Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 745650 times)

Offline Zuluboy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #705 on: January 30, 2009, 02:45:31 PM »
His parents waited for him, deep traces of concern etched across their faces. He loaded his backpack into the trunk of the waiting car, slammed it shut and turned to face both Mother and Father. There were no more words left to share. They had all been spoken in the months preceding this day and each body, mind and spirit were utterly exhausted.

Nelodra

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #706 on: January 30, 2009, 02:52:24 PM »
The first three sentences work for me.

The last one doesn't. I would recommend ditching it. It's passive, and doesn't really tell us anything new.

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #707 on: January 31, 2009, 07:20:57 AM »
His parents waited for him, deep traces of concern etched across their faces. He loaded his backpack into the trunk of the waiting car, slammed it shut and turned to face both Mother and Father. There were no more words left to share. They had all been spoken in the months preceding this day and each body, mind and spirit were utterly exhausted.

Is this an opening line?

I think it needs some reason for the parents looking concerned when you start the story.  Why were they waiting for him?  To me this is a paragraph which perhaps should lead on from the reason.  You need to show some stronger impact to the first line.  Say why this is happening don't keep the reader guessing too much.  Some writers tend to think that they can "hide" the reason behind their words.  My personal opinion is show the reader most of it and keep someback for the mystery.  Maybe 60% show and the rest not show.  To me this is 75% NOT show.  Readers need a reason and then the mystery comes later with a solution. Tell me more about the genre and some background.

I have the feeling this is not an opening line??

I'm not sure but "mother and father" probably doesn't need capitals, it depends on your story line. Maybe " faced  anxious parents "or some alternative.


I agree with Nelodra, it doesnt say much especially to a publisher reading the opening para. 

Do some more and then re-post again - have another go.  I need to know more about the story as well but not in a synopsis, but within the body of the para.but keep it short, sharp and simple.   Show more don't hide it.

Good luck

Lin x

« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 07:25:00 AM by Orangutansaver »

Offline nswperson

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #708 on: February 01, 2009, 05:30:49 AM »



Elizabeth lay sprawled on her bed staring at the ceiling. She was contemplating her eighteenth birthday party that was to be held that evening. Her musings were of a nice warm summer evening in the spacious back yard, lit with billions of God’s stars and complemented by fairy lights supplied by Aunt Jessica and Uncle Jim.

She was a fairly popular girl, and the party would be a welcome event for the fifty or so invited guests.
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #709 on: February 01, 2009, 09:32:04 AM »
She was a fairly popular girl, and the party would be a welcome event for the fifty or so invited guests.

The thing that jumped out at me was the modifier used above. It weakens the sentence. Personally, I would delete it.
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Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #710 on: February 01, 2009, 11:15:45 AM »
For NSW


Elizabeth lay sprawled on her bed staring at the ceiling. She contemplated her eighteenth birthday party. A warm summer evening in the yard,  the fairy lights and her soaring popularity with the boys. 


I think this has more impact!!

Good luck

Lin x


« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 11:19:24 AM by Orangutansaver »

Offline Zuluboy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #711 on: February 01, 2009, 02:20:34 PM »
Truth. Where would I find It and what would It sound like? Truth chose to reveal Itself to me one day, in the smile of a middle-aged African man, when I was seated on the roadside, lost and alone in a country I had never previously imagined, with no idea of what direction to move in search of food and a bed to rest upon. This is both my story and yours. My Walk in Truth will draw you into yours. Walk with me, please.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #712 on: February 01, 2009, 03:54:44 PM »
Truth. Where would I find It and what would It sound like? Truth chose to reveal Itself to me one day, in the smile of a middle-aged African man, when I was seated on the roadside, lost and alone in a country I had never previously imagined, with no idea of what direction to move in search of food and a bed to rest upon. This is both my story and yours. My Walk in Truth will draw you into yours. Walk with me, please.

Zulu, I think you have a good story to tell and I enjoy trying to follow the trail you are leaving for us.

But if you could make parts of it more active, use more "show" and less "tell", it would better allow the reader to get the real feel of the journey.

If you will excuse me for rearranging, altering your words, I will attempt to show you what I mean.

_________

What now? I asked, as I sat on the side of an unknown road, in a strange country. I looked in both directions along the sandy road in the middle of the unknown; wondering which way would lead to the things needed to survive.

Help (I'm unsure about the following because I have no idea how important it is to your story "and the truth") came to me in the form in the smile of a middle-aged African man.

Some description of his surrounding, sand in his shoes, the smell of the air, what can he see as he looks around, would be good here.
_______


This is both my story and yours. My Walk in Truth will draw you into yours. Walk with me, please.

I can imagine this line finding a place of honor on the opening fly leaf of a book, but it feels out of place in the story itself.

I think I understand why you wrote the above. It feels like you want to entice the reader to continue reading. Unfortunately, in todays world that rarely works. You have to gain their interest in your story, write it so well that they can't bring themselves to pick up that bookmark, place it between the pages and close the book. Make them feel the need to keep reading because they can't wait to learn what happens next.

Asking them to read will rarely get them beyond the first page I fear.

I hope I'm not being too rough. I really do like your style, but that is probably because I grew up with two good story tellers in the family. Because of that, I can and do enjoy a good tale if the story teller knows what she/he is doing.

But there is a difference between a story teller and a story writer.

When the story is in black and white, the story teller looses the effect of their voice inflection, their facial expression and their body language.

When writing you story you need to make up for those missing things by making the story more active, which allows the reader to feel and see with their imagination.
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 Zuluboy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #713 on: February 02, 2009, 10:09:57 AM »
thanks Country4Gal. you've helped put into perspective what many have said, but which i could not understand in a practical and applicable way. you've really helped  :)

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #714 on: February 02, 2009, 10:15:22 AM »
You are welcome Zulu. But honestly, I am just passing on some of the help others have given to me when I needed it.

I do look forward to seeing more of your story. I have the feeling it will be worth the read.
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 nswperson

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #715 on: February 03, 2009, 04:24:55 AM »
To Country4Girl
and Orangutansaver

Thank you for your comments.  I appreciate them, and will consider these changes.
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Offline Katinka

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #716 on: February 14, 2009, 10:52:15 PM »
                                        Far From Forever
                                              Chapter 1

   ‘But how can Poppa breathe in there?' Olivia thought as she watched damp dirt settling over the rose she had tossed onto the coffin lid. The last time she saw his face, he seemed asleep in the satin-lined box, surrounded by flowers the likes she’d never known existed. The smell of roses and softly played hymns at the chapel had lifted her heart almost to happiness because it was all arranged so prettily for Poppa. She knew he was pleased to see so many people come to his funeral, but  now he was alone, enclosed in the box and sinking into the ground. 
             “Oh come on, Poppa; let's go home now!” she said reluctantly following the tug of her grandma’s hand. She turned and glanced back at the yawning hole that had swallowed her beloved Poppa. Resigned that he would stay behind when he didn't reappear, she walked on, holding fast to Grandma's hand.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #717 on: February 15, 2009, 11:38:31 AM »
Katinka, the only suggestion I have is a comma in the second paragraph, I've placed it in bold. I just felt it help separate her plea for Papa from the action.

The rest of it read smooth to me. I like it.

Smiles,
Alice

                                        Far From Forever
                                              Chapter 1

   ‘But how can Poppa breathe in there?' Olivia thought as she watched damp dirt settling over the rose she had tossed onto the coffin lid. The last time she saw his face, he seemed asleep in the satin-lined box, surrounded by flowers the likes she’d never known existed. The smell of roses and softly played hymns at the chapel had lifted her heart almost to happiness because it was all arranged so prettily for Poppa. She knew he was pleased to see so many people come to his funeral, but  now he was alone, enclosed in the box and sinking into the ground. 
             “Oh come on, Poppa; let's go home now!” she said, reluctantly following the tug of her grandma’s hand. She turned and glanced back at the yawning hole that had swallowed her beloved Poppa. Resigned that he would stay behind when he didn't reappear, she walked on, holding fast to Grandma's hand.
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 Katinka

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #718 on: February 15, 2009, 12:34:36 PM »
 ;D Thanks, Alice.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #719 on: February 15, 2009, 01:08:09 PM »
You are very welcome. I enjoy your writing.  :)
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