Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 752678 times)

Offline Spell Chick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 49353
  • Choose well
    • Little Bits of History
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #735 on: February 18, 2009, 09:58:46 AM »
Okay. This is my first line. Please don't be too harsh. I haven't develped that thick skin yet that Wolfe was talking about.

"There are some things in life that are never easy. Take for example, duvet covers. You stand at the foot of the bed with a fresh cover in hand just knowing you are about to wrestle with it until you are red in the face and the sweat is trickling down your cheeks and dribbling onto the bed. But that one time, that one very rare time, that the duvet cover goes on really easily. What happens? You stand back, smugly congratulating yourself, only to discover you’ve put the bloody thing on inside out."


this made me smile.
I would like to know what else is not easy and would give it a go.

I'm not a novelist and so, I'm not the best to critique things. But I am a voracious reader and this tickled my fancy.

I'm not sure what part of the globe you are writing from, and so perhaps "dribbling" is the correct word. It jarred my American ears/eyes. I would have thought it dripped or dropped or something. Only thing *I* saw that was out of whack.

Patti [yes, that is really my name and really how I spell it]
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline ma100

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30526
  • I don't need kinky boots, nothing will beat me.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #736 on: February 18, 2009, 10:15:00 AM »
Hey Patti. This is me to a tee. :)

I am not sure if this will be a story or satirical piece so I can't really go from what you have on here. But I did laugh. I have even ended up inside the flippin' duvet cover. Well done

Developing the thick skin I know is hard, but if you think about your words on screen as a jigsaw puzzle that you are trying to build in the best way possible. Nobody can resist passing a jigsaw without trying to help put a new piece in place.

Criticism is not aimed at the builder of the jigsaw, but at the construction itself. Try and split the two You and your jigsaw. Then you will really open yourself up to learning. We are all learning new things each day on here albeit at different stages. :)

Ma

Lin

  • Guest
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #737 on: February 18, 2009, 10:58:17 AM »
Okay. This is my first line. Please don't be too harsh. I haven't develped that thick skin yet that Wolfe was talking about.

"There are some things in life that are never easy. Take for example, duvet covers. You stand at the foot of the bed with a fresh cover in hand just knowing you are about to wrestle with it until you are red in the face and the sweat is trickling down your cheeks and dribbling onto the bed. But that one time, that one very rare time, that the duvet cover goes on really easily. What happens? You stand back, smugly congratulating yourself, only to discover you’ve put the bloody thing on inside out."


Hi Patti

This was the best piece of opening text I've read in a long time.  How many of us have tried to do this.  I normally turn my duvet cover inside out to begin with, but I did struggle for many years until I discovered the right way to do it!! 

Go for it, if the rest of your book is like this - I shall bang on the publisher's door for it to be on the bookshelves before Christmas!!  Just maybe change the word dribble -

Well done

Loved it

Lin x
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 11:00:00 AM by Orangutansaver »

Offline patti

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #738 on: February 18, 2009, 11:26:49 AM »
LIN/ma200/SPChick

Thank you, everyone. That was the opening line of my (almost finished) novel which is an adaption of the screenplay that I produced when studying screenwriting. I was advised to turn it into a novel as apparently a screenplay from a new screenwriter is impossible to sell. Your kind comments and constructive words of advice have given me the confidence to get it finished and start sending out some query letters. 

Big thank you to you all.

Narnian Prince

  • Guest
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #739 on: February 18, 2009, 12:14:25 PM »
Okay, it's been a very long time since I've even come close to putting down the bottle of meds and actually submitting something in to one of these forums.  I'm usually having far too much fun in the other forums but one of my resolutions for this year is to actually submit more.  Thusly, having said that, and having slashed my arms enough times with the sharp edges of rejection notices, I hereby submit the following to the masses in much the same format as the Ceasars tossing Christians to the lions many eons ago.  Please, leave kindness at the door.  I'm chained to my chair and my frothing at the mouth should not deter you from giving me the cold hard truth.  (Besides, I do still have a full time job if this writing thingy doesn't work out.)

Category: Fiction   Genre: Mystery   Working title: No Nemesis


   That Joaquim "Jokie" Reynolds met such a strange end was not what shocked anyone.  What mattered was that he had met his end to begin with.  Jokie was one of those rare folk who seemed ageless and harmless.  Not known in any way to the police or to any of the darker pockets of society, the snuffing of his life made no sense whatsoever.  Particularly, in the fashion and at the time of day in which his remains were discovered.

Okay, gang, that's all for now.  Have fun with it and I'll be by later to pick up the shreds.  :)

p.s.  Thanks in advance for everything!

Chris 
 

Offline Spell Chick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 49353
  • Choose well
    • Little Bits of History
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #740 on: February 18, 2009, 12:51:31 PM »

   That Joaquim "Jokie" Reynolds met such a strange end was not what shocked anyone.  What mattered was that he had met his end to begin with.  Jokie was one of those rare folk who seemed ageless and harmless.  Not known in any way to the police or to any of the darker pockets of society, the snuffing of his life made no sense whatsoever.  Particularly, in the fashion and at the time of day in which his remains were discovered.
 

Chris, I'm beginning with the whole disclaimer about me and lacking the wits to adequately do the show and tell crap.
But this seems to me to be tell.

I have learned to despise, loathe, hate, shun at all possible costs the word THAT.
I have learned to attempt to delete each and every "that" in my writing and see if it needed or superfluous. To start an entire novel with my nemesis [pun intended] is a little jarring to my underdeveloped sensibilities.

Joaquim "Jokie" Reynolds was one of those rare folk who seemed ageless and harmless. How he met such a strange end was not what shocked anyone. What mattered was he had met his end to begin with.  Jokie was not known in any way to the police or to any of the darker pockets of society, so the snuffing of his life made no sense whatsoever.  Particularly, in the fashion and at the time of day in which his remains were discovered. That is a sentence fragment, but is too long for a sentence fragment. And yes, I know I used the word that.  :P

Even more confounding was the the time of day and the fashion in which his remains were discovered. [I still don't like that, but at least it has a subject and predicate.]

I would be interested in knowing what happened to the seemingly harmless man. Not sure how to help with the technical aspects. I wish I knew more and could help more.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline emma112

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1579
  • Fantasy heals the wounds of reality.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #741 on: February 18, 2009, 05:18:25 PM »
Hey!
This paragraph was made up at about 11 o'clock at night, because it just all came flooding out. So, I don't know whether I want to use it for my first chapter yet.
I'm up for harsh comments, so don't be hesitant!  ;)

For the past year now, everyone has been gossiping about the headlines on all of the newspapers around town. The black writing on the front page seemed to repeat itself over and over every month, although the towns-people never lost their anxiety when they glanced at it: Murderer on the loose… Those words stained every paper and lingered in everyone’s mind. 
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #742 on: February 18, 2009, 05:49:40 PM »
Quote
For the past year now, everyone has been gossiping about the headlines on all of the newspapers around town. The black writing on the front page seemed to repeat itself over and over every month, although the towns-people never lost their anxiety when they glanced at it: Murderer on the loose… Those words stained every paper and lingered in everyone’s mind. 

Off hand, not knowing where you might be taking this, I have a suggestion.

Start with;  Murderer on the loose…

Maybe follow first with: The black writing on the front page seemed to repeat itself over and over every month,

The work the rest of the paragraph around it.

This way it's like a jab to the belly; exactly what a headline is designed to do, grab attention immediately.

MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline emma112

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1579
  • Fantasy heals the wounds of reality.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #743 on: February 18, 2009, 05:54:01 PM »
Thanks so much, Alice!
I knew that it didn't sound right somehow. But, if I did play around with it more, do you think that it will work for an opening?
How does this sound...?

Murder on the loose…
   The black writing on the front page seemed to repeat itself over and over every month, although the towns-people never lost their anxiety when they glanced at it. For the past year now, everyone had been gossiping about the headlines on all of the newspapers around town. They were frightened of those words which stained every paper and lingered in everyone’s mind.

Emma x x x
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 06:01:57 PM by emma112 »
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Offline Jericho

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #744 on: February 18, 2009, 06:27:11 PM »

She always kept the window closed, but still.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #745 on: February 18, 2009, 06:45:36 PM »
Emma's version
Murder on the loose…
   The black writing on the front page seemed to repeat itself over and over every month, although the towns-people never lost their anxiety when they glanced at it. For the past year now, everyone had been gossiping about the headlines on all of the newspapers around town. They were frightened of those words which stained every paper and lingered in everyone’s mind.


Below I've tried to make it a little tighter, more like you would expect to see in a news article. I'm not saying it needs to read link a new article, but think about the short sentences, lack of adjectives and adverbs generally found in such articles.

I know you're too young to remember Dragnet, but there was a Sgt. Friday that was always saying "The facts ma'am, just the facts." I think that is what is called for with a beginning like this.

I'm sure you could do the same, but with your own words.

Just keep in mind that you're starting off with a head-line.

Murderer On The Loose . . .
     The black head lines were repeated every month. The towns-people's anxiety increased daily.   
     For the past year the headlines were the main topic of conversation. People all over town had taken to locking their windows and doors.


If you have a story to go along with such a headline, I think it would make a good opening.

I would like to see you edit this again, keeping it tighter.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 07:01:09 PM by Country4Gal »
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline emma112

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1579
  • Fantasy heals the wounds of reality.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #746 on: February 19, 2009, 07:46:29 AM »
Murderer On The Loose . . .
     The black head lines were repeated every month. The towns-people's anxiety increased daily.   
     For the past year the headlines were the main topic of conversation. People all over town had taken to locking their windows and doors.


Thanks again, Alice.
Yeah, this sounds much better, thank you!
I'll have a little play around with it and i'll post it to see what you think.
Thanks!

Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Narnian Prince

  • Guest
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #747 on: February 19, 2009, 09:33:10 AM »
I have learned to despise, loathe, hate, shun at all possible costs the word THAT.
I have learned to attempt to delete each and every "that" in my writing and see if it needed or superfluous. To start an entire novel with my nemesis [pun intended] is a little jarring to my underdeveloped sensibilities.

Joaquim "Jokie" Reynolds was one of those rare folk who seemed ageless and harmless. How he met such a strange end was not what shocked anyone. What mattered was he had met his end to begin with.  Jokie was not known in any way to the police or to any of the darker pockets of society, so the snuffing of his life made no sense whatsoever.  Particularly, in the fashion and at the time of day in which his remains were discovered. That is a sentence fragment, but is too long for a sentence fragment. And yes, I know I used the word that. 

Even more confounding was the the time of day and the fashion in which his remains were discovered. [I still don't like that, but at least it has a subject and predicate.]


Thanks for that, Alice, I do appreciate it and am revising.  I hope to put up something better later today.  Wanted to stop by and thank you though.  :)

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #748 on: February 19, 2009, 09:41:41 AM »
NP, while I would like to take credit for that, I think it was Patti. I didn't look back to make sure, just going by my faulty memory which can, at times, be chancy.  ;)

I have learned to despise, loathe, hate, shun at all possible costs the word THAT.
I have learned to attempt to delete each and every "that" in my writing and see if it needed or superfluous. To start an entire novel with my nemesis [pun intended] is a little jarring to my underdeveloped sensibilities.

Joaquim "Jokie" Reynolds was one of those rare folk who seemed ageless and harmless. How he met such a strange end was not what shocked anyone. What mattered was he had met his end to begin with.  Jokie was not known in any way to the police or to any of the darker pockets of society, so the snuffing of his life made no sense whatsoever.  Particularly, in the fashion and at the time of day in which his remains were discovered. That is a sentence fragment, but is too long for a sentence fragment. And yes, I know I used the word that. 

Even more confounding was the the time of day and the fashion in which his remains were discovered. [I still don't like that, but at least it has a subject and predicate.]


Thanks for that, Alice, I do appreciate it and am revising.  I hope to put up something better later today.  Wanted to stop by and thank you though.  :)
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline ma100

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30526
  • I don't need kinky boots, nothing will beat me.
Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #749 on: February 26, 2009, 11:06:52 AM »
Different start point. What do you think? :-\

Unable to contain his fury Drew Porter slammed the front door of his thatched cottage. In one fluid movement, he vaulted over the rustic wall at the side of the garden. Conifers, Rowena insisted he plant along the verge, stood at attention like guards defending a fortress. Blind rage embroiled him. He stomped and kicked the plants into the road. One resilient bush sprung back to position - defiant against his booting. He reached down yanking it by the roots and hurled it up Church lane. “Bitch, bitch, bitch.”