Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 734894 times)

pojoy1029

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #225 on: November 27, 2006, 12:07:31 AM »
What a good idea! Here's the first few lines of my in-progress novel:

"We're waiting for Grandmother to arrange our futures! I promised myself I'd never do that again," Susan groused. They were sitting in the library waiting for Mr. Harcourt, Grandmother's lawyer.

The three of them had come to her funeral. Not out of obligation. Nor respect. They came simply to make certain she was dead....


Would you want to read more? Why? Why not? Any input welcome.

Joy

pojoy1029

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #226 on: November 27, 2006, 12:23:39 AM »
Jennifer Jones sit's in her bedroom with a gallon of Vodka, her prescription of sleeping pills and some barbituates she wonder if it's enough to do the job, she has been doing this same routine for a year now. Wishing she has the nerve to take her own life, like she took life of her unborn child who was living and growing in her womb.


It sounds like a good idea for a book or short story, but I feel you give us too much information at the very beginning. I like the idea of past tense also. A gallon of vodka? That's enough to kill her without anything else!

Jennifer Jones sat in her darkened bedroom, mind-numbing Vodka beside her on the table, thinking the same thoughts and drinking herself into a stupor as she had for the past year. She'd thought, if she got drunk enough, she could swallow the sleeping pills and barbituates end her miserable existence. She'd taken the life of her unborn child; why couldn't she manage to take her own?

Just some suggestions; as with all suggestions, they are yours to use or toss. Hope they help.

Joy

Nadine L

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #227 on: November 27, 2006, 02:01:52 AM »
Carrie,

I like the second one better, too.  I like the word choices and that the technical stuff isn't right up front, but coming, nonetheless. Loved "Status symbol; trials were successful" both hint at the scientific/tech and human side of the story. The anticipation factor rates highly here (for me).

Out-lander,

Humm.  Yes, I'd say you have the hopelessness and trapped bid down.  Felt like the next sentence was..."he banged his head on the wall repeatedly." I do want to read on, but also I'm not sure I am up to reading about a hopeless situation...does that make sense?  Maybe if I felt the next sentence was, "no escape, except possibly, if everything was just right..." something with a glimmer of hope even if it involved a struggle with unlikely odds of success.  Nicely done, though.

pojoy1029,
I really like the last line, which of course probably needs the preceding lines for the set up.  If this continues to have this level of character disobedience to the dictates of society...politely, but honestly disobedient...then, I'm in to learn more about grandmother and family...and probably glad she wasn't my grandmother.

I'm not as keen on the second one. The writing is fine and sets the mood. You'd have to swiftly move away from suicide and abortion...neither of which I would read about for recreational reading...to keep me reading.  Quite honestly, I probably wouldn't get past this part.  My profession deals with rather serious topics, so this is probably not my novel of choice.  However, that is just me.  Some people really like this level of intense reading.

That's it for me. (Probably plenty)  ;D

Nadine

Offline Out-lander

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #228 on: November 27, 2006, 09:58:34 AM »
To my ear they both seem to be 'in the present', but the -ing join the parts together making a longer sentence. It depends on whether you want  longer sentences or, by changing it to '-ed' words, rack up the pace by breaking it up with full stops and shorten the sentences.

MaomiM -

I most certainly see your point and thanks for the examples they work perfectly. I will need to work with it some more

Humm.  Yes, I'd say you have the hopelessness and trapped bid down.

Nadine L -

Thanks for your response. Our protaganist is certainly in a dire situation.  I have included the next few lines to see if its what you expected. It carries on directly from the last part.

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These thoughts brought a fresh wave of sobbing, trembling anguish. He jammed the heels of his hands into his eyes and rocked on the box he was sitting on. A low moan escaped him as he wished himself away. His mind curled into a foetus as he imagined far away places, so warm, so sunny and pleasant. No one to beat him, no one to keep him awake for days, forcing him to work without food, without water.
   He found himself in the bad place, the comfortable darkness of his mind. The place where the easy answers lay. It seemed so simple. All it would take was a sip of cooling fluid, a minute’s discomfort, and he would be free. But no! That was not the answer. There was still a way.
--------------------

Many thanks to all who have taken the time to read this.

N.Mott

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #229 on: November 27, 2006, 12:25:33 PM »
Quote
These thoughts brought a fresh wave of sobbing, trembling anguish. He jammed the heels of his hands into his eyes and rocked on the box he was sitting on. A low moan escaped him as he wished himself away. His mind curled into a foetus as he imagined far away places, so warm, so sunny and pleasant. No one to beat him, no one to keep him awake for days, forcing him to work without food, without water.
   He found himself in the bad place, the comfortable darkness of his mind. The place where the easy answers lay. It seemed so simple. All it would take was a sip of cooling fluid, a minute’s discomfort, and he would be free. But no! That was not the answer. There was still a way.

I'm afraid I'm not one for prolonged outpourings of angst. I liked the 'foetus' bit and the phrase 'comfortable darkness of his mind', but did get a bit annoyed by the All it would take was a sip of cooling fluid, a minute’s discomfort, and he would be free. But no! That was not the answer. It's never a good idea to admit there is a simple way out, if the reader is empathising with the character they will wonder why he doesn't take it, unless you are referring to suicide, in which case you should emphasis the point.

Nadine L

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #230 on: November 27, 2006, 02:39:12 PM »
Naomi,

I thought the reference was to suicide.  Not one of the topics I chose to read.  The danger in suicidal characters is if a suicidal reader get the wrong idea...some people don't need much of a push over the line. It's not my cup of tea to risk that danger.

Nadine

N.Mott

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #231 on: November 27, 2006, 03:38:02 PM »
Quote
The danger in suicidal characters is if a suicidal reader get the wrong idea...some people don't need much of a push over the line. It's not my cup of tea to risk that danger.

I've got nothing against writing about suicide - Nick Hornby's Long Way Down probably deserves it's position in the bestseller lists. But, like you, it's not something I would ever choose to read.

Offline Out-lander

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #232 on: November 27, 2006, 03:47:33 PM »
The reference was to suicide. However, as its not a subject matter I spend any time reading about, my attempt at showing his level of desperation may not be very good.  i will rethink this and may remove it all together.

Many thanks for your comments they are very much appreciated.

Nadine L

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #233 on: November 27, 2006, 05:12:30 PM »
Out-lander,

Maybe just start a bit earlier than this scene...and bring us to this point rather than start us here...even if you only back up a few hours.

Would that work?

Nadine

Offline Out-lander

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #234 on: November 27, 2006, 07:50:57 PM »
Out-lander,

Maybe just start a bit earlier than this scene...and bring us to this point rather than start us here...even if you only back up a few hours.

Would that work?

Nadine

Nadine

Its the very begining of the book.  Those are actually the opening lines.  You see, Mnoop is an engineer who is being held captive and brutalised into maintaining the station is is held captive on.  originally the opening was this...

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‘Click’, nothing.
‘Click, click’, nothing.
‘Click, click, clickclickclickclick’, nothing.

“Damn it!”

Mnoop was certain or at least as certain as he could be that the wiring behind the switch panel was OK. He had not actually checked it recently, but hoped it was and in his mind’s eye he could see the sparklingly clean connections all happily joined together: so it should work, shouldn’t it?

‘Click, click, clickety, click’    Engineer’s empathy be damned.


-----------------------

...but after reading some of the advisories on these forums. I did not think that the click click opening had enough of a hook, so I tried a different approach, the one previously discussed.

If you want I can post some of chapter one in the other forum so you can see where it leads.

What do you think?

Many thanks.



N.Mott

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #235 on: November 28, 2006, 04:07:58 PM »
Out-lander go ahead and post more of the chapter.
I liked this clicking start to the chapter, but would only work if it was a comedy. In the context of a brutilized human, it was probably best to cut it.

N.Mott

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #236 on: December 01, 2006, 10:09:34 AM »

Enough was enough; I had procrastinated for far too long. Wasting my life away, always putting things off until tomorrow, but tomorrow somehow never came. It was ideal then that I was living in sunny Spain, I had the perfect excuse; every thing here was manana, so the saying goes. I was sick of looking at my misserable haggard face every morning and in the mirror, seeing only a trace of the old Diane.


I enjoyed the breeziness and pace of these opening lines. A very good start.

Although they do work in this context, my only concern would be what an agent would think of having 3 metaphors-type phrases in the first paragraph.
Procrastinated for far too long
tomorrow somehow never came
everything here was manana

Possibly choose between 'procrastination' or 'tomorrow', but that's just a suggestion, and I don't really see that it matters.
You might want to watch out for cliches and metaphors is they are present on every page, and have a bit of a pruning session.

:)

Offline Andrew Watt

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #237 on: December 02, 2006, 11:43:39 AM »
Enough was enough; I had procrastinated for far too long. Wasting my life away, always putting things off until tomorrow, but tomorrow somehow never came. It was ideal then that I was living in sunny Spain, I had the perfect excuse; every thing here was manana, so the saying goes. I was sick of looking at my misserable haggard face every morning and in the mirror, seeing only a trace of the old Diane.

Works pretty well, I think.

See if you like any of the changes in the following:

"Enough was enough. I had been wasting my life for too many years now. Always putting things off until a tomorrow that never came. I had my excuse, of course, living in sunny Spain, where everything was manana. But I was sick of looking at my miserable, haggard face, seeing in the mirror only a trace of the old Diane who had been so full of hope. I knew I had to step out of my comfortable rut. The only question was, did I have the courage to do it?"

Andrew

Dizi_Di

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Re: Sticky: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #238 on: December 05, 2006, 05:38:53 AM »

Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, one too many metaphor. I just wanted to give impact to the nothingness  of my life at that time but it can work just as well with less.

Thanks again Diane

Dizi_Di

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more? FFEDBACK FORUM
« Reply #239 on: December 05, 2006, 06:03:38 AM »
Okay I'll try

'I had settled, I knew that.  I wasn't stupid, but where the hell was that punch in the chest, the melting of my limbs?.  All the films said that when you were least expecting it, he would appear and you wouldn't even know he would be the one for you, the one who's kiss would take your breathe away, would leave you begging for more.  Hell, I hate Hollywood!!' 

perhaps start with,  Where the hell was that punchin the chest........  or another word for hell as you bring it in later. Hell I hate Hollywood.