Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 712043 times)

Offline chillies

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2006, 04:40:56 AM »
Hi Nadine,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, you’re quite right; a man would sooner create a murder in the kitchen than his beloved garage. This is how it should be, after all there are certain standards we men must uphold as far as garages and sheds are concerned. However, Frank was not in his right state of mind, in fact everything in the opening paragraph goes against his usual demeanour and attitude to life in general. The fact that the flooring was newly re-laid would suggest that he went to the expense of getting it re-laid only to ruin it in a fit of madness.

Thanks

chillies

Offline chillies

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2006, 04:45:49 AM »
Hi Cathy C,

Thanks for your comments, I was revising the paragraph to fit it into the word count and this sentence slipped through the net.

Sorry about that and thanks again.

chillies

Nadine L

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« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2006, 10:52:39 AM »
Chillies,

You're quite right (and quite funny).  When you have a motive for your writing choices, I vote -- stick with them regardless of what Nadine says!

Now, I have to go back and read that again!

Nadine

Offline CarrieSheppard

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2006, 06:24:22 PM »
Hey UG -
Quote
'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!!' 

have to say that the first thing that struck me was
Quote
breathe
instead of
Quote
breath
.

I really am anally retentive over stuff like that!   :-X

However, the story start sounds good, but I don't generally read romance so don't feel I am qualified to comment further.  If the book cover had roses or a handsome, wind-tossed man on the cover, I probably wouldn't pick it up (but I might look at the pictures!   ;))

However, I could be being grossly unfair, as this is such a short snippet and may in fact be the start of something completley different...

Now to get the same treatment.  Having read all the above, I now feel that the opening to my current work is pitiful  :(

It was a dull, dismal, early Spring day.  The sun was hiding behind a grey sky and the roads were wet and traffic heavy.  I wasn't too worried though, because my route to work quickly took me off the main drag and onto country roads. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 06:26:46 PM by CarrieSheppard »

Offline Kris

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2006, 04:44:30 AM »
Hi Carrie,

My guess (without knowing what you've written in the next paragraph) is that you've got a better hook to offer a little further into your first chapter. You might want to think about starting with your character already at the destination or in the midst of a predicament... where the country road took him/her. Of course, this I suggest purely out of guessing without knowing what comes next. If you decide to post the next paragraph, I could clarify my suggestion.

Okay, I suppose it's my turn at the stake. So here goes (deep breath, fingers crossed):

He never expected such a little figure to release the hair-raising screech of a banshee. "It's mine!" the toddler shrilled, her soprano wail exceeding the train's whistle by several earsplitting decibels. "Mine, mine, mine!"

Distracted momentarily from his own daunting excursion, Robert McLellan watched as the unyielding sisters fought with the ferocity of Achilles, their princess-like facades fading as quickly as a truce. The trophy was a mere two-cent, sticky green lollipop, but it had called the warriors to battle as though it were the last evidence of sugar on earth. Robert noted the certainty of victory in both girls' eyes, and wished he could borrow even a fraction of their confidence - confidence he would no doubt need by the time he reached his destination.

Thank you,
Kris
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 11:58:13 AM by Kris »

Offline Kris

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2006, 04:48:59 AM »
It was not the sort of day one would imagine for a funeral.  The sky should have been heavy with clouds.  It should have been pouring rain.  Instead, the morning sky was a clear, China blue, a hue that could only be found in Carolina in the early spring.  How was it possible to bury her father on such a radiant day? But then no one besides Emma knew he'd been murdered.


Response from Kris:

Cheri,

I LOVE your opening. Great hook. It made me want to read more. I agree with Lin about keeping the last sentence as part of your first paragraph.

Kris
« Last Edit: July 22, 2006, 04:52:05 AM by Kris »

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2006, 11:13:26 AM »
"I opened the door" he told the barman "she groaned from the upstairs landing and I must have scared her. I shouted to her, its only me my dear, can I come in? I was soaking wet after the storm and dripped all over the kitchen floor. I mean what does a man do when he drips like that?  I could smell the Ajax, she had just cleaned up and I could hear her coming down the stairs, there was fury in every stride." 

"Another beer sir?



Just a little something I made up on the spur of the moment?  A practice piece, you are allowed to comment!  - Lin
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 04:14:24 AM by Lin »

Offline cheriker

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2006, 04:19:14 PM »
Okay, I suppose it's my turn at the stake. So here goes (deep breath, fingers crossed):

He never expected such a little figure to release the hair-raising screech of a banshee. "It's mine!" she shrilled in a soprano wail, exceeding the train's whistle by several earsplitting decibels. "Mine, mine, mine!"

Distracted momentarily from his own daunting excursion, Robert McLellan watched as the unyielding sisters fought with the ferocity of Achilles, their princess-like facades fading as quickly as a truce. The trophy was a mere two-cent, sticky green lollipop, but it had called the warriors to battle as though it were the last evidence of sugar on earth. Robert noted the certainty of victory in the toddler's eyes, and wished he could borrow even a fraction of her confidence - confidence he would no doubt need by the time he reached his destination.

Thank you,
Kris

Kris, this is glorious!  I loved it.  You have captured the mind of the child and that of the stunned adult in the same moment.  And a fabulous way to enter a story.  How could anyone fail to continue reading?

Cheri

Offline cheriker

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2006, 05:18:59 PM »
It was not the sort of day one would imagine for a funeral.  The sky should have been heavy with clouds.  It should have been pouring rain.  Instead, the morning sky was a clear, China blue, a hue that could only be found in Carolina in the early spring.  How was it possible to bury her father on such a radiant day? But then no one besides Emma knew he'd been murdered.


Response from Kris:

Cheri,

I LOVE your opening. Great hook. It made me want to read more. I agree with Lin about keeping the last sentence as part of your first paragraph.

Kris

Thanks to Kris and Lin for your suggestions.  After looking at it more closely, I agree.  It does read better together.

Cheri

Offline Faith

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2006, 06:49:56 PM »

Okay, I suppose it's my turn at the stake. So here goes (deep breath, fingers crossed):

He never expected such a little figure to release the hair-raising screech of a banshee. "It's mine!" she shrilled in a soprano wail, exceeding the train's whistle by several earsplitting decibels. "Mine, mine, mine!"

Distracted momentarily from his own daunting excursion, Robert McLellan watched as the unyielding sisters fought with the ferocity of Achilles, their princess-like facades fading as quickly as a truce. The trophy was a mere two-cent, sticky green lollipop, but it had called the warriors to battle as though it were the last evidence of sugar on earth. Robert noted the certainty of victory in the toddler's eyes, and wished he could borrow even a fraction of her confidence - confidence he would no doubt need by the time he reached his destination.

Thank you,
Kris

Kris,
I think this is very well written. I like the descriptions of how much noise the children are making. I'm almost tempted to cover my ears as I imagine the loud scream that the little girl made! I also like this description: "The trophy was a mere two-cent, sticky green lollipop."  From your writing, I can also gather how powerless and uncomfortable the adult must feel as a result of the children's behavior.

There's just one thing that struck me negatively. At first I thought it was one child, then later I realized it was two, when you mentioned about sisters. However when you mentioned "Robert noted the certainty of victory in the toddler's eyes," I found myself wondering which of the toddlers you were referring to, since they were both fighting with ferocity. I'm assuming it's the one who was screaming like a banshee. But this is just a small point, and I would definitely want to read the rest of this story!

Offline Faith

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2006, 06:58:12 PM »
Okay, this is the first post of my work for review. I'm glad Lin stipulated that it should not be too long--which makes things even easier on me. :) Here goes...

Faith

Caitlin Stevens hurried away from the Walters’ imposing three-story white beach house, squeezing through a tiny opening in the towering hedge that separated her parents’ property from that of their neighbors. Her racing heart beat in time to the rhythmic swoosh of her feet against slightly overgrown grass that had been washed by a shower of rain earlier that evening. The wind moaned through surrounding oak trees and nudged at her back, urging her forward.

Offline Cathy C

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2006, 08:31:00 PM »
Quote
Okay, this is the first post of my work for review. I'm glad Lin stipulated that it should not be too long--which makes things even easier on me.  Here goes...

Faith

Caitlin Stevens hurried away from the Walters’ imposing three-story house, squeezing through a tiny opening in the towering hedge that separated her parents’ property from that of their neighbors. Her racing heart beat in time to the rhythmic swoosh of her feet against slightly overgrown grass that had been washed by a shower of rain earlier that evening.


Gotta say Faith, love the name Caitlin. (Used the same name in my opening para. Great minds huh? ;D)

You've almost got the suspense going. The only thing I would say is that I think your first line is too long. (soreee :-\)

Not sure how to shorten it without losing any of the information you want to get across. The best I can think of is: Caitlin Stevens hurried from the Walters’ imposing three-story beach house, squeezing through the tiny opening in the towering hedge seperating her parents’ property from that of their neighbors.

I like the image of her heart beating in time to her feet - very visual. As is the wind nudging her on, adds to the sense of fear and the feeling that she's trying to escape something.

Well done. Would make me want to read on.

CATHY C

Nadine L

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« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2006, 09:05:05 PM »
Faith, I'm with Cathy on this.

Random thoughts here...the first sentence is long...makes me breathless to read it, which isn't often the case for long sentences.  Ordinarily, short quick sentences are good for a quick pace, which in this case matches the imagery.

Personally, I like a lot (A LOT) of the word choices you made.  I'm not wild about putting her first and last name together like that -- seems forced to introduce the character. So, wow -- I managed to shorten it by only one word, Stevens.  No help, I'm afraid.  Could save the color of the beach house for later, too. And "slightly" from the overgrown grass could go.

Might try a sentence break at the comma, but I really don't care for that solution.  Frankly, other than the three words that could go (IMO) it is rather tightly written while  being full of imagery and movement. To edit it too much would dull all of that.

You have my interest.  I want to know why she is running away, and if she plows into someone as she is looking back...

Nadine

Nadine L

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2006, 09:19:13 PM »
Lin,

Really?  A practice piece, humm.  The only thing I want to add to the comments is that I like the quick change there with the bartender offering another beer.  It adds to the tease about telling us who these people are...but not just yet.  You have it set up to make us curious, then draw it out just a bit longer with the bartender interjection.  Nice move by holding the suspense an extra beat.  A nice device to add drama to a minor suspense.  Good job.  Yes, I want more...

Nadine

Offline Faith

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2006, 09:35:12 PM »
Thanks Cathy and Nadine for the great feedback.

You're right. I could do without Caitlin's last name and "white" and "slightly" can definitely go.

I do feel that the sentences are too long, but I want to pack everything in there. I'm not sure how to shorten the sentences and still keep the essentials in. Would appreciate any suggestions.

Faith