysha's face.
  “It's a raid,” she whispered. “We must hide.”

Offline polexia

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #387 on: October 19, 2007, 07:06:45 AM »
this is a short-story that i'dd finish in the shortest time yet, and am working-out some smaller details..., please give feedback:

Sunday was her special cold coffee morning; it was special because it was the only day that she did not make new coffee. She justified that as a way to distinct that day – meaning Sunday - from non-sense or any other structure. The stale and murky substance filled her system and drowsed with it any feelings created trough-out the week. The cat licked her shoes – shoes she kept in the refrigerator – cleaning of the remainder of Saturday night’s dirt. All of which was now gone. A mere dust particle ready to be re-absorbed by the kind of institution that does those – re-absorbing of particles - things.
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Offline hellbunnie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #388 on: October 19, 2007, 11:27:06 AM »
Eysha jerked awake to a shrill scream, followed by a dull thud. Throwing aside her deer hide covering, she leapt up, straight into her mother's arms.
  “Hush!” Solar hissed, clamping her hand over Eysha's mouth.
Wide-eyed, Eysha glanced toward the door flap in time to see her father grab his spear and run outside. Solar relaxed her grip on Eysha's face.
  “It's a raid,” she whispered. “We must hide.”

It certainly caught my attention. As long as you remember to flesh out on characters before diving into the plot so the reader stays informed, I think it'll be great. :D

this is a short-story that i'dd finish in the shortest time yet, and am working-out some smaller details..., please give feedback:

Sunday was her special cold coffee morning; it was special because it was the only day that she did not make new coffee. She justified that as a way to distinct that day – meaning Sunday - from non-sense or any other structure. The stale and murky substance filled her system and drowsed with it any feelings created trough-out the week. The cat licked her shoes – shoes she kept in the refrigerator – cleaning of the remainder of Saturday night’s dirt. All of which was now gone. A mere dust particle ready to be re-absorbed by the kind of institution that does those – re-absorbing of particles - things.

I don't think nonsense is really meant to have structure...err, right? You give many details in this beginning paragraph, but make sure each one is absolutly essential. Also, you need to proofread this paragraph, as there are some general grammar and spelling mistakes. "Drowsed with it"...what are you trying to say there?

Hope it helps. (:

Aaannddd here's the first bit of my novel for NaNoWriMo. It's actually the first bit of the prologue, as I can't actually write the novel till November (though I reaalllly want to):

The sunset would have been spectacular had there been anyone alive to see it. Unfortunately, the only breathing witness cowered in the cave’s corner, head cradled in grimy hands. His body shook, though whether from fear or the tremblings of the earth it was difficult to tell.

Offline Tracy D

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #389 on: October 19, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »
"'I had settled, I knew that.  I wasn't stupid, but where the hell was that punch in the chest, the melting of my limbs?.  All the films said that when you were least expecting it, he would appear and you wouldn't even know he would be the one for you, the one who's kiss would take your breathe away, would leave you begging for more.  Hell, I hate Hollywood!!'"

I love the first sentence.  The only thing that I would change about the paragraph is that I would take out the "I wasn't stupid."  I don't get that one phrase in the context of the paragraph.  In fact, it seems to somewhat contradict the "I had settled..." 

Sincerely,
Tracy D