Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 734570 times)

Offline larafaraway

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #645 on: December 21, 2008, 03:31:53 PM »
Jose De Rosa ran from school, satchel swinging freely from his shoulder and shirt tied around his waist. He wore just a plain white vest to allow his body to breathe in the summer heat. No more school. Now he was a young man and could do what he wanted. A smile crept across his face as he turned towards the school building for one last look.

Great opening-- two suggestions though. Maybe you use the word "school" too many times? And also, your characterization of Jose jarred me because the way you describe him in the first couple of sentences led me to believe he was a little boy and halfway through you tell us he's a new graduate.

How about something like this?


Jose De Rosa broke into a sprint, satchel swinging freely from his shoulder, shirt tied around his waist. He wore only a plain white vest to allow his body to breathe in spite of the heavy summer heat. No more school; he was a young man now and could do what he wanted. He slowed his stride and a smile crept across his face as he turned towards the school building for one last look.

Offline Juff

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #646 on: December 22, 2008, 02:23:42 PM »
Jose De Rosa ran from school, satchel swinging freely from his shoulder and shirt tied around his waist. He wore just a plain white vest to allow his body to breathe in the summer heat. No more school. Now he was a young man and could do what he wanted. A smile crept across his face as he turned towards the school building for one last look.

I liked this but I felt that the imagary didn't quite work for me.  There seems to be a contradiction between the vision of this boy running and then a smile creeping across his face.  Do smiles creep across your face when you run?  Maybe they should flash?

Here's my starter for ten.  It is actually written by my wife - we are writing about the last few years which has involved here being widowed on 9/11  (another option for an opening line;  'My wife was widowed on 11 september 2001'.) and adopting children in Brazil.  Here we go;
I was in Heathrow's departure lounge downloading a photo of my new son. Standing in front of a computer, waiting to see his face for the first time as if I were waiting to see my balance at a cash machine. Even though I'd known about Daniel for well over a year, I never thought I'd get to meet him.

Juff

Offline larafaraway

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #647 on: December 22, 2008, 05:28:36 PM »
Jose De Rosa ran from school, satchel swinging freely from his shoulder and shirt tied around his waist. He wore just a plain white vest to allow his body to breathe in the summer heat. No more school. Now he was a young man and could do what he wanted. A smile crept across his face as he turned towards the school building for one last look.

I liked this but I felt that the imagary didn't quite work for me.  There seems to be a contradiction between the vision of this boy running and then a smile creeping across his face.  Do smiles creep across your face when you run?  Maybe they should flash?

Here's my starter for ten.  It is actually written by my wife - we are writing about the last few years which has involved here being widowed on 9/11  (another option for an opening line;  'My wife was widowed on 11 september 2001'.) and adopting children in Brazil.  Here we go;
I was in Heathrow's departure lounge downloading a photo of my new son. Standing in front of a computer, waiting to see his face for the first time as if I were waiting to see my balance at a cash machine. Even though I'd known about Daniel for well over a year, I never thought I'd get to meet him.

Juff


Definitely made me want to read more.

Narnian Prince

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #648 on: December 22, 2008, 07:23:53 PM »
   Clad only in a loose t-shirt and cut-off denim shorts Katherine strolled barefoot along the pristine shoreline.  As always, she was up before dawn to watch the crimson orb as it parted the velvet curtain of night and brought the purity of each new day.  Crouching to sift the diamond-like crystals of sand through her hands, she smiled as the gentle breeze caressed her features.  Glancing westward, she reflected inwardly as to whether there more particles of sand on the beach or stars in the heavens.   

   Posting stuff for critique is a whole new venture for me but I've decided to venture forth into unexplored territory.  Have at her folks!  I look forward to your comments, both good and bad.  I would greatly appreciate anything you decide to throw at me.  Chris

Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #649 on: December 23, 2008, 01:28:31 AM »
Banarnian, start with something happening. Shorter sentences, fewer descriptive words and more things happening.
Did I mention having things happen?
Never make a decision standing up.

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #650 on: December 25, 2008, 11:20:53 AM »
Clad only in a loose t-shirt and cut-off denim shorts Katherine strolled barefoot along the pristine shoreline.  As always, she was up before dawn to watch the crimson orb as it parted the velvet curtain of night and brought the purity of each new day.  Crouching to sift the diamond-like crystals of sand through her hands, she smiled as the gentle breeze caressed her features.  Glancing westward, she reflected inwardly as to whether there more particles of sand on the beach or stars in the heavens.


Maybe this might be useful to help you bring action and less description into the opening lines

  Strolling barefoot along the shoreline, Katherine loosened her wet t-shirt from the waistline of her shorts. The crimson of the morning sun warmed her soul and the gentle breeze caressed the tension in her face. Crouching to her knees she sifted the sand through her fingers like the grains of time.  Were there more particles of sand here than all the stars in heaven?

Not sure if this sounds OK, but I learned that too much description can ruin the first lines, Ive had a lot of changes to make for my first para.  I think I got it just about right now.

Happy Christmas

Lin x x x
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 11:23:19 AM by Orangutansaver »

Offline s0ulreav3r

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #651 on: December 25, 2008, 02:01:24 PM »
Jennifer Jones sit's in her bedroom with a gallon of Vodka, her prescription of sleeping pills and some barbituates she wonder if it's enough to do the job, she has been doing this same routine for a year now. Wishing she has the nerve to take her own life, like she took life of her unborn child who was living and growing in her womb.

Here's the grammar mistakes that I would fix:

As Jennifer Jones sits in her bedroom with a gallon of Vodka, her prescription of sleeping pills, and some barbiturates, she wonders if it's enough to do the job. She has been doing this same routine for a year now, wishing she had the nerve to take her own life, like she took the life of her unborn child who had been living and growing in her womb.

Besides that, which in reality is very important, but not as important as your portrayal of mood and setting, I think these lines suck readers in. I find that I'm asking myself what exactly were the events prior to this moment in time that made the character do what she is doing, as well as what is she ultimately going to do about it.

So, like I said, the story comes first and foremost. There are editors and computers that can fix the rest. I will just say for myself that I value my grammar important because it distracts the reader from what IS really important: my story...

« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 01:06:19 PM by s0ulreav3r »
I see writing as something more than just words on a piece of paper; it is a looking glass through which the mind of a human being can enter the soul of another and see what it is that mankind hides the most...their inner most thoughts and desires.

Offline Juff

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #652 on: December 25, 2008, 04:03:20 PM »
Lynne-Lynne,
I would actually take soulreav3r comments a step further - although of course this would be getting away from your own style.  How about;

Jennifer Jones sat in her bedroom with her vodka, prescription of sleeping pills and some barbiturates.  She wondered if it was enough to do the job - as she had wondered so many times before. She has been doing this same routine for a year now, wishing she had the nerve to take her own life.  As she had taken the life of the unborn child who had been living and growing in her womb.

I had slightly mis-posted my original posting so here it is again.  It is the first paragraph from our (my wife and I) memoir about the last few years;

I was in Heathrow's departure lounge downloading a photo of my new son. Standing in front of a computer, waiting to see his face for the first time as if I were waiting to see my balance at a cash machine. Even though I'd known about Daniel for well over a year, I never thought I'd get to meet him.



Narnian Prince

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #653 on: December 26, 2008, 11:12:50 AM »
First off, thank you both Ollie and Lin for your very helpful suggestions, I really do appreciate them.  I've made some changes along with what you have taught me and hoe that this new entry might make more of an impact.

  Katherine shrieked as she was caught off guard by the crashing surf hitting her.  Her mind had wandered and she had failed to notice the closeness of the waves.  Clad only in cut off jeans and a loose blouse, she was soaked through.  As always, she had risen early to see the dawn.  She had always been fascinated by the crimson orb parting the velvet curtain of night.  Sifting the diamond-like grains of sand, she laughed lightly as the warming breeze caressed her.  The few remaining stars gave her reason to ponder; were there more grains of sand on the beach or stars in the heavens?

With apologies, Ollie, my story begins with a young girl wandering across a beach.  There is some action a bit later on but I wanted to create a bit of a more relaxed atmosphere first.  I still appreciate your ideas though.  Thanks!  :D

twisted wheel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #654 on: December 26, 2008, 11:16:07 AM »
firefly. larafaraway (great name by the way) and juff - thanks for the comments.  8)

Narnian Prince

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #655 on: December 30, 2008, 10:17:05 AM »
   Here's yet another project I've been working on.  I've done so many re-writes that its making my head and hands hurt.  As always, any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

   Despite the sub zero temps, Jack stepped out on to the patio for the much needed cigarette.  He'd only just lit it when the concussion from the blast slammed him into the wall.  Stunned, he picked himself up and gazed around.  Debris rained down all over and an aroma of burnt flesh permeated the area.  Screams broke into his consciousness as patrons from the cafe joined him to see the cause.  At a nearby bus depot the flaming hulk of one of the inter city buses told a story in itself.  Jack shivered uncontrollably as he realized it was the one from which he had disembarked only moments earlier.

   Thanks in advance and have a fantastic New Year everyone!  :D

Offline ma100

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #656 on: December 30, 2008, 11:26:36 AM »
Hi NP
I am not sure if this helps mate but here it is for what it's worth. The word concussion doesn't seem right to me mate. Any way these are just suggestions feel free to ignore them. Sounds very good though matey. :)

Despite the sub zero temperature, Jack stepped out on to the patio for a much needed cigarette.  The impact from the blast slammed him against the wall just as he lit the end. Stunned, he picked himself up and scanned the area.  Debris rained down in all directions and the aroma of burnt flesh permeated the air.  Screams broke through his consciousness as patrons of the cafe jostled to see the cause. At the nearby bus depot the flaming hulk of one of the inter city buses told a story in itself. Jack shivered then shook when he realized the wrecked bus was the one he had disembarked moments earlier.

Narnian Prince

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #657 on: December 30, 2008, 03:01:19 PM »
Hey there Ma!  :D

   Thank you very much for your input.  It gave a bit of a different angle to think about and I really appreciate the positive feedback.  This story is a bit of a challenge but it's one that I will be working on very hard over the next few months.  :D

   Anyway, I reflected on what you suggested and here's what I've come up with:

   Despite the arctic blast that greeted him, Jack stepped onto the patio for a much needed break.  He'd just lit his cigarette when the blast flung him back against the door.  Shocked, he scrambled to get upright and look for the source.  Debris rained in all directions and an aroma of burnt flesh permeated the area.  Screams broke through his consciousness as fellow patrons from the cafe joined him, jostling for a better view.  At the nearby bus depot the flaming hulk of one of the inter-city buses regaled a story in itself.  Brushing some glass shards from his balding scalp and checking for blood, Jack found himself shivering uncontrollably.  He realized with a jolt the bus was the same that he had disembarked from a short time earlier.

   Thanks again and I hope this works a bit better.  :D

Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #658 on: December 30, 2008, 03:07:19 PM »
the flaming hulk of one of the inter-city buses
the flaming hulk of an inter-city bus

regaled a story in itself
ditch regaled, sounds so pretentious and jarring.
not sure what you should replace it with.
Never make a decision standing up.

Narnian Prince

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #659 on: December 30, 2008, 03:14:17 PM »
Thanks, Ollie.  Those are excellent points.  Perhaps I should have stuck with the original "told a story in itself" ?  Your submission of 'an' as opposed to 'one of the' also makes more sense.  How does the story grab you so far though?  :D