Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 745118 times)

Offline Kestrel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1065 on: September 06, 2009, 06:09:20 AM »
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.

To be honest, "bequeathed" is a turn off.  I'd say just use "given".  And I think it would be less wordy if you changed "for the necessity of success" to "for the price of failure", because if you're reading "necessity of success" out loud, it's a bit of a mouthful/tongue-twister.

And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

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

I really like this first chapter opening.  I like both of them a lot, there's just those couple little things that need tweaking.  :)  Hope I helped!
Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars... spinning through an empty, black vacuum for the rest of your life.  What a crappy consolation prize. ;)

My epic YA fantasy, The Night:
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Offline Kestrel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1066 on: September 06, 2009, 06:19:25 AM »
Author: Kestrel (That's me. ;) )

These are the first bits of the prologue and first chapter of my epic YA fantasy novel, The Night.  :)

Opening to the prologue (The Necklace)--

Siri paused to catch her breath, the mist heavy in her lungs, and cool mud seeped between her toes.  A muted splash sounded among the trees, and she whipped around to face it, then relaxed.

Opening to the first chapter (An Unwelcome Proposal)--

The small, black stone around her neck came free of its hiding place and caught her attention with its unearthly glow.  Aerael looked around before quickly tucking it back beneath her collar-- both she and her parents would be in serious trouble if someone saw it.  After another glance through the tavern, she returned to the dirty dishes left over from the morningís visitors.

So what do you think?  Good?  Bad?  Ugly?  Thanks for your comments!  ;D
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 06:51:55 AM by Kestrel »
Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars... spinning through an empty, black vacuum for the rest of your life.  What a crappy consolation prize. ;)

My epic YA fantasy, The Night:
First Post

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1067 on: September 06, 2009, 09:19:01 AM »
Quote
The small, black stone around her neck came free of its hiding place and caught her attention with its unearthly glow.  Aerael looked around before quickly tucking it back beneath her collar-- both she and her parents would be in serious trouble if someone saw it.  After another glance through the tavern, she returned to the dirty dishes left over from the morningís visitors.

Kestrel, I liked the opening for the first chapter quite a bit. You made me want to read on to learn the why the black stone around her neck glowed and to learn the secret behind it.

But " tucking it back beneath her collar" sounds wrong to me. A collar is only around the neck, so unless she is wearing a top that comes right up to the neck, it fails to make sense, to me at least. Maybe simply "tucked it back into her bodice (or blouse)"

But over all, I like it a lot.

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Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1068 on: September 06, 2009, 07:09:52 PM »
Author: Kestrel (That's me. ;) )

These are the first bits of the prologue and first chapter of my epic YA fantasy novel, The Night.  :)

Opening to the prologue (The Necklace)--

Siri paused to catch her breath, the mist heavy in her lungs, and cool mud seeped between her toes.  A muted splash sounded among the trees, and she whipped around to face it, then relaxed.



I liked it! But during the prologue, I kinda felt like you slowed things down by adding ďandsĒ. If that was what you were going for, then itís good. But if not, maybe you could get rid of some of the ands and start new sentences instead to up the drama.

Siri paused to catch her breath. The mist heavy in her lungs, and cool mud seeped between her toes.  A muted splash sounded among the trees, and. She whipped around to face it, then relaxed.

The first chapter beginning sounded perfect to me!
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 07:17:30 PM by Ri »
~~ 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 #1069 on: September 06, 2009, 07:16:16 PM »
Author: Ri

To be honest, "bequeathed" is a turn off.  I'd say just use "given".  And I think it would be less wordy if you changed "for the necessity of success" to "for the price of failure", because if you're reading "necessity of success" out loud, it's a bit of a mouthful/tongue-twister.

And this is the first chapter's first sentence:

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

I really like this first chapter opening.  I like both of them a lot, there's just those couple little things that need tweaking.  :)  Hope I helped!

Thanks for the advice! I actually ended up making those exact same changes in the first chapter, like fifteen minutes before you posted this. WeirdÖ  0_o

The bequeathed bit is dead. I never really liked it and Iím glad no one else did either. Itís just too strange. And thanks for the price of failure bit. It sounds a lot better. If you donít mind, can I steal it?
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline Kestrel

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1070 on: September 07, 2009, 03:14:52 AM »
The bequeathed bit is dead. I never really liked it and Iím glad no one else did either. Itís just too strange. And thanks for the price of failure bit. It sounds a lot better. If you donít mind, can I steal it?

Steal away. ;)
Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars... spinning through an empty, black vacuum for the rest of your life.  What a crappy consolation prize. ;)

My epic YA fantasy, The Night:
First Post

Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1071 on: September 07, 2009, 02:10:48 PM »
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline psyche

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1072 on: September 07, 2009, 02:32:06 PM »
I'll play. Keep in mind, this is my first draft.


The summer when I was twelve years old, my grandmother kidnapped me, breaking loose all sorts of hell and healing, regret and understanding, lessons and love. I highly recommend it.
If music be the food of love, play on" ~ Shakespeare

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Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1073 on: September 07, 2009, 03:00:48 PM »
I'll play. Keep in mind, this is my first draft.


The summer when I was twelve years old, my grandmother kidnapped me, breaking loose all sorts of hell and healing, regret and understanding, lessons and love. I highly recommend it.

I like the first sentence, but the second didn't make too much sense. You recommend what? Being kidnapped by a grandma? I assume that's what you meant, but if we had another setence to make sure of that, I think it would be clearer. What comes after the 'I highly recommend it' part?
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline psyche

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1074 on: September 07, 2009, 03:38:35 PM »
I like the first sentence, but the second didn't make too much sense. You recommend what? Being kidnapped by a grandma? I assume that's what you meant, but if we had another setence to make sure of that, I think it would be clearer. What comes after the 'I highly recommend it' part?

That bit has been bothering me too. You are right. I've got a second write now on it. It seems to flow better this way, what do you think?

I was 12 years old the summer my grandmother kidnapped me. It was an adventure, a lesson in life and love and family, and it seems to me that it all started over the supper table.
If music be the food of love, play on" ~ Shakespeare

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Offline Ri

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1075 on: September 07, 2009, 06:31:12 PM »
That bit has been bothering me too. You are right. I've got a second write now on it. It seems to flow better this way, what do you think?

I was 12 years old the summer my grandmother kidnapped me. It was an adventure, a lesson in life and love and family, and it seems to me that it all started over the supper table.


Love it  :D
It sounds like a great opener, and it gives a lot of information in a neat little package. I like the super table part, especially. Just quirky enough to keep me interested, but not too random.
~~ And in those deepest hours

When nary a soul's awake

I sit before my squeaking desk

And magic do I make   ~~

Offline Analysis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1076 on: September 07, 2009, 07:11:26 PM »
Author: psyche
I like this version better, but I think a couple words could be taken out, since your character is the narrator.  Also, numbers should almost always be spelt out in writing.  Ousting an "and" would smooth it out as well, and a comma or two should be replaced by an em dash or semicolon for grammatical correctness.
I was 12 [twelve] years old the summer my grandmother kidnapped me. It was an adventure,[-- or ;] a lesson in life and[,] love[,] and family,[-- or ;] and it seems to me that it all started over the supper table.
(I prefer the em dash.)
So it reads smoother, like this--
I was twelve years old the summer my grandmother kidnapped me. It was an adventure-- a lesson in life, love, and family-- and it seems that it all started over the supper table.
Donít let your victories go to your head, or your failures to your heart.

Offline FJ

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1077 on: September 07, 2009, 09:08:16 PM »
I just joined this site. I hope it will make me a better writer and show me what I am doing wrong.  I wonder how many classic novels from the past  would be turned down by agents today if they just based their decisions on the first few words. The passage below is from a book I just completed.

Zee Montgomery was never one of the popular girls, not that it really mattered to her. Itís not that she wasnít attractive, it was more of a style choice that prevented her from being accepted by many of the other kids in school.

Offline Analysis

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1078 on: September 08, 2009, 02:49:07 AM »
Author: FJ
I just joined this site. I hope it will make me a better writer and show me what I am doing wrong.  I wonder how many classic novels from the past  would be turned down by agents today if they just based their decisions on the first few words. The passage below is from a book I just completed.

Zee Montgomery was never one of the popular girls, not that it really mattered to her. Itís not that she wasnít attractive, it was more of a style choice that prevented her from being accepted by many of the other kids in school. [It might be more wordy than needed, but that's just my opinion.]
My take-- (This slims your first sentences from 43 words to 36.)
Zee Montgomery was never one of the popular girls, not that it really mattered to her.  Itís not that she wasnít attractive, it was more a style choice that denied her the acceptance of her classmates.

With a few minor tweaks to smooth and sharpen, I really like it.  (With your comment on classics, I was bit confused if you'd just completed the book, as in, just read it, or just completed the book, as in, just wrote it.  I'm assuming the latter. ;D)  It makes me want to read more about this quirky "Zee" character, so good job!
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Offline journolady

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #1079 on: September 08, 2009, 10:05:07 AM »
Hi,
I am new here, but seems to me this is a good place to find out how my novel is doing. The whole site I mean. To begin with, I would like to put in my first para and see what responses I get. Its not comtemprorary but well, lets see how it goes.

Joshua live a simple life, he tended his sheep and provided for his family. His family had little by way of possessions but their belief in Yahweh was strong. He and his family diligently followed the Jewish customs, kept the commandments and regularly went to Jerusalem to offer their yearly offerings as did people in his village near Bethlehem.
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