Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 741309 times)

Offline polexia

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #390 on: October 20, 2007, 08:26:31 AM »

It certainly caught my attention. As long as you remember to flesh out on characters before diving into the plot so the reader stays informed, I think it'll be great. :D

I don't think nonsense is really meant to have structure...err, right? You give many details in this beginning paragraph, but make sure each one is absolutly essential. Also, you need to proofread this paragraph, as there are some general grammar and spelling mistakes. "Drowsed with it"...what are you trying to say there?

Hope it helps. (:

Aaannddd here's the first bit of my novel for NaNoWriMo. It's actually the first bit of the prologue, as I can't actually write the novel till November (though I reaalllly want to):

The sunset would have been spectacular had there been anyone alive to see it. Unfortunately, the only breathing witness cowered in the cave’s corner, head cradled in grimy hands. His body shook, though whether from fear or the tremblings of the earth it was difficult to tell.

of course, that is the main point; actually nonsense means it has a bad or incoherent structure, but it is vital for the rest of the story (which deals with a Ruby, who changes constantly but actually is doing the same over and over again) these detailed accounts in the beginning are meant to illustrate that or act as a metaphor with the same point.
regarding grammar and spelling: i usually have a friend from mine from oxford read something trough before i send it to a publisher-type.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 08:28:18 AM by polexia »
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Offline hellbunnie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #391 on: October 20, 2007, 08:40:13 AM »
I just meant that, taken in the entire phrase ("non-sense or any other structure"), it looks like nonsense is being described as "structured", which to me gives the impression of organization, which nonsense is not.

I'm not saying that it's wrong...if it does accurately describe what you want, than okay, but I say there should be a less awkward sentence you could replace it with.

And, as long as your friend from Oxford hasn't proofread this paragraph of yours yet, then okay. :)

Offline polexia

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #392 on: October 21, 2007, 10:22:57 AM »
I just meant that, taken in the entire phrase ("non-sense or any other structure"), it looks like nonsense is being described as "structured", which to me gives the impression of organization, which nonsense is not.

I'm not saying that it's wrong...if it does accurately describe what you want, than okay, but I say there should be a less awkward sentence you could replace it with.

And, as long as your friend from Oxford hasn't proofread this paragraph of yours yet, then okay. :)

i understand that it way all seem a bit awkward a way to structure s sentence; i just seem to like this way of telling a story, in this case it already eludes to the basis of the story...
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Offline hellbunnie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #393 on: October 21, 2007, 10:27:23 AM »
i understand that it way all seem a bit awkward a way to structure s sentence; i just seem to like this way of telling a story, in this case it already eludes to the basis of the story...

...I thought it was bad for the basis of the story to elude the sentence...? Now I'm confused.

Offline polexia

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #394 on: October 21, 2007, 10:38:09 AM »
...I thought it was bad for the basis of the story to elude the sentence...? Now I'm confused.


i mean that the sentence represents a state of mind - the state of Ruby, by which she doesn't want to be bound, and needs some oddities to give her a sense of normality - and a mode in the story - in that all change but somehow stay the same, by that it doesn't make sense, doesn't appear necessary but is a structure all the same - you can take it further and further than this. but at the end of the day it is just a sentence......you must be more confused now...sorry for that....
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Offline hellbunnie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #395 on: October 21, 2007, 10:59:44 AM »

i mean that the sentence represents a state of mind - the state of Ruby, by which she doesn't want to be bound, and needs some oddities to give her a sense of normality - and a mode in the story - in that all change but somehow stay the same, by that it doesn't make sense, doesn't appear necessary but is a structure all the same - you can take it further and further than this. but at the end of the day it is just a sentence......you must be more confused now...sorry for that....

A sentence is just a sentence, a story just a story--why bother?

If the message in the sentence is that important to you (and it sounds like it is), then you should probably work to clarify it better, no?

Either way, let's not hijack the thread, lol

Offline EBMILLER

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #396 on: October 22, 2007, 05:53:49 PM »
Here is my first paragraph:         ???

He had not feeling; he had not reason; he had only hate. Bradley stood in a cold room; though he did not know it. Covered with beads of sweat and bloody water. He smiled at himself in the mirror. Hate in his heart and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes

Offline tmcs

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #397 on: October 23, 2007, 05:42:12 AM »
I'm new here and I liked this idea of first liners. Here is mine please give what ever opinion you can, every bit helps.

Maria watched the sun slowly drop behind the mountain. Her camera in place she waited for the exact moment to capture the perfect sunset photo. The different shades of pinks and yellows reminded her of the evening sky three years before on her wedding night.   This was the exact spot that her and Kyle had come to escape the madness of there wedding reception. They had sat on this very bank and watched the sun set and rise. They were one, happy and ready to start a whole new life together, forever. Now she was here again, watching the sun set, alone.

Offline Writers Block

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #398 on: October 23, 2007, 09:53:38 AM »
Here is my first paragraph:         ???

He had not feeling; he had not reason; he had only hate. Bradley stood in a cold room; though he did not know it. Covered with beads of sweat and bloody water. He smiled at himself in the mirror. Hate in his heart and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes


Some things didn't make sense to me.

Quote
He had not feeling; he had not reason; he had only hate.
- I'd make them seperate sentences. Gives them more impact.
- I'd also change the 'not' to no - as not feeling and not reason are a strange way of saying something and don't make sense.

Quote
Bradley stood in a cold room; though he did not know it.
- The semi colon should be a comma as they can not stand as two seperate sentences.
- How does bradley know it's cold, if he doesn't know it? ;D Presuming you are writing from his PoV (point of view) - show us how he knows, perhaps his breath mists in the cold air.

Quote
. Covered with beads of sweat and bloody water.
- this is not a sentence - what is covered with sweat etc? Introduce the subject into the sentence, or change the previous sentence(s) to accomodate this part in one longer sentence.

Quote
He smiled at himself in the mirror.

- Smiling at himself seems odd placed here as it is. Why would he smile? He has hate in his heart, and a tear is forming.

Quote
Hate in his heart and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes
- nicely worded.
- I'd be tempted to say 'swelling tear betrayed' - mixed tense but flows better imo. Others may disagree.
- missing full stop/period.

There is lots of potential in this opening line. Something happens so with polish it could start something interesting.
I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.

WB

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Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #399 on: October 23, 2007, 09:56:33 AM »
Being critical, I'd have to point out that hate is a feeling.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline hellbunnie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #400 on: October 23, 2007, 12:42:37 PM »
I wanted to say that but was fearful of being mauled. XD Hate is the strongest feeling with love, I thought.

Aaannnd my line was skipped over. :'( So I'll try again.

The sunset would have been spectacular had there been anyone alive to see it. Unfortunately, the only breathing witness cowered in the cave’s corner, head cradled in grimy hands. His body shook, though whether from fear or the tremblings of the earth it was difficult to tell.

Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #401 on: October 23, 2007, 12:44:28 PM »
It's interesting, that seems to be what people aim for.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline EBMILLER

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #402 on: October 23, 2007, 12:59:23 PM »


original:
He had not feeling; he had not reason; he had only hate. Bradley stood in a cold room; though he did not know it. Covered with beads of sweat and bloody water. He smiled at himself in the mirror. Hate in his heart and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes

changed:
He had not feeling. He had not reason. He had only hate.

Bradley stood in a cold room, though he did not know it. His skin, covered with beads of sweat and bloody water.
He smiled at himself in the mirror. Hate in his heart, and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes.




Does this sound any better? Please let me know. How does it flow compared to the original? Bradley is my antagonist, and I introduce him first. He is unable to feel pain, thus, "Bradley stood in a cold room, though he did not know it." actually makes sense. This is explained in the following paragraphs, I wanted to word it this way, so that you are enticed to read on.
 
Thanks for the advice

I think I will keep it "betraying" though, I don't know why. It just works for me. other suggestions I have implemented.

The sentence "Hate in his heart, and a swelling tear betraying his emotionless eyes." makes sense, because his eyes are emotionless, not his heart, and the tears reflect that... right. at least thats how I thought it came across to me.


Thanks, more comments would be great!!!


E.B.Miller
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 01:03:17 PM by EBMILLER »

Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #403 on: October 23, 2007, 01:05:53 PM »
The reformatting certainly gives it better sonics. The line break separates
Quote
He had not feeling. He had not reason. He had only hate.

Which I didn't think belonged with the rest of the text.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline EBMILLER

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #404 on: October 23, 2007, 07:48:11 PM »


The sunset would have been spectacular had there been anyone alive to see it. Unfortunately, the only breathing witness cowered in the cave’s corner, head cradled in grimy hands. His body shook, though whether from fear or the tremblings of the earth it was difficult to tell.

Wow, I want to read!