Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 773732 times)

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5100 on: April 30, 2017, 07:18:44 PM »
So you think starting there would be better? It actually mentions again later how he wants to murder his parents, so removing the previous first line actually wouldn't affect things. And starting there would show why he felt that way. Thanks, I think I've just found a much better way to open the story and still keep it before he murders his parents. cx

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5101 on: May 01, 2017, 04:19:16 AM »
I rather like that first line.  I might swap "fantastic" for "perfect" or "ideal", but it does what first lines need to: makes you want to read the second line.  I'd keep it.

Offline Mrs N

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5102 on: May 01, 2017, 04:35:46 AM »
There you go, Claudia, see how subjective writing is. :D :D :D

No right or wrongs. Just make it as tight as you can and go with your heart. ;)

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5103 on: May 01, 2017, 06:54:17 AM »
Wednesday, Victor C. Bennett thought, seemed like a fantastic day to murder his parents.
Tighten this, and it has enough potential to hook a reader. But the use of 'thought, seemed like' and 'he thought this' create a barrier.

Why not have him play a more active role? Something along the lines of:
Victor C. Bennett decided Wednesday would be the best day to murder his parents.

The second paragraph is also overwritten to the point of hardly making sense.
'humanity's artificial light'?
'the opening' - did you mean 'door'?
And I don't understand the part about his (?) feet scraping the rug or his position in relation to the floorboards. It's difficult to picture whether he's standing up or lying down or what.

H3K

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5104 on: May 01, 2017, 09:59:51 AM »
Thanks, guys! I'll swap 'fantastic' for some other word.

I like "Victor C. Bennett decided Wednesday would be the best day to murder his parents." I also like the idea of starting it with his father punching him, so I'll try rewriting the opening both ways. Also, that second paragraph will be rewritten to, since I realize now just how overwritten it is. cx

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5105 on: May 01, 2017, 04:04:53 PM »
So I rewrote the opening paragraph. I tried to make it seem less distant from Victor's POV and remove all those awkward sentences. Not sure if you can tell he's lying on the floor in this version. (I tried to imply that by mentioning how his cheek scraped the rug.) I'm also not sure how well the first line connects with the rest, but hopefully it's an improvement. cx

Victor C. Bennett decided Wednesday was the perfect day to murder his parents. The chandelier blurred as Victor’s father punched him, making his mouth fill with a metallic taste. He turned away, cheek scraping the rug, and tried to shield himself. Every blow sent jolts of pain through the boy’s scarred face.

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5106 on: May 01, 2017, 06:00:09 PM »
That's more like it. But I'd be looking for something else to happen sooner rather than later.

H3K

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5107 on: May 01, 2017, 06:57:46 PM »
Thanks.  :) I plan to make the things afterward happen faster, since it does drag on at the moment.

JewelAS53

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5108 on: May 04, 2017, 05:52:37 AM »
Victor C. Bennett decided Wednesday was the perfect day to murder his parents. The chandelier blurred as Victor’s father punched him, making his mouth fill with a metallic taste. He turned away, cheek scraping the rug, and tried to shield himself. Every blow sent jolts of pain through the boy’s scarred face.
Well done on your re-writes.

Just to add to the level of subjectivity, I struggle to imagine Victor being punched while his face is on the floor. Is his father sitting on him?

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5109 on: May 04, 2017, 06:46:28 AM »
Very impressed.  If only other contributors to this site would listen as you have done.  I'm not saying we are right all of the time, but it's music to our ears when someone does a re-write and it reads well.

Thanks for posting,

Lin

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5110 on: May 04, 2017, 09:55:34 AM »
Thanks, guys. I've actually rewritten it again, keeping everyone's advice in mind.  ;)

I never thought to mention that his father was sitting on him. He is, that way Victor can't run away. I should probably find a way to mention that. I'll see what I can do.

Also, if anyone's got any first line, I'd love to try and help.

Offline Shortcross

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5111 on: May 09, 2017, 05:51:03 AM »
I like this opener: 'Victor C. Bennett decided Wednesday was the perfect day to murder his parents.' But then the jump to this was a bit awkward->'The chandelier blurred as Victor’s father punched him'.

I think it's because his decision seemed so matter-of-fact while he was getting beaten up by his dad. A bit like writing: 'Victor C. Bennett decided he should have taken more driving lessons as his car left the road and plummeted over the cliff', whereas, he'd probably be thinking 'Yaaaarghjesus!'.

I'll echo the other comments that it's a vast improvement on the first version, and you have listened which is great to see. If Victor made the decision after he'd got beaten up (rather than during), it wouldn't jar with me at all. Even just adding 'Afterwards' or something ('Afterwards, Victor C. Bennett decided...').  Hmm, well, perhaps not that, but something along those lines.

And I'd change 'making his mouth fill with a metallic taste' to 'leaving a metallic taste in his mouth', but that's subjective.

Keep going, you're getting there.

Shorty.

Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5112 on: May 10, 2017, 04:17:23 PM »
Thanks for the help, Shorty. I've actually had to change the opening line due to the fact I finally figured out I was probably starting the story in the wrong place, but this will still help since I'll know to make this new one fit better with what's happening.  :)

Offline BobbyD

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5113 on: May 11, 2017, 03:12:48 PM »
As a new poster, I thought I would give this a shot.  It's the first line of Chapter One, but it doesn't reveal much.



“For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.”  EXODUS 9:15



  “Oh, shit! That’s bad,” Amir yelled out loud, though not a word was heard by anyone above the deafening noise.


Offline Claudia_Witter

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #5114 on: May 11, 2017, 03:40:02 PM »
“Oh, shit! That’s bad,” Amir yelled out loud, though not a word was heard by anyone above tThe deafening noise swallowed up his words.

Not a very good revision, but I think you could probably remove the "out loud." I think it might help if there was a little more setting for the scene. Right now, I'm not sure if he's playing a video game and that's the source of the deafening noise, or if he's in the middle of a battle. It could honestly be either one at the moment. Sometimes, when I play video games with my siblings, the sound can be pretty loud. (X