Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 761857 times)

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #465 on: March 29, 2008, 07:31:55 PM »
Don--

The pianist in this bit is the protagonist in the piece I posted for comment on the Review my work site tonight.

Thank you for the input. 

Solitaire

Offline pastrami

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #466 on: March 30, 2008, 07:49:27 AM »
Great start Solitaire.  ;)

Bang straight into it. That's how I like it.

I agree with Don,the first line should not be caps.

Not sure about "pianist rose". How about "pianist stood." Just a thought? :-\

pastrami
Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960

Offline thatollie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1443
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #467 on: April 15, 2008, 01:02:22 AM »
At the sound of the conductor’s furious voice the members of the ensemble fell silent, the notes of the Rondo of Mozart’s Twenty Third Piano Concerto faded; there was not a sound in Jones Hall until the pianist rose and the legs of the piano bench scraped against the wooden boards of the stage floor.

It's a nice opening, plenty of tension. I'm a little concerned about this sentence though, it feels too long.

If you put a full stop after "faded" there's a much more definite punch about it. It also means that a change like this can be made.

Jones Hall fell silent until the pianist stood, the bench legs scraping against the stage.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Annmarie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3526
  • Got my kinky boots on. Watch out!
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #468 on: April 15, 2008, 08:11:36 AM »
As a former musician, I think your open sounds great,  Solitaire.  The book surely will be too. :)

I spent some time the other day in bookstores reading opening lines. Contrary to what the writing books say, half the openers weren't all that exciting. I have a love-hate relationship with hooks. So many sound so contrived, then the next paragraph or page or even the whole book don't measure up to that first line.

I think storytelling is crucial, the ability to immerse the reader immediately into another world. I just don't get this with the jarring opening lines so many people seem to feel are important. I want a writer to weave a tale around my mind, not grasp me by the shoulders and shake me.  :)
Work hard. Believe. Take a chance.

Offline Omni

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 248
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #469 on: April 15, 2008, 09:18:12 AM »
I spent some time the other day in bookstores reading opening lines. Contrary to what the writing books say, half the openers weren't all that exciting.

Opening lines don't have to be exciting. An opening needs to hook and there are many ways to hook your reader. A hook is just as likely to be subtle and intriguing as exciting. In my opinion it's often the exciting ones that don't hook, or come across as a cheap trick that ultimately lets the reader down. But that's me, and different readers get off on different things.

Omni

Offline Janeylou

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • think in ink
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #470 on: April 17, 2008, 10:01:01 AM »


What could have drove Frank Webster over the edge? A mild mannered person, content with his work and respected by many. Yet here, in the garage of his home, he stands over the lifeless body of his wife Sheila, with bloodied knife still in his hand.  Motionless, he contemplates their years of married life and the events that led up to this very second whilst her blood stains the newly re-laid grey cement flooring.

Very interesting, I'd want to read more...one little niggle though.  Shouldn't it be "What could have driven Frank Webster over the edge?" And the newly re-laid grey cement grates a little.

Janeylou x
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 10:03:44 AM by Janeylou »
**Janeylou79 ;0)

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #471 on: April 18, 2008, 08:39:53 AM »
These are the first lines of a short story titled "Insurgent"

Would a publisher want to read more?   
 

Mosul.  Early Patrol.  The first light of a jaundiced desert dawn streaks the cracked minaret of the neighborhood mosque.  Tom hawks, spits on the ground and rubs it into the grit with the toe of his boot, then he stands motionless.  He sees no one on the narrow cobbled street but he knows they are there.  A hundred sets of soulless black eyes watching from the windows and through the warped wood of the doors and fences.   


Solitaire


Lin

  • Guest
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #472 on: April 18, 2008, 01:26:31 PM »
Hi Solitaire,

I got the message immediately.  It was very good. I'm sure if I was a publisher I would want to read on and I could have done if you had been able to write more.   Its such a modern topic and worthy of reading.   

Lin

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #473 on: April 18, 2008, 07:03:52 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Lin--

When I read the intro to the thread I thought just the first 75 words were to be posted.  Here is a bit more:

Mosul.  Early Patrol.  The first light of a jaundiced desert dawn streaks the cracked minaret of the neighborhood mosque.  Tom hawks, spits on the ground and rubs it into the grit with the toe of his boot, then he stands motionless.  He sees no one on the narrow cobbled street but he knows they are there.  A hundred sets of soulless black eyes watching from the windows and through the warped wood of the doors and fences. 
 
Tom takes a cautious step, then one more.  At the curb a crumpled piece of paper rustles, instinctively he cocks his head and moves his hand on his rifle.  It’s only a rat taking refuge beneath a flyer calling for men to join the militia.  Tom spits again, directly on the rumpled paper and looks up at the spire of the mosque tower.


A few more wary steps, then he sidles up to the wall of a shuttered street-corner shop.  Chances are that if he tries to cross the street without checking every direction, he’ll be a dead man.  A creaking noise to his left makes him freeze, and he wills himself not to breathe until he hears the sound of liquid splashing to the ground.  Slop bucket.  This sure wasn’t home . . .


Thanks again--

Solitaire 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 08:11:06 AM by Solitaire »

Offline Roisin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 365
  • Idiots are fun. No wonder every village wants one.
    • FictionPress
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #474 on: April 19, 2008, 02:07:15 AM »
“You can’t tell anyone I’m alive.”

The woman’s voice crackled as the reception faded. Private Investigator Danny Avery leaned forward in his chair, pressing the phone to his ear. He shifted his considerable bulk and the chair squeaked in protest.

“Hello? Miss? Are you still there?”

There were a few seconds of silence before she responded. “Yes, yes I’m here. Sorry, I had to…distance myself from someone.”

Danny frowned, creasing his pale, freckled brow. “Are you all right, Miss? If it would make you feel safer, you can come up to my office and-“

“No! No, I can’t be seen there. Listen. I haven’t got much time. A package will arrive with the morning post tomorrow. Everything you need is included. Now, I really have to go.”

“Wait, Miss? Hello?”
Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
- George Orwell

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #475 on: April 19, 2008, 06:06:25 AM »
Hello Roisin--

Welcome back.  I looked at your profile and read about the review that caused you to stop and re-think things.  Sobering.

Are these the first lines from your re-work? 

I think they are good, would definitely draw me into continuing to read. 

One question--is Danny Avery your hero?  If so, you might want to change the second paragraph to begin with Private Investigator Danny, etc. and putting the sentence about the reception after it, as below. 

“You can’t tell anyone I’m alive.”

Private Investigator Danny Avery leaned forward in his chair, pressing the phone to his ear. The woman’s voice crackled as the reception faded.

He shifted his considerable bulk and the chair squeaked in protest.  “Hello? Miss? Are you still there?”

There were a few seconds of silence before she responded. “Yes, yes I’m here. Sorry, I had to…distance myself from someone.”

Danny frowned, creasing his pale, freckled brow. “Are you all right, Miss? If it would make you feel safer, you can come up to my office and-“

“No! No, I can’t be seen there. Listen. I haven’t got much time. A package will arrive with the morning post tomorrow. Everything you need is included. Now, I really have to go.”

“Wait, Miss? Hello?”



Just a thought.   Solitaire. 

Offline Andrewf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8134
  • SciFi and Fantasy are my genre of choice.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #476 on: April 19, 2008, 12:09:04 PM »
Here are the first few lines / paragraph of something new that I started yesterday.


This is Third Sator, Stark, of the scout ship ‘Scent Trail’. I’m not sure if this damn thing is recording or not, but I think so and can only continue on the assumption that it is. My chronometer shows that it has now been two day’s since the crash, of which I’m the only survivor.
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read. http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1146002
Ask about eBook versions if required.

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #477 on: April 19, 2008, 02:50:15 PM »
Here are the first few lines / paragraph of something new that I started yesterday.


This is Third Sator, Stark, of the scout ship ‘Scent Trail’. I’m not sure if this damn thing is recording or not, but I think so and can only continue on the assumption that it is. My chronometer shows that it has now been two day’s since the crash, of which I’m the only survivor.


For what it is worth, Andrew,

I immediately thought of the "Captain's Log, Star-Date" spiel from Star Trek. 

I read some science fiction, but I don't think these first lines would lure me in. 


My opinion, of course, Solitaire. 

Offline Andrewf

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8134
  • SciFi and Fantasy are my genre of choice.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #478 on: April 19, 2008, 03:01:25 PM »

For what it is worth, Andrew,

I immediately thought of the "Captain's Log, Star-Date" spiel from Star Trek. 

I read some science fiction, but I don't think these first lines would lure me in. 


My opinion, of course, Solitaire. 

Yep, that's it exactly, Solitaire.   ;D

Hmmm... I guess i'll need to vamp it up a bit once it's finished.  ;)


Andrew
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

Tales from the Circle - A charitable read. http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?contributorId=1146002
Ask about eBook versions if required.

Offline Solitaire

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 565
  • Monocerotis
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #479 on: April 19, 2008, 03:16:04 PM »
Here are the first few lines / paragraph of something new that I started yesterday.


This is Third Sator, Stark, of the scout ship ‘Scent Trail’. I’m not sure if this damn thing is recording or not, but I think so and can only continue on the assumption that it is. My chronometer shows that it has now been two day’s since the crash, of which I’m the only survivor.

You might consider something like:

Third Sator Stark of the (name of the intergalactic organization) scout ship Scent Trail sat slumped amid the wreckage of what had once been the ship's helm. 
His chronometer . . .etc. 

. . . and go on from there. 

I'm a big fan of crashes, I'd like to know what happened. 


Solitaire