Author Topic: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?  (Read 6130 times)

Dawn

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2018, 11:19:01 AM »
@Dawn. Scenes from the Museum was, I think, one of Kate Atkinson's first books. She won the Bridport prize with the first chapter, which is brilliant and worth a read on its own. :-*

Fantastic, thanks for the heads up, sounds a good read.

ST

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 12:48:52 AM »
Okay, back at the farm(old site) used to love these snippets, so thought to resurrect here! ;)

Here's a little something to kick things off.


On October 31, for no other reason than it falls on a Monday, I leave my wife. Monday’s make a tidy start. Later the irony of the date, Halloween, with a blackness of ceremonies, witches and curses, will not be lost on me. I should have picked a better day.

On Monday, I will leave my wife. Monday's make a tidy start.

*
For now, I thought this was all you needed. That's about as far as a step into the future, I'm willing to step foot in, and that is to an event with open possibilities. Using words like 'later/will not/should have' end up finite and lead no further.  So with your next edit, consider looking ahead in the story and see if some of these facts can be of better use then. I can picture all sorts of directions this can go. :)

Thanks for the offering
 

Mrs N

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2018, 11:46:46 PM »
Thanks for the read, ST. Always love your thoughts. 8)

Still revamping, so much will go... :D :D

Lin Treadgold

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2018, 12:36:10 PM »
I hope I got this right.

Monday's? Do you mean this to be plural
Mondays make a tidy start.

You do have an impact beginning, but I thought you could do better.

How about

 On Monday I left my wife.

 I dont think you need the rest.  Those six words say it all, I think. I think it best to say the character has already left his wife so that the reader wants to know more and why. 

Good luck
Lin




Mrs N

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2018, 01:02:32 PM »
Thanks Lin. I see what you are saying but the story is present tense and multiple viewpoints. And also the date is significant, so I can't leave it out.

Below is a little rewrite. No doubt there will be more! :P ;D

On October 31, for no other reason than it falls on a Monday, I leave my wife. Mondays make a tidy start. I’ll be gone two nights, I tell her readily enough but hold back on for good, forever, words I’ve been mulling over for a while but have done nothing about. Later the irony of the date, Halloween, will not be lost on me. I should have picked a better day.

Lin Treadgold

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2018, 03:59:29 PM »
Ah now you're talking, well done! ;)

Lin
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 04:02:12 PM by Lin Treadgold »

hillwalker3000

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2018, 04:42:23 PM »
On October 31, for no other reason than it falls on a Monday, I leave my wife.
Your opening sentence is still rather clunky, especially the 10 words following the date. Try reading it out loud. It suggests he's only leaving his wife because it's a Monday when I guess he has other reasons for doing so.

How about
On Monday, October 31, I leave my wife. Mondays always make for a tidy start.

Then we have another sentence that tends to run on and on. Maybe it's intentional, to convey the woolly-mindedness of your MC, but it's not great reading:
I’ll be gone two nights, I tell her readily enough but hold back on for good, forever, words I’ve been mulling over for a while but have done nothing about.
Does this achieve anything? We already know he's not included the words 'for good' and 'forever'. It seems unnecessary, I feel.

And finally:
Later the irony of the date, Halloween, will not be lost on me. I should have picked a better day.
That's OK, but in danger of coming across a little contrived because you make such a big deal of the date.

As usual, just one opinion. Use or lose.

H3K

Mrs N

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2018, 08:14:54 PM »
Hey, Hilly, thanks for the comments. Yeah, I quite like your line change for the first line.

The date is a really big deal, so I'm still attached to the Halloween line. The bit in between... well jury still out on that. ;D

Just doing a second draft rewrite, so time will tell.

Thanks 8)

Laura

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2020, 03:26:56 AM »
So, we haven't had any first lines posted in quite a while.

Who's game?
Wherever you go, there you are.

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2020, 07:49:01 AM »
The Author asserts his immoral right to be identified as the bloke who dreamt up all this stuff. This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, toxins, and forensic autopsy procedures are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, dwarfs, were-weasels or seagulls, living, dead or yet to be born, is purely coincidental.
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

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Jo Bannister

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2020, 08:57:06 AM »
I've been missing this thread too, Mark.  So here are the first lines of my next book - see if you're tempted.
*


RACHEL SOMERS, running.  Not for pleasure; not for prizes.  With the blood pounding in her ears and fear pumping through her veins.  With her shirt torn and one shoe lost; with her face and her hands scratched by the undergrowth she’s forced her way through and the brambles she cannot allow to slow her.  Running as if the hounds of hell are snapping at her heels; as if she doesn’t mean to stop, as if she doesn’t know how to stop, as if only the bursting of her young heart will stop her.  Her eyes wide with terror, and disbelief, and something akin to indignation, because this sort of thing does not happen to girls like Rachel.  Except that it has.

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2020, 09:48:47 AM »
Heh! I thought you said no present tense?

Yep, obviously it leaves you wanting to know what she's running from.

I assume there's still work to be done on that para though? That sentence with the brambles was a tricky one. 
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

Laura

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2020, 02:01:32 PM »
The Author asserts his immoral right to be identified as the bloke who dreamt up all this stuff. This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, toxins, and forensic autopsy procedures are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, dwarfs, were-weasels or seagulls, living, dead or yet to be born, is purely coincidental.

I always enjoy the humor inherent in your work, Mark. I would read on.
Wherever you go, there you are.

Jo Bannister

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2020, 05:12:26 PM »
Heh! I thought you said no present tense?


A clear case of Do what I say, not what I do...  In fact, this opening paragraph is the only part of the book written in this tense - which is ambiguous rather than clear and present.  From here on it's past tense all the way.

And no, I'm happy enough with the brambles.

ps: I think I owe you an apology.  Until I saw Laura's post I didn't realise you weren't just reminding us of the thread, you were posting an entry.  I took it for the bit that precedes all novels rather than the start of a novel itself - that it was you jogging us into creativity in your own inimitable way.  I'm sorry if I trod on your heels.

Of course it's funny, particularly to writers.  It'll be interesting to see what follows it - not, I suspect, a treatise on the import of caramel and caramel products into the European Union.

It reminded me forcefully of the disclaimer Howard Spring wrote for "Shabby Tiger".  I can't just lay my hands on my copy so I'm paraphrasing, but what he said was: "The characters bear no relationship to any actual persons, living or dead.  There is no such city as Manchester."
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 05:17:07 PM by Jo Bannister »

Emery

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Re: First Lines. Would a publisher or anyone want to read on?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2020, 05:54:51 PM »
Thread looks dead but this used to be one of my favorites, so I’ll throw one out there.

Eddie huddled inside the guest room closet, the meth easing further off and the synapses of his mind reconnecting like frayed wires, and counted the seconds of each inhale and exhale. How much longer did he have to get himself together, he thought, as his hand went back to the gun.