Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 750853 times)

Offline tobie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #990 on: June 19, 2009, 08:34:28 AM »
Not a first line, but the intro to a fantasy story:


Turin silently crept along the forest floor, ignoring the many ants that tore into his flesh. His mind was focused on the meal to come, the rich and delicate taste of fresh venison. His mouth started to salivate, and his grip on his bow automatically tightened. The young red deer continued to snuff in the bushes, searching for saplings, oblivious to the danger behind it.

Offline Joe Mynhardt

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #991 on: June 19, 2009, 02:22:22 PM »
Very nice. Just two words you should take out. silently and automatically.
They're unnecessary.
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Offline misaditas

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #992 on: June 19, 2009, 02:53:59 PM »
I'd cut out "searching for saplings" as well.
"If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction." ~ Lani Tupu

misadventures in time and space

Offline kk

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #993 on: June 19, 2009, 04:25:45 PM »
I agree with Joe and Misaditas,

and would also change "His mouth started to salivate." to He started to salivate.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

                                                                            ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Offline bailish

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #994 on: June 19, 2009, 05:46:14 PM »
Overall I liked it.

The salivate line didn't ring true for me. There's a long time between killing and eating, unless he's eating it raw.

Offline tobie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #995 on: June 19, 2009, 09:50:12 PM »
Thanks guys. The reason hes 'salivating' is he's thinking of the meal to come after killing the deer, not thinking about eating it raw  ;D could make people think my protagonist is a bit iffy  :(

Offline junel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #996 on: June 20, 2009, 01:53:19 PM »
I am a tree.  It has taken me many years of eavesdropping on passersby to learn how to say that.  I now know how to say it in thirteen different languages.  There's Soy un árbol as the Spanish would say it.  There's the German Ich bin ein Baum or, of course, the Dutch relative Ik ben een boom.  And then there's one of my favorites, the Finnish Olen puu.  I think it's the simplicity of it.  Olen puu.  It just sort of rolls off the tongue.


Kyle, your opening is seriously good! :)

The personification of the tree is not only genius, as the tree becomes the ultimate observationalist and voyeur, looking down on humans from a birds-eye view, a funny irony as humans tend to be the ones observing trees (I hope your story takes full advantage of this), but you have given the tree a personality so well suited to this, the "Connoisseur" bit, also genius.

But how far can the story go with tree that is fixed in one place and cannot talk? Maybe it is like the "Ents"? See, you have got my interest.

Offline junel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #997 on: June 20, 2009, 02:01:04 PM »
Okay, heres mine:

"What do you know of missing little girl,.. the Amy Fisher investigation?" the Deputy Commissioner for the London Metropolitan Police said.
"Only what I've seen on television and read in the newspapers." Mo replied, feeling somewhat dissappointed by his rash answer, as he was sure the Commissioner was probing for an opinion.

Offline bailish

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #998 on: June 21, 2009, 04:37:47 AM »
Okay, heres mine:

"What do you know of missing little girl,.. the Amy Fisher investigation?" the Deputy Commissioner for the London Metropolitan Police said.
"Only what I've seen on television and read in the newspapers." Mo replied, feeling somewhat dissappointed by his rash answer, as he was sure the Commissioner was probing for an opinion.

Hi, Junel! Welcome to the circle.

Your text doesn't look like an opening to me. It looks like it's the point of a reveal of the plot, probably close to the first turning point in the story where the protagonist is about to begin his search for the victim/perpetrator.

Offline misaditas

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #999 on: June 21, 2009, 06:31:06 AM »
Hm, here's the first paragraph of my second chapter. I hate starting new scenes   >:(

Ella guided the transport pod through the ragged hole that had been blasted into the hanger door. Once inside, she flicked on the search lamp and swept the aim across the unlit interior. Smoke swirled in the beam, but the light was still strong enough to pick out the wrecked fighter ships hung from the launching racks and the burnt bodies of soldiers littered the deck.
"If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction." ~ Lani Tupu

misadventures in time and space

Offline Annmarie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1000 on: June 22, 2009, 03:27:30 AM »
Hm, here's the first paragraph of my second chapter. I hate starting new scenes   >:(

Ella guided the transport pod through the ragged hole that had been blasted into the hanger door. Once inside, she flicked on the search lamp and swept the aim across the unlit interior. Smoke swirled in the beam, but the light was still strong enough to pick out the wrecked fighter ships hung from the launching racks and the burnt bodies of soldiers littered the deck.

Hi misaditas, I like openings that get to the point, so this is fine. When you look at what images you use, make sure you don't squeeze too much into one sentence. This often makes the images and verbs lose their impact. The second sentence  is the best example. It could look like this:

Smoke swirled in the beam. Fighter ships hung wrecked from the launching racks. Burnt bodies of soldiers littered the deck.

(I took out the "light was strong enough" part because you mentioned a search lamp in the first sentence. Always look for such unnecessary repetition.) Anyway, do you see how your strong verbs work harder in those sentences? Also, each image comes one after another so the mind can process them like that search light seeing one thing after another, not jumbled all at once.
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Offline misaditas

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1001 on: June 22, 2009, 08:00:01 AM »
Thanks Annmarie, tht's very helpful  :)
"If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction." ~ Lani Tupu

misadventures in time and space

Offline Twisties34

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1002 on: June 22, 2009, 08:50:50 AM »
The pane of glass felt cold against my fingers; numbly I watched the large raindrop make its way slowly down the sheet, to join its brothers and sisters before merging into a giant pool at the bottom of the window frame.

Opening to Marsden Park, a Regency style romance.

Offline Pandora2

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1003 on: June 22, 2009, 08:26:07 PM »
Okay, I'll give this a whirl.  Though I'm always reluctant to criticize other people's work, as writing is so personal and subjective.

Quote
The pane of glass felt cold against my fingers; numbly I watched the large raindrop make its way slowly down the sheet, to join its brothers and sisters before merging into a giant pool at the bottom of the window frame.

I like this.  I might consider taking out the phrase "to join its brothers and sisters," as it seems to stretch the metaphor a bit, anthropomorphizing bits of nature.  But maybe this is common in Regency Romances?  I'm not that familiar with the genre, so mea culpa if I've missed something. 

Offline bailish

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1004 on: June 23, 2009, 02:58:05 AM »

Okay, I'll give this a whirl.  Though I'm always reluctant to criticize other people's work, as writing is so personal and subjective.


Writing is personal and subjective, and so the strength of the community is based on several people giving their opinions. As a writer, I always find comments by others to be helpful, because it tells me how my writing has affected that person. I still have my own experience to tell me whether I agree or not.


The pane of glass felt cold against my fingers; numbly I watched the large raindrop make its way slowly down the sheet, to join its brothers and sisters before merging into a giant pool at the bottom of the window frame.

Opening to Marsden Park, a Regency style romance.


I'm not a romance fan, but I do study hooks. To me, this isn't a hook, it's just a description. It does not sell the book to me, but if I liked the author, I might buy it anyway. I do see quite a few books that start with a description like this. None of them are my favorites.

A hook that convinces me to buy the book has a bit of mystery to it. I don't buy books for the descriptions in them. I buy them for the tension and conflicts. But I'd be disappointed if the book had no descriptions like the above.