Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 750691 times)

Offline JMartinCox

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1050 on: August 21, 2009, 08:43:45 PM »
Author: JMC

My father claimed that beauty is pain viewed through the prism of art, and he really believed it. He believed that in the same way that a prism takes white light and separates it into its component colors and they are beautiful, so art takes pain, separates it into its component parts, and allows us to see the beauty contained within it.

I say he was full of shit.

Offline R. L. Copple

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1051 on: September 03, 2009, 01:35:50 AM »
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!

Thank you. I really want to come up with a better line for my third book, which hasn't been published yet, but will probably be next year. I have to admit, I am partial to that opening in Transforming Realities too.

Offline R. L. Copple

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1052 on: September 03, 2009, 01:41:52 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  :)


What I felt was missing from this was emotion/tension. Dangling by a rope on a cliff should produce some sense of anxiety for the reader. Describing the details of wind, crumbling rock, the creaking of the rope, etc. Then have the MC say, "Have I taken this too far? Should I be risking my life like this for sport?" Leave the reader with a sense of unease. What you have here creates too much confidence that everything is fine. No tension, no emotion. It will be hard to get people to read on unless they are immensely interested in cliff-climbing.

Offline R. L. Copple

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1053 on: September 03, 2009, 01:49:13 AM »
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. 

Not bad. I feel like we need to back up a little more to get in the scene better. I'm thinking right when the cell phone slips from his hand and falls on the floor. Maybe a thought or two as to what his rush is and what is going on. Though I don't know, I suspect his wife is pregnant and about to have the baby, and he's racing home to take her to the hospital.

Offline R. L. Copple

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1054 on: September 03, 2009, 01:50:31 AM »
Author: JMC

My father claimed that beauty is pain viewed through the prism of art, and he really believed it. He believed that in the same way that a prism takes white light and separates it into its component colors and they are beautiful, so art takes pain, separates it into its component parts, and allows us to see the beauty contained within it.

I say he was full of shit.

A good start. I'd probably read further, if for no other reason than to discover what the pov character's real thoughts on this subject are.

Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1055 on: September 05, 2009, 01:37:16 AM »
Author: JMC

My father claimed that beauty is pain viewed through the prism of art, and he really believed it. He believed that in the same way that a prism takes white light and separates it into its component colors and they are beautiful, so art takes pain, separates it into its component parts, and allows us to see the beauty contained within it.

I say he was full of shit.


This was such a pretty beginning, and so blunt. I gotta say, it really pulled me in.  I want to know what the main character's thoughts really are. However, this is setting your story up to be blunt and saracastic and funny, so hopefully that was the tone you were going for. Also, it is a beginning that's been done before, but because of the originality in the father's view of pain and beauty, I think it works.
~~ And in those deepest hours

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And magic do I make   ~~

Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1056 on: September 05, 2009, 01:39:46 AM »
This is fun.


Her blood stained the leaves as she scraped her way through the woods. She pleaded for someone to help her, but no one came to her aid. She could feel him getting closer, so she crawled faster.


Your beging is good! Exciting! The only thing I would change is to take out the "so", which slows the pace down, so it reads "she could feel him getting closer; she crawled faster".   :D
~~ And in those deepest hours

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Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1057 on: September 05, 2009, 01:47:26 AM »
Now, does anyone want to gimme their opinion on mine?


Author: Ri

This is the prologue beginning:

Jonas stood in the center of the crowded inn. Barely a day had passed since he had left the princess alone in Sorrowood Forest.  Almost every moment, part of him was praying that she would complete the job he had bequeathed unto her. He hoped that she fully understood the importance of her task, for the necessity of success had just become greater.


And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

Summer ended that morning. She said good bye with one last warm day and a sunrise that was so spectacular, it made even the lights of the north seem bland.



Feedback would be great! Especially on whether or not "bequeathed unto her" is too wordy. Should I just say "given" instead? I feel like I should...
Thanks in advance for the comments! ;D
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

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And magic do I make   ~~

Offline Andrewf

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1058 on: September 05, 2009, 04:10:39 PM »
Author: Ri

This is the prologue beginning:

Jonas stood in the center of the crowded inn. Barely a day had passed since he had left the princess alone in Sorrowood Forest.  Almost every moment, part of him was praying that she would complete the job he had bequeathed unto her. He hoped that she fully understood the importance of her task, for the necessity of success had just become greater.


And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

Summer ended that morning. She said good bye with one last warm day and a sunrise that was so spectacular, it made even the lights of the north seem bland.

"bequeathed unto her" is a bit long winded...  possibly simply  "bequeathed her" would suffice.  Although using "bequeathed" at all makes it sound like Jonas is dead and I don’t know if that was the intention.


Nice start to the first chapter though...  maybe do away with the prologue, or move it to later in the story... ;D
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1059 on: September 05, 2009, 04:13:24 PM »
"bequeathed unto her" is a bit long winded...  possibly simply  "bequeathed her" would suffice.  Although using "bequeathed" at all makes it sound like Jonas is dead and I don’t know if that was the intention.


Nice start to the first chapter though...  maybe do away with the prologue, or move it to later in the story... ;D


Thanks. I kinda felt the same way about the bequeathed thing.
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline ma100

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1060 on: September 05, 2009, 04:20:57 PM »
Hi Ri, good to meet you. :)

Jonas stood in the center of the crowded inn. Barely a day had passed since he had left the princess alone in Sorrowood Forest.  Almost every moment, part of him was praying that she would complete the job he had bequeathed unto her. He hoped that she fully understood the importance of her task, for the necessity of success had just become greater.

You start with Jonas in the centre of the inn then seem to go off at a tangent with telling us about a bequeath. Perhaps it would be better to open with the necessity so you can pull the reader in.


And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

Summer ended that morning. She said good bye with one last warm day and a sunrise that was so spectacular, it made even the lights of the north seem bland.

Weather is never a good start to a story mate unless the lightening struck Joe Bloggs and screaming he hurtled off a cliff. ;D Okay that is way over the top, but do you get what I mean?

Action and emotion is something to aim at. :)



Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1061 on: September 05, 2009, 04:37:26 PM »
Hi Ri, good to meet you. :)

Jonas stood in the center of the crowded inn. Barely a day had passed since he had left the princess alone in Sorrowood Forest.  Almost every moment, part of him was praying that she would complete the job he had bequeathed unto her. He hoped that she fully understood the importance of her task, for the necessity of success had just become greater.

You start with Jonas in the centre of the inn then seem to go off at a tangent with telling us about a bequeath. Perhaps it would be better to open with the necessity so you can pull the reader in.


And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

Summer ended that morning. She said good bye with one last warm day and a sunrise that was so spectacular, it made even the lights of the north seem bland.

Weather is never a good start to a story mate unless the lightening struck Joe Bloggs and screaming he hurtled off a cliff. ;D Okay that is way over the top, but do you get what I mean?

Action and emotion is something to aim at. :)




I know what you mean about that Jonas bit. It's a niggling part for me and I'm trying to get it right. Thanks for the advice.

And about the second part, what if Summer is a character?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 04:39:29 PM by Ri »
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline Andrewf

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1062 on: September 05, 2009, 04:42:13 PM »
And about the second part, what if Summer is a character?

 :D :D :D  To be honest... that was what i'd assumed you meant. ;D  that Summer was a woman who died...
"If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion." - L. Long.

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Ask about eBook versions if required.

Offline ma100

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1063 on: September 05, 2009, 04:42:31 PM »
If Summer is a character I would definitely steer clear of the weather and avoid confusion. The first couple of paras is a chance to snare the reader and keep them. They will then want to read on. :)

Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1064 on: September 05, 2009, 04:50:42 PM »
Hmmm. But Summer is summer...she's the season...kinda like the goddes of summer...hmmm I need to work on this.

Thank you, both Andrewf and Ma100. Your posts have shown me exactly what I need to fix. This is the kind of feedback I really need, because, as the author, I know and understand everything that is going on, but whether the readers understand it is something else completely. And that's always what I worry about, whether the readers know what I am talking about. Thanks!
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~