Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 745176 times)

Offline hazvy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1035 on: July 25, 2009, 02:57:17 PM »
Left behind, Peter was still in the middle of the dam which lay across river Ngozi while the other boys had swum and reached the banks already. Unaware of what was coming for him, he struggled as he always did when he was swimming. He persevered to catch up with the others but then his hands became weak. His legs were shaking. His hair stood up and the water swerved violently around him.








Thank you in advance ;D
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Offline R. L. Copple

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1036 on: July 25, 2009, 03:14:29 PM »
This is good in that you left us wondering what would happen next. Diving right into the action of  a situation can be one good way to start. The downside of it, is often the reader hasn't got to know the character yet, so it is hard for them to care about the danger they are in. But at least you do have the reader wondering why they are out there, why Peter is in the middle of the water, why is he slower than the rest, and what is about to happen to him. So it leaves you wanting to know the answers to those questions, and we would hope in the following paragraphs, come to care about Peter's situation.

One problem is the first image is muddled. You have him half way across a dam, which made me think he was on a dam walking across it, only to find out he's actually in the water. So maybe it is one of those dams where the water runs over the top? Yet it sounds like he's swimming across, not walking across. So I was a little confused right at first.

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1037 on: July 25, 2009, 04:10:47 PM »
Left behind, Peter was still in the middle of the dam which lay across river Ngozi while the other boys had swum and reached the banks already. Unaware of what was coming for him, he struggled as he always did when he was swimming. He persevered to catch up with the others but then his hands became weak. His legs were shaking. His hair stood up and the water swerved violently around him.
Would this be better? Is this an opening line BTW?  If so Left behind, is a little removed to open a sentence.

The dam across the River Ngozi was deep as it was wide.  Peter's friends had left him behind, the other boys already reaching the banks. Unaware of what lay beneath the dark water, he struggled to cross, his swimming stroke unpracticed and weak.  He felt unnerved as his hands became limp, his legs shook and as he thrashed around, his unease turned to fear, as a violent swirl of murky water snapped around him.

Does this fit?
Just an idea

Lin x




Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1038 on: July 25, 2009, 04:42:55 PM »
Left behind, Peter was still in the middle of the dam which lay across river Ngozi while the other boys had swum and reached the banks already. Unaware of what was coming for him, he struggled as he always did when he was swimming. He persevered to catch up with the others but then his hands became weak. His legs were shaking. His hair stood up and the water swerved violently around him.


Thank you in advance ;D

I like the comments and suggestion R. L. Copple gave you.

It would probably clear things up if you mentioned he was in 'the river, near the center of the dam' or words to that effect. Just to get his situation planted firmly in the reader's mind.

I couldn't help wondering if you meant 'swirled' instead of 'swerved' - but that could be a difference in the usage of our language that I'm not aware of.

All told, I think you have a good opening - one that inspires questions that requires further reading to find the answer to.

Smiles,
Alice

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Offline ma100

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1039 on: July 25, 2009, 05:28:43 PM »
Left behind, Peter was still in the middle of the dam which lay across river Ngozi while the other boys had swum and reached the banks already. Unaware of what was coming for him, he struggled as he always did when he was swimming. He persevered to catch up with the others but then his hands became weak. His legs were shaking. His hair stood up and the water swerved violently around him.

Caught in the undercurrent, Peter struggled in the middle of the dam. Unable to coordinate his limbs, he made a desperate attempt to regain a rhythm. The other boys climbed the bank of the Ngozi and he prayed they would notice his plight. Heavy-legged, he fought the violent vortex. His heart pounded as he felt the strength leaving his body.

I don't know what your story is about so this might not help you at all, but I think you need to bring in a bit of terror and show us he is in the middle of the water.

Uhm! I wonder if he gets out alive.  :)

Offline hazvy

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1040 on: July 26, 2009, 09:57:57 AM »
@R.L. COPPLE- thank you very much for reading my post. I see what you mean about the first image being muddled, will try and work on it. Hazvy

@ORANGUTANSAVER-Thanks for your comments. I like the way you wrote the last sentence of  your suggestion. Hazvy
 
@COUNTRY4GAL- Thank you very much for the comments, I will try to make it clear he was in the river and yes swirled is actually the correct word. Hazvy

@MA100- I like your choice of words [rich] and your idea might actually fit in with the story, I will see. As for what happens to Peter, I hope you will have the chance to read the whole book one day and find out, ;D thank you very much.  Hazvy
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Offline celtic_dancer

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1041 on: July 29, 2009, 12:22:32 PM »
R.L.: I'm really loving your second intro!! I'm in the midst of another crime novel but am toying with the idea of a modern grim reaper-type person. This is fantastic, though; I'd definitely read more. The way you just slip in the fact that the character has died is so matter-of-fact. Class!

Offline celtic_dancer

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1042 on: July 29, 2009, 12:23:46 PM »
bailish and cypher, thanks so much for the support :)

Offline Aspiring

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1043 on: August 02, 2009, 03:27:07 AM »
This is the intro to an adventure piece about my attempt to scale a particular mountain range.

I was on the side of the cliff looking down, sure of myself and my ability to succeed. I had no harness or partner, and was putting all my faith in a rope and a small tree at the top. This was when I needed to trust myself and hope I could see when I was taking it too far—to see when I was crossing that fine line between necessary and unnecessary risk.

Thanks in advance for the comments  :)
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Offline thatollie

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1044 on: August 19, 2009, 07:55:58 PM »
This is the intro to an adventure piece about my attempt to scale a particular mountain range.

I was on the side of the cliff looking down, sure of myself and my ability to succeed. I had no harness or partner, and was putting all my faith in a rope and a small tree at the top. This was when I needed to trust myself and hope I could see when I was taking it too far—to see when I was crossing that fine line between necessary and unnecessary risk.

Thanks in advance for the comments  :)


This needs more detail to get the reader into the scene. Engage the senses, is it cold or hot, does the rope feel rough in your hands, is there any wind?
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline howardgary_88

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1045 on: August 20, 2009, 10:14:55 AM »
 opening pice for a crime, mystery im writing.

               Beads of sweat formed on Jessies forehead and driped off the tip of his nose leaving water stains on his jeans.The hot muggy summer air made the grey cadillac parked infront of the convenient store feel more like a sauna. Jessies reached into the glove box and pulled out the silver .38 special, it was now or never.

Offline silverhearts7

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1046 on: August 20, 2009, 12:31:59 PM »
AUTHOR LIN

The Chief Steward sat with his crotchet work on his knee.  He was watching a movie.   The other officers and crew sat silently, but the Chief had seen the movie before and at the moment he remembered when the cat sprang out from behind the curtains, he was ready to pounce with his knitting!! NOW COPY AND PASTE AND COMMENT


Okay, I'll take this one on.  Lin,  I liked this.  It's creative, and it draws a less-than-stereotypical picture of a police chief.  However, the second sentence is long and rather awkward.  You might try breaking it up so that it will flow better and not make the reader stumble.  would I read more of this?  Sure. 

Laura

Offline silverhearts7

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1047 on: August 20, 2009, 12:39:03 PM »
Darkness surrounded Megan and she could not tell which way was up. The young Cherokee stood in the middle of the black void. Mud brown corduroys and a grey hooded sweat shirt clothed her tall, slender form. She wore a pair of moccasins, lined with fur. Megan stepped forward, walking quietly. Emerging like a ghost, a large albino wolf appeared and padded towards Megan; it was bigger than normal wolves, as lean and graceful as a snow leopard. Megan stared, entranced by the beast’s electric blue eyes. Megan knelt down and the wolf touched her with his sleek muzzle.

________________________

Okay my first question, why can't she tell "which way is up?"  She's standing up, and unless she's drugged, she would know up from down.  Also, as someone else stated, is she the Cherokee in question?  Be clearer.  Next, engage our senses.  All we have is that it's dark.  What does she smell?  Is it cold, do goosebumps raise on her arms when she sees the wolf?  Why isn't she afraid of the wolf?  We're instinctively afraid of these animals.  You could consider that she would be afraid, but for some reason she couldn't move, captivated by his eyes. 

It's an interesting beginning, but needs a bit of polish. 

Offline silverhearts7

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1048 on: August 20, 2009, 12:46:50 PM »
opening pice for a crime, mystery im writing.

               Beads of sweat formed on Jessies forehead and driped off the tip of his nose leaving water stains on his jeans.The hot muggy summer air made the grey cadillac parked infront of the convenient store feel more like a sauna. Jessies reached into the glove box and pulled out the silver .38 special, it was now or never.

This needs editing for punctuation and capitalization.

Jessie's, Cadillac, convenience store.  Jessie reached.  .38 Special. 

Also, break that last bit out into its own sentence.  Jessie reached into the glove box and pulled out the silver .38 Special.  It was now or never. 

Finally, you did well letting us see the sweat.  You SHOWED us he was hot, possibly a bit nervous, with this rather than telling.  Good job.  But let us feel how he feels about the gun before you rush us into action.  We see he's nervous, but who is he and why is he there?  Give just a few hints before he jumps out of the car with a gun. 


Offline silverhearts7

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1049 on: August 20, 2009, 12:50:12 PM »
Here are the first lines of my current WIP.

His fingers groped between his feet on the floorboard, his other hand on the steering wheel. 

“Matt?”

Damnit!  Why is everyone driving so slowly?   He swerved, narrowly missing the car in front of him as he grabbed the dropped cell phone, jerking it up to his ear.

“I’m here!  I’m coming, sweetheart.  Everything will be okay.”  Sweat formed on his brow, and he swiped across his face to keep it from dripping into his eyes.