Author Topic: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?  (Read 745178 times)

Offline angelscribe

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #360 on: March 24, 2007, 07:07:09 AM »
Sorry Lin. I try to stop on topic to give Cindy advice about  agents.
My real name is Kristen. Please call me Kris.

Offline Bubbles

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #361 on: March 24, 2007, 12:19:08 PM »
Hi Everyone, I've been away so have not kept up with everything as I should have, but thought I'd post these few lines of a novel I tried to complete a few years ago.  (It has stalled, now.)


Ink, that's what the smell reminded her of.  It was as if she'd unscrewed a bottle of red Quink and poured it over her hands, but the memory of those peppery, ozone top-notes of schoolday fountain pens stopped there.  This liquid had darker undertones, meaty, rich.  As she pulled her palms apart, their glutinous soft suck was the only sound in the room.  She raised her hands to her face and pushed them, still hot and viscous, upwards into her hair in an act of annointment.

Offline Bubbles

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #362 on: March 24, 2007, 12:20:44 PM »
Crumbs, sorry, just read that it should have been ONE LINE.  Sorry folks, but I do get carried away!  Will make sure I read slowly next time.
Bubbles.

Offline angelscribe

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #363 on: March 24, 2007, 12:22:45 PM »
Bubbles, I think it's okay. Other entries looked like an opening paragraph than line. I'll be doing my revised one next week. Yours is good. Not bad.
My real name is Kristen. Please call me Kris.

Offline Hmmm

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #364 on: July 17, 2007, 01:51:52 AM »
Author: Myself. First paragraph, first chapter. [NB. This is a radio announcement, it's clear in the third paragraph. Posted second paragraph because it's only one line.]

The World Liberation Government is pleased to announce in its first Strategic Quarterly Moving Forwards Report the cancellation of the Internet for the safety of all World Citizens. The policy of continuous improvements, moving forwards and downsizing people's stress has been implemented ahead of schedule for the benefit of all stakeholders. It would not be an unwise decision if we all remain silent together to remember the tragic disappearances of our citizens who owned and operated their own websites and email accounts.

The WLG's Autothinker Undersecretary for Strategic Moving Forwards explains...

The complete works of George Orwell; books, essays, biography and more: george-orwell.org.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media. (Search Google and find the Wikipedia entry, and grab the DVD)

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #365 on: July 17, 2007, 04:07:08 AM »
First impressions for me on this one

Although it was technically very correct, I felt the following line was a bit heavy going for a first liner.

The policy of continuous improvements, moving forwards and downsizing people's stress has been implemented ahead of schedule for the benefit of all stakeholders

Hope this helps, maybe you could simplify this to make it sound less techinical and more involving

Lin

Offline ccff22290

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #366 on: July 17, 2007, 04:52:34 AM »
This is the opening paragraph of my middle-grade (9-12 yrs old) novel. Let me know what you think. If you like it, check out my posting in Review my work that I posted called, "Last revision. Feedback desperately needed on this. Very short chpt"


I'd like to know what all you wonderful people think of it (the paragraph, and hopefully the chapter. The chapter is very very short, only a few paragraphs. So if anyone could find the time, I look forward to the feedback.


Opening:

The man lifted the crying baby from the tree-carved crib, unable to bring himself to look down at the mother's lifeless accusing stare. He made a desperate escape from the family's home, leaving behind a trail of trouble. No time to run. With a quick Spell, he levitated off the ground, and flew away, heart thrashing.


So what do you all think of it?

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #367 on: July 17, 2007, 05:09:30 AM »
I felt there were too many letter C's in the first sentence.(crying, Tree-carved crib)   Trail of trouble was cliche and too many T's
Heart Thrashing gave me a vision of the heart outside of the body.

Perhaps this may help, just an example of how you can make your opening line more positive.

Raising the baby from the wooden crib, the man was unable to bring himself to look down at the mother's cold lifeless stare.

He spoke, casting a spell. (Maybe some dialogue here) Levitating off the ground, he disappeared, flying into the distance , the baby in his arms, his heart pounding.

I hope this helps.

Lin
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« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 05:11:32 AM by Lin »

Nadine L

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #368 on: July 17, 2007, 05:19:53 AM »
CC,

This is a bit literary, which of course I like right away. I like the alliterations. Perhaps, the beginning of the last line needs a bit of work. I like Lin's idea of the muttering of a short spell here, but only if you can come up with something short and perfect. "Spell" is not a proper noun; no caps. I still think this is perfect for an adult audience who will appreciate the flavor of your word choices and groupings. Perhaps, that is one of the rejection problems. What the heck, query it a couple of times as adult fantasy and see what you get in response.

Nadine
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 05:28:30 AM by Nadine L »

Offline ccff22290

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #369 on: July 17, 2007, 06:35:26 AM »
Thank you both.

Lin, I appreciate your advice, but there are a few things I should point out. The crib is not simply made of wood--it is a crib carved out of a tree, as the parents have a tie in with nature and the woods (it is a magical crib). Also, I don't really think making the opening more positive is the right move. It is supposed to be a dark scene, and there is nothing positive about darkness. And I think the 'Cs" give the prose of that section more umph and rhythm. And the mother's stare must be accusing, not simply lifeless and cold. Accusing has more impact, and as the book is written, the "accusing" factor is important. But thank you.

Nadine, I thought about the adult market, but for now it's still heading towards either YA or MG. Also, I have a virtual encyclopedia of spells I've created for this series. Maybe I will use one, so thank you both for that tidbit.

Thank you for the feedback.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 06:38:23 AM by ccff22290 »

Offline ccff22290

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #370 on: July 17, 2007, 06:42:36 AM »
How about this version (a few changes made)

The man lifted the crying baby from the tree-carved crib, unable to bring himself to look down at the mother's lifeless accusing stare. He made a desperate escape from the family's home, abandoning everything he had ever stood for. No time to run. With a quick spell, he levitated off the ground, and flew away, heart thundering.


Does this work better?

Lin

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #371 on: July 17, 2007, 06:43:06 AM »
I think I was looking at this from the point of view of the publisher reading it for the first time.   The example I gave may not have been factually correct but I hoped it would provide an example of how you could change your sentences around.  That's all.  
 

Lin
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Offline Hmmm

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #372 on: July 17, 2007, 06:45:48 AM »
First impressions for me on this one

Although it was technically very correct, I felt the following line was a bit heavy going for a first liner.

The policy of continuous improvements, moving forwards and downsizing people's stress has been implemented ahead of schedule for the benefit of all stakeholders

Hope this helps, maybe you could simplify this to make it sound less techinical and more involving

Lin

Thank you Lin. I'll take that advice throughout all my chapters, writing carefully and slowly instead of banging out 10,000 words a day and then trimming and editing.

Appreciated very much,

-- Praetorian
The complete works of George Orwell; books, essays, biography and more: george-orwell.org.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media. (Search Google and find the Wikipedia entry, and grab the DVD)

Offline Hmmm

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #373 on: July 17, 2007, 06:52:12 AM »
Lin, how about this?


The World Liberation Government is pleased to announce in its first Strategic Quarterly Moving Forwards Report the cancellation of the Internet. This is for the safety of all World Citizens. The policy of downsizing people's stress has also been implemented ahead of schedule for the benefit of all stakeholders, by adding Calmazepam to the world's water supplies.

Let us remain silent together to remember the tragic disappearances of our citizens who owned and operated their own websites and email accounts.

The WLG's Autothinker Undersecretary for Strategic Moving Forwards explains...

Edit: Spokesthinker was a mistake. It had always been autothinker, with a concept in the novel of autothink. It's derived from the verbal diarrhoea that Orwell writes about in his essay "Politics and the English Language" in which it comes out so easily that your words think your thoughts for you.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 08:58:59 AM by praetorian »
The complete works of George Orwell; books, essays, biography and more: george-orwell.org.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media. (Search Google and find the Wikipedia entry, and grab the DVD)

Offline Gyppo

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Re: First Liners - Would a publisher want to read more?
« Reply #374 on: July 17, 2007, 07:37:26 AM »
How about this version (a few changes made)

The man lifted the crying baby from the tree-carved crib,
I'm not just being contrary, but tree-carved crib just doesn't sound right.  Was it carved by a tree?

Okay, I've read your explanation and know what you mean but surely it reads better with the 'carved' first, and in this case, seeing as it's magical wouldn't it be bettter to specify the wood?

A hand carved Rowan crib (or magical wood of your choice) could perhaps help set the scene a little better.  Only one more word but a lot more information.

But, as always, everyone has to tell a tale in their own way.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1