Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 778082 times)

Offline Oceaxe

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5040 on: January 30, 2017, 11:27:44 AM »
H3K - first thoughts are that the word attended is weak. Seen might be better but enjoyed would be a killer :)
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (18651939)

Artemis Quark

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5041 on: January 30, 2017, 11:35:44 AM »
Great idea, O. Could Hilly's MC be Marie Antoinette? No, that would be Madame Defarge that enjoyed executions.  :P

I do agree the word attended leaves the opening a bit flat. So many alternatives that would be more intriguing.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 02:18:38 PM by Artemis Quark »

Offline Arkie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5042 on: January 30, 2017, 11:49:12 AM »
This may be slightly off topic, but I've been reading through some books on scene construction. One such book recommended that every critical scene (scenes that are kind of set-pieces for the the plot) get the same attention to the first line that you would give to the first line of the first scene in the book.
What think you?
I've been doing this during the editing of my second draft, and it has forced me to consider every scene as a microscopic story, and I think it is forcing me to pay more attention to the opening lines of every scene: what they mean for the scene, what they promise the reader, the tone of the scene, what they say about the POV character, and so forth. So whether it's critical or not, I don't know, but it sure focuses me on making sure that the scene accomplishes what it is supposed to do.

Offline Oceaxe

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5043 on: January 30, 2017, 11:59:01 AM »
Arkie; I can't give you a definitive opinion except to say that I have found that the longer I take before starting something - a scene, paragraph, whatever - the more that opening line will reflect the consideration I have given to it and what follows. First sentences are important, I think, but not necessarily because they are killer lines, more that they belong there. If that makes any sense?

OTOH, you have to start somewhere and leave it too long and the whole thing goes off the boil!
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (18651939)

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5044 on: January 30, 2017, 12:00:55 PM »
H3K - first thoughts are that the word attended is weak. Seen might be better but enjoyed would be a killer :)

Great suggestion - but Marie doesn't enjoy this one because she realises she is just as guilty as the person about to get his head chopped off. But I'll certainly look at finding an alterative verb.

As for Arkie's query - an attention-grabbing opening for every scene in a novel would be hard going, I feel (for reader and writer). Shouldn't every line be worked on to make sure it's the best it can be without standing out for all the wrong reasons?

H3K

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5045 on: January 30, 2017, 01:53:13 PM »
How about "witnessed" instead of "attended"? 

Offline Arkie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5046 on: January 30, 2017, 02:19:53 PM »
Quote
As for Arkie's query - an attention-grabbing opening for every scene in a novel would be hard going, I feel (for reader and writer). Shouldn't every line be worked on to make sure it's the best it can be without standing out for all the wrong reasons?

In an ideal world, yes. But I think the author was making a point about beginnings--whatever the beginning, it ought to be strong and fit with the kind of scene it introduces. Like doors inside a house. They might have a similar look, but maybe going into the kitchen you go through an open walkway, or the door to the master bedroom comes at the end of a hallway, or the kids have posters tacked up on their door, or maybe the door to the bathroom has a curious knob. I think that's what she meant. Rather than trying to grab attention, the first line should have a doorway quality to it.

Offline Arkie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5047 on: January 30, 2017, 02:23:11 PM »
Quote
This wasn't the first execution Marie had attended.
I'd read further. I'd wonder though if I was going to see the current execution or if I should be more interested in the ones that she had seen.

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5048 on: January 30, 2017, 03:20:39 PM »
Great advice from you all, as usual. Thanks.

H3K

Offline Emery

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5049 on: January 31, 2017, 01:07:36 PM »
I like the line and don't have much to add, but just thought it was interesting to me how such a little change as the restructuring that ST suggested could add so much more punch to the sentence. Words are neat.
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5050 on: February 02, 2017, 10:30:43 AM »
I actually liked the opening.  I felt we mustn't be too picky because the next line will draw the reader in further.  I felt the word 'attended' was okay.  It made it sound casual something like: 'When she saw the dead man, she continued eating her breakfast.' A bit like a casual observation and then this gets me wondering why it was so casual and normal so I have to read on to find out.  (if you get my drift) Yes it was fine.  So now I wonder why this wasn't the first time.

 ;D ;D ;D

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5051 on: February 06, 2017, 04:39:37 AM »
Thanks again for your feedback. It's interesting how two experienced writers can have differing opinions on something so simple.  ;D

H3K

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5052 on: February 07, 2017, 11:23:06 AM »
Hilly!  Don't you know the rule by now?  You ask two experienced writers, you get five different opinions.

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5053 on: February 07, 2017, 11:39:56 AM »
 ::)

H3K

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5054 on: February 08, 2017, 05:32:18 AM »
Yes it's interesting each time.

Lin x