Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 734567 times)

Offline chillies

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #780 on: March 07, 2009, 03:10:26 AM »
Quote
Joaquim 'Jokie' Reynolds deserved a better fate.  At the very least, he should have been spared the ignominy of the local loose tongued society.  Such as it was the discovery of his body by one of the founding members victimized him a second time.  His corpse, barely cold, was already being hotly debated when the coroner's van arrived.  The blowing snow from the overnight storm offered neither comfort or clue to those investigating with a better moral intent .

I think that's pretty good Narnian Prince. Personally I would have made one small change:

At the very least, he should have been spared the ignominy of the local loose tongued society - one of whose founding members discovered his body, thereby victimizing him a second time.

or something similar. However, I thought it was a great hook, and I would certainly want to read more.

chillies

Offline emma112

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #781 on: March 07, 2009, 08:22:50 AM »
Thanks!

It's supposed to be the beginning of a sentence, so I could change the wording around.
I do seem to have a problem with the words, however I haven't really had time to edit it at all. I just wrote it and thought it was a good idea at the time and never really looked at the wording. I just needed to know whether the whole concept of the idea was attention-grabbing.

Thank you!
Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #782 on: March 07, 2009, 11:37:10 AM »
At the very least, he should have been spared the ignominy of the local loose tongued society - one of whose founding members discovered his body, thereby victimizing him a second time.

or something similar. However, I thought it was a great hook, and I would certainly want to read more.


Thanks for this, chillies.  I really appreciate it.  I had considered what you wrote but was a bit apprehensive that some might consider the sentence to be too long.  I appreciate the help and encouragement though and will continue.  Thanks again.    :)

Offline Andrewf

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #783 on: March 07, 2009, 02:33:19 PM »
Hopefully this sounds like a good opening.
I don't know what the name of the chapter is going to be called yet, but I have an idea that it might be something like, Stalker.
Please tell me if you would read more. 

As I contemplated my life, in what seemed like only a few minutes, I suddenly heard the snapping of a twig in the woods behind me. My eyes shot open and I frantically searched the area, trying to find a cause to the sound I heard.

Thanks,
           Emma x x x

You don't always need a chapter title...  They can give away more than you intend... Unless you mean for the reader to guess what will happen from the chapter title. ;D

As a first line hook, this certainly works well enough. Bringing the reader swiftly into the story and engaging with a number of questions - Who is contemplating their life and why? And what or who is stalking them?
As Auddie mentioned, it could be tightened up and given even greater impact.  :)
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Offline emma112

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #784 on: March 07, 2009, 03:03:18 PM »
Thank you so much, Andrew!

I think this is like my 6th draft on the first chapter! It took me a while to realise that I didn't need so much description and had to basically get to the point! I finally cut about 3 pages out of the first chapter to get to this point. All I need to do now is change the wording around a bit. I may get Lin (orangutansaver) to help me with that, because she helped me with my preface and it turned out pretty brilliant! She's a life saver!

Thanks everyone for helping me out. I feel much more confident now!
Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Offline emma112

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #785 on: March 16, 2009, 05:30:23 PM »
Hey everyone!
I've redone my first paragraph of my first chapter, and just wanted to see what you all thought, because I value all your opinions! :D

As I momentarily contemplated my life, I could have sworn I heard the faint sound of a twig snapping from the direction of the woods behind me. My eyes shot open and I suddenly became very nervous, my breathing was way too fast and my heart was racing. I frantically looked around me, trying to find a cause to the sound I thought I heard.

Thanks! This is a great thread, but no one has visited it for a while, so I thought I would start it off again! :)

Speak soon!
Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Offline sonofdenis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #786 on: March 16, 2009, 06:47:28 PM »
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As I momentarily contemplated my life a bit of a fussy opening...read it out loud...it's a bit of a mouthfiul. Opening lines should be short, direct and easy on the head, I could have sworn I heard the faint  sound of a twig snapping from the direction of the woods behind me this is a great opening line. My eyes shot open and I suddenly became very nervous you're telling here - the following description conveys the charcters nervousness perfectly, my breathing was way too fast and my heart was racing. I frantically looked around me, trying to find a cause to the sound I thought I heard the source of the sound (maybe?)


You use a few claggy phrases and reduncies which bogs down what is, in essence, a short and sharp moment.  Try and convey the person's anxiety with short senctences and action verbs.

How about something like...

Quote
I heard a twig snap behind me.  I looked around the dense woodland, my heart racing and my breathing fast.  A movement behind the thick trunk of a larch.  The source of the sound?  I tripped and sprinted in the opposite direction.  I'll have to think about my past, present and future when I reach safety.

Not great, I know, but some tension is there and the reader is drawn in.

Offline misaditas

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #787 on: March 16, 2009, 06:55:47 PM »
Not great, I know, but some tension is there and the reader is drawn in.

Oh absolutely. Now I want to know why the writer is immediatey frightened? Are they running from something? Maybe they're on the run... from prison, perhaps.

That's a very good hook.
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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #788 on: March 16, 2009, 07:05:59 PM »
Emma, I was already to post a reply then saw sonofdennis suggestions.

They are so close to what I would have recommended. No point in repeating.  Just remember, easy on the adverbs and adjectives, short sentences for a greater impact.

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Offline sonofdenis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #789 on: March 16, 2009, 07:10:03 PM »
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Now I want to know why the writer is immediatey frightened

..and this is the key to good story telling - as long as the technicalities are in order, if you build the tension by (as c4gal says) using short sentences, easy on boggy words and phrases, then it doesn't matter that you're not writing to JM Ceotze standards. Just draw the reader in by feeding their intrigue.

Use the KISS technique - keep it simple, sailor!

Offline alienauthor

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #790 on: March 16, 2009, 07:23:02 PM »
This is the first paragraph of a novel I'm currently writing


Kory knelt behind the sage and gasped for air as he peered into a blue-black dusk that hadn’t come as quickly as he hoped for.  His eyes scanned the horizon.  First to the east, then west, and further ahead into the mountains. Could he could finally reach a neutral zone.  He dared not look behind for he knew no matter how far ahead he was, safety wouldn’t come until he reached Benjamin’s Pass.
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Offline sonofdenis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #791 on: March 16, 2009, 07:31:44 PM »
I usually despise the early morning mellee of the seagulls.  Screeching and fighting over scraps beneath the crustated beams of Teignmouth peir.  But not this morning.  This morning, with its dusky sky and crisp, fresh breeze, I felt lifted - supported by the gentle push of the tide advancing over the sandy beach.  Let them sing their war song.

Offline Don

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #792 on: March 16, 2009, 09:18:42 PM »
AlienAuthor -

This has potential but the sentences seem too long for the tension we are supposed to feel. I took the liberty of modifying this. I shortened some of the sentences to add intensity and bolded the changes.


Kory knelt behind the sage and gasped for air. His lungs burned as he peered into a blue-black dusk that hadn’t come as quickly as he hoped for enoughHis eyes[what else would he use?] He scanned the horizon.  First to the east, then west, and further open desert ahead into the mountains - . Could he could finally reach a the neutral zone by morning.  He dared not didn't look behind. for he knew no matter how far ahead he was, safety wouldn’t come until he reached Benjamin’s Pass.
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

Offline sonofdenis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #793 on: March 16, 2009, 09:26:27 PM »
It's so easy with fresh eyes!  Why are we so blinkered when it's out own work?

(this isn't a first line BTW ... merely an observation)

 ;)

Offline Don

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #794 on: March 16, 2009, 09:50:38 PM »
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Why are we so blinkered when it's out own work?

I'm sure the reason is similar to why our recorded voices sound so strangely different. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but when I do, I'll put it in a book and get rich. :)
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.