Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 662835 times)

Offline Mrs N

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5145 on: July 27, 2017, 03:47:32 PM »
Her is something I have been working on....

When Sarah opened her eyes, her vision was blurry and she had blood on her hands. Sarah was stumbling across the shack floor with a cast iron pan in one hand and her other hand extended to find her way out.

Thoughts?

Which point would you like the reader to dwell on?

That she is opening her eyes= boring
Her vision is blurry?= So?
She's up and stumbling across a shack floor with a cast iron pan in her hand= bit intriguing
The other hand extended to find her way out= just diluted previous sentence.

Too much of nothing going on. Stick with one image and build. ;)
As it stands I wouldn't read further.


Offline melodysmiles

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5146 on: July 27, 2017, 09:21:13 PM »
"They always considered how fortunate they were to have lived in a time and age where such marvel took place. Where elders looked ahead and toward their new founded generations with grace and yet their happiness was nothing short of bittersweet.  Tao knew she was the only one."

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5147 on: July 28, 2017, 03:46:36 AM »
Not really; at least, not for me.  There are a lot of redundancies in this that interrupt the progress of the piece - and that's just the first three sentences.  It reads like someone deliberately trying to Write Well, instead of telling their story.  Maybe one to put in the drawer and come back to with a fresh eye in a month or so.

Offline hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5148 on: July 28, 2017, 04:27:34 AM »
Unfortunately, this reads like a voice-over to a B-movie. That first sentence is particularly clunky. Who are 'they'? And why do we need to know about what they 'always' considered? There has to be a simpler way to tell us the elders lived in a time (no need for 'and age' since it means the same thing) when marvelous events took place. And having them look ahead and toward - isn't that the sme thing again?

My advice, ditch the cheesy preamble and begin with your main character. 'Tao knew she was the only one'. How? Why? That's the springboard to your story.

H3K

Offline Vogel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5149 on: November 24, 2017, 01:44:01 PM »
I always liked this thread. So I thought I might revive it.

I saw Crazy Mary a week before they found her floating in the river. She was outside Herb’s Grocery sitting on the newspaper machine, blowing cigarette smoke in customers’ faces. If Jack hadn’t shoved a quarter in my hand and told me to get him a paper, I would've never got near her.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 01:48:31 PM by Vogel »

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5150 on: November 24, 2017, 02:04:14 PM »
This works for me.  It's intriguing, and it's well enough written to promise that what follows should be pretty readable as well.  Don't see much wrong with it.

Offline Simple Things

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5151 on: November 24, 2017, 02:59:26 PM »
I always liked this thread. So I thought I might revive it.

I saw Crazy Mary a week before they found her floating in the river. She was outside Herb’s Grocery sitting on the newspaper machine, blowing cigarette smoke in customers’ faces. If Jack hadn’t shoved a quarter in my hand and told me to get him a paper, I would've never got near her.


Well I like the characters and possibilities. To be honest I felt the opening a bit sluggish, possibly because of the constant change of pronouns. He/I/she/him/they/my/her in such a short span of words. So it just felt that the flow could improve. But that's just editing. The interest is here.


Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5152 on: November 25, 2017, 07:32:40 AM »
Yes, I would certainly like to continue reading this.  I think in any opening line the question WHY should prevail.  Then WHO, WHEN and WHERE.  If I can gather all of these in the first lines, I most certainly want to read on. You seem to go straight to the point and for that's good.  Keep going!  #

Lin


Offline hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5153 on: November 26, 2017, 12:50:52 PM »
Nicely set up - but your first sentence reads complicated. Who are they? Why bring them up now without making it clear who they are?
Then you switch - from seeing her to finding her to seeing her again (presumably when she was outside Herb's).
Personally I'd give this a shake - and to hell with the accusation of passive writing.

Something like:
A week before Crazy Mary was found floating in the river, I saw her outside Herb's etc. etc.

H3K

Offline Vogel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5154 on: November 26, 2017, 03:08:44 PM »
Thanks, everyone!  :)


Personally I'd give this a shake - and to hell with the accusation of passive writing.

:D If it works, it works, right?

The "they" here is pretty insignificant, just a couple hunters. Definitely a good idea to get rid of "they" so that the reader doesn't look for meaning there, adn I think if I actually change they to a couple hunters, it may clutter the writing. So, I like your tweak and already made the change. And it will get rid of one of the pronouns too, killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. Still working on the same damn novel, but I'm 35k in this go around and can see a speck light at the end of the tunnel.

Next?


Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5155 on: November 26, 2017, 03:42:51 PM »
"They" in this context is widely accepted shorthand for "some people of no particular consequence who don't need you to remember their names".  I'd stick with it.  Any alternative is likely to be weaker.

Offline Vogel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5156 on: November 26, 2017, 05:07:06 PM »
Thanks, Jo. You're right, and I tend to agree. Best not to overthink it too much. Plus, I've got to keep in mind the narrator's voice and what feels natural for me and for the Southern-speaking protagonist. I go changing around too much and I'm likely to lose something. I'm keeping the original line just in case, so when I go back through I can re-evaluate.

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5157 on: December 09, 2017, 09:42:01 AM »

It all began as a means but with a most unfortunate end.

Gus Hannings’ wife couldn’t swim; water terrified her. At the age of twelve she had watched her sister drown in a boat at sea and never got over the tragedy.


Not sure about this opening line.

Lin



Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5158 on: December 09, 2017, 10:10:10 AM »
It's not really working, Lin. 

That first sentence is a real clunker: I had to read it three times to figure out what you meant.  Then we meet a guy whose name requires an awkward apostrophe - and it's not even him who's the subject of the sentence, it's his wife.  There's a semi-colon where a fresh sentence would be better.  Then the unnamed wife watched her sister drown in a boat - come on, Lin, you know boats, you know people don't usually drown in them, they drown from falling out of them.  And even then we're left wondering momentarily if the unnamed wife or the drowned sister never got over the tragedy.  Well, the sister wouldn't, that's for sure.

This sounds like a good idea that you've just posted way too soon.  Hammer it into shape and run it by us again.

 


Offline Simple Things

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5159 on: December 09, 2017, 11:11:33 AM »
It all began as a means but with a most unfortunate end.

Gus Hannings’ wife couldn’t swim; water terrified her. At the age of twelve she had watched her sister drown in a boat at sea and never got over the tragedy.

I think you narrate what would be shown better directly. So all I needed to show her initial fear is:

Water terrified Maggie.

And then get right into the story. Maybe Gus is making fun of her getting ready to go on his boat wearing two sets of rubber duckie floats and a life vest, or maybe he's being a jerk and not understanding. The thing is, I need a direct connection right away with Gus's wife's fear, and your story. Not just backstory.

That's my thoughts