Your first Pargraph!

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shadow
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by shadow » January 27th, 2011, 4:13 pm

jrosemary wrote:
Shadow wrote:Someone was going to die today. There was no other choice: it was kill or die. Vitiosus stared at the tall, bulky warrior and took a deep breath. He stepped forward. Gravel crunched below his feet and wisps of wind swirled about his head as he calculated his chances. With one final glance toward his father on the throne, he walked to the middle of the arena. He was determined to make his father proud of him — just this once.
Nice work: you can't go wrong by starting with a duel to the death and daddy issues! This left me wanting more.

Just to nitpick, there was too much information for me here. I'd chose between the gravel and the wisps of wind, and I'd hold off on the detail that Vitiosus's father is sitting on the throne. My head is already filled with images of the arena, the opponent and visions of a bloody death--I can wait a paragraph or two before finding out that Pater Dearest is the ruler.

Good luck!
thanks JRosemary! Very kind of you :)
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sbs_mjc1
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by sbs_mjc1 » January 27th, 2011, 4:31 pm

Jumping in with our first paragraph (first chapter, not prologue)
He had lost a lot of blood.
Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus, like shattered reflections on a pool. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket, the way the Highland men did, but the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, and he was too far from the fire to be properly dry.
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FORGOTTEN GODS is out September 17th 2011! Check the blog for details.

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Josin
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Josin » January 27th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Shadow wrote:Someone was going to die today. There was no other choice: it was kill or die. Vitiosus stared at the tall, bulky warrior and took a deep breath. He stepped forward. Gravel crunched below his feet and wisps of wind swirled about his head as he calculated his chances. With one final glance toward his father on the throne, he walked to the middle of the arena. He was determined to make his father proud of him — just this once.
I don't really like the first two lines. To me, they're a bit heavy-handed, and kill or be killed is sort of a cliche. I'd reword it more like this:
my version of Shadow's wrote: Vitiosus gauged his opponent's stature, memorized the warrior's bulk and height. Not much wind, and it was all at head level - that would help. The gravel below his feet crunched as he evened his stance to better his chances. With a final glance toward his father's throne, he took his place in the arena, determined to win his father's pride. Even if he had to die to do it.
charlotte49's wrote:Whispers about the outsider’s capture seem to be everywhere I turn today, but I’m trying to ignore the chatter. It’s not to say I lack curiosity about his arrival, because I’m most certainly curious, but knowing I’ll be face-to-face with him within the day is causing me enough anxiety as it is. The last thing I need to hear are rumors generated by the other Forsaken. I’m doing a fine job creating chillingtheories with little help from anyone else.
I'd only make that one tweak. I like the rest of it :)
Falls Apart wrote:I’m going to get one thing established right away, so we don’t have any misunderstandings: this story does not have a happy ending. If you were hoping I’d tell you that everything you heard on the news was a lie, that Libertas never fell, that “The Enemy” is as strong as it ever was, then this will come as a disappointment. The camp fell. Most of the people in it died, and the few who didn’t went through tough shit to make sure of that.
The information bits are great, but the "There's no happy ending" part is a bit Lemony Snicket. I don't know what your target age range is, so that may not matter, but he used the same openings for the Series of Unfortunate Events. It might put an editor off; I don't know.

Here's mine (It's Gothic YA, if it matters. No vampires. No Werewolves.):

The voices of the dead never truly leave. They become the wind, and roam the barren places of the world seeking solace. It's in the night they shout the loudest, when the daylight sounds of work and play are bundled off to bed, and the world is left to those sleep has forsaken. When restless souls find common ground with restless feet.

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Dankrubis
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Dankrubis » January 27th, 2011, 5:53 pm

Awesome paragraph, Josin. Love that last line. Just might get you into the finals again. I'm not jealous. I'M NOT.

Here's my paragraph. It's a little silly, but I'm kinda happy with it for now. Once Nathan announces the finalists and I'm not one of them, I'm sure I'll find a reason to hate it.
I can't see a thing. I'm waving my hand in front of my face and I can't see it. Am I blind or is it pitch black? My eyes don't hurt or anything. Can you really go blind from drinking or is that an old wives' tale? Where am I? Am I in a bathtub? Feels like a bathtub. Why does it smell like shit in here? Oh, wonderful, I'm naked. OK. OK. I was working at the bar last night. I got pretty deep into the well whiskey. There was a girl! Way too interested in me for as hot as she was. Did I go home with her? Did we fuck? I... think I'm sitting in my own shit. That would explain the smell. What time is it? Wait. I don't have a headache. I'm not nauseous. My equilibrium's not off. I'm not hungover. Actually, I feel really good. Well then. This just got weird.

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charlotte49ers
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by charlotte49ers » January 27th, 2011, 8:48 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions and nice things. :-)

How are y'all doing multi-quotes? I want to do the new ones in one thread.

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Josin
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Josin » January 27th, 2011, 9:09 pm

charlotte49ers wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions and nice things. :-)

How are y'all doing multi-quotes? I want to do the new ones in one thread.

{quote="poster's name"} abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz {/quote}

Replace the curly brackets with square ones.

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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Watcher55 » January 27th, 2011, 9:15 pm

Josin wrote:
charlotte49ers wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions and nice things. :-)

How are y'all doing multi-quotes? I want to do the new ones in one thread.

{quote="poster's name"} abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz {/quote}

Replace the curly brackets with square ones.
If you forget, just copy the format in the posting box. Also, if you scroll down there's a topic review so you can copy and paste comments from other posters.

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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Aimée » January 27th, 2011, 10:07 pm

After posting my paragraph into the contest, I realized that I am in no way eligible for these prizes. I don't have a query written, and my manuscript is not even close to being ready to be viewed by anyone, let alone an agent! But that's okay; my paragraph still needs some work. :) Here it is. It's literary fiction. The protagonist/narrator is 19, so I've been debating young adult, but there is a lot of sex and drugs, so probably not.

You'd think that way up North there would be no rednecks. But that's not true. There are rednecks everywhere, even when you live hundreds, if not thousands of miles from Alabama or Louisiana or Kentucky. Even way up North in Michigan you'll find guys wearing those cut out shirts that reveal the sides of their ribs and their arm pits, just so they can show off their biceps. You'll find people named Junior and people who say things like 'I ain't gonna say nothing,' or 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie.' You'll find people with lawn decorations. If you can call those patchy brown squares of earth a lawn. I even have a friend whose mother is missing three teeth.

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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by jrosemary » January 27th, 2011, 10:15 pm

This time I'll put all my comments on one post too!
Josin wrote:The voices of the dead never truly leave. They become the wind, and roam the barren places of the world seeking solace. It's in the night they shout the loudest, when the daylight sounds of work and play are bundled off to bed, and the world is left to those sleep has forsaken. When restless souls find common ground with restless feet.
I'm not usually a fan of an aloof, omniscient narrator, but this is just gorgeous writing.
sbs_mjc1 wrote:He had lost a lot of blood.
Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus, like shattered reflections on a pool. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket, the way the Highland men did, but the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, and he was too far from the fire to be properly dry.
I love this--but are you missing a word? It sounds like your Gordons sentence should be either, "One of Gordon's _______ had lent him a feilidh-mhòr . . ." or "One of the Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr . . ." (Or I'm just reading it wrong.)

Either way, I want to read more!
Dankrubis wrote:I can't see a thing. I'm waving my hand in front of my face and I can't see it. Am I blind or is it pitch black? My eyes don't hurt or anything. Can you really go blind from drinking or is that an old wives' tale? Where am I? Am I in a bathtub? Feels like a bathtub. Why does it smell like shit in here? Oh, wonderful, I'm naked. OK. OK. I was working at the bar last night. I got pretty deep into the well whiskey. There was a girl! Way too interested in me for as hot as she was. Did I go home with her? Did we fuck? I... think I'm sitting in my own shit. That would explain the smell. What time is it? Wait. I don't have a headache. I'm not nauseous. My equilibrium's not off. I'm not hungover. Actually, I feel really good. Well then. This just got weird.
This had me cringing and laughing at once! I love your narrator's voice. (Although said narrator should use 'nauseated' instead of 'nauseous,' but I'll let that pass. Besides, I think the distinction is disappearing.)

I don't have anything to nitpick--except that I'd probably start a new paragraph with "Wait. I don't have a headache."
Aimée wrote:You'd think that way up North there would be no rednecks. But that's not true. There are rednecks everywhere, even when you live hundreds, if not thousands of miles from Alabama or Louisiana or Kentucky. Even way up North in Michigan you'll find guys wearing those cut out shirts that reveal the sides of their ribs and their arm pits, just so they can show off their biceps. You'll find people named Junior and people who say things like 'I ain't gonna say nothing,' or 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie.' You'll find people with lawn decorations. If you can call those patchy brown squares of earth a lawn. I even have a friend whose mother is missing three teeth.
Ok, I admit it. I kind of like tacky lawn decorations! Fortunately I'm an apartment dweller who has no desire to own a house, so I'll never be able to inflict pink flamingos or gnomes on the neighborhood.

This is a cute opening--it gave me a smile and made me want to learn more about the narrator's opinion on rednecks. :)

Best of luck, everyone!

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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Aimée » January 27th, 2011, 11:07 pm

jrosemary wrote:
This is a cute opening--it gave me a smile and made me want to learn more about the narrator's opinion on rednecks. :)
Oh I'm so glad it made you smile! I'm happy you liked it!

I will definitely read other posted paragraphs in this forum, but I'm a little busy at the moment...

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The Long Road to Extradition - first paragraph!

Post by Ghostwriter » January 28th, 2011, 11:21 am

Thanks to Nathan for starting this journey...

ALL feedback requested and much appreciated!


In a matter of seconds, I witnessed the deaths of my parents and oldest brother. It was then that I realized that my lonely childhood had come to a reverberating halt. This moment in time would forever be seared into my psyche, destined to become part of the psychological baggage that I would carry upon my shoulders for the rest of my life. My innocence was gone and there wasn’t time to mourn.

Ghostwriter

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Dankrubis
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Dankrubis » January 28th, 2011, 2:34 pm

jrosemary wrote:
Dankrubis wrote:I can't see a thing. I'm waving my hand in front of my face and I can't see it. Am I blind or is it pitch black? My eyes don't hurt or anything. Can you really go blind from drinking or is that an old wives' tale? Where am I? Am I in a bathtub? Feels like a bathtub. Why does it smell like shit in here? Oh, wonderful, I'm naked. OK. OK. I was working at the bar last night. I got pretty deep into the well whiskey. There was a girl! Way too interested in me for as hot as she was. Did I go home with her? Did we fuck? I... think I'm sitting in my own shit. That would explain the smell. What time is it? Wait. I don't have a headache. I'm not nauseous. My equilibrium's not off. I'm not hungover. Actually, I feel really good. Well then. This just got weird.
This had me cringing and laughing at once! I love your narrator's voice. (Although said narrator should use 'nauseated' instead of 'nauseous,' but I'll let that pass. Besides, I think the distinction is disappearing.)

I don't have anything to nitpick--except that I'd probably start a new paragraph with "Wait. I don't have a headache."
Thankya jrosemary! Totally agree with the new paragraph and I had no clue on the 'nauseous' vs. 'nauseated' thing. I really should have listened more in 8th grade English.

Time for a critique spree. I'm scared though, cause I hate critiquing unfinished works. I'm fine with a short story, a query, a novel, but a single chapter or page or paragraph throws me off. But it'll be good practice I suppose. Here goes.
jrosemary wrote:The only thing worse than visiting a graveyard is paying your respects to the man you put there. Not that I had murdered Cam--I'm not that far gone--but it was my fault his bones were rotting beneath that dull, gray slab.
Good stuff- I love the aside for some reason. The way it starts is almost misleading, then it gets pulled back in with -I'm not that far gone-. I also like dull, gray slab. Tone is pitch-perfect.

Meh stuff- The first line, but not really. I like the juxtaposition of visiting vs visiting someone who's dead because of you, but the qualifier of 'the only thing worse' doesn't set well with me (obviously there's always something worse). But on the other hand, it's a figure of speech and totally fine.
Ghostwriter wrote: In a matter of seconds, I witnessed the deaths of my parents and oldest brother. It was then that I realized that my lonely childhood had come to a reverberating halt. This moment in time would forever be seared into my psyche, destined to become part of the psychological baggage that I would carry upon my shoulders for the rest of my life. My innocence was gone and there wasn’t time to mourn.
Good stuff- It's written well, and I like the pacing. Begs a lot of questions to be answered, like, how, with the death of his parents and sibling, is his childhood getting less lonely, and why wasn't there time to mourn?

Meh stuff- I don't know if reverberating is the correct word choice. Reverberating is sort of like bouncing around. Sound reverberates, fire can reverberate. It's a little reaching here. Also, starting with your main character reminiscing about seeing the death of his family is kinda like punching your reader in the face. It's a little much. I'd suggest saving this pretty heavy moment for the end of the first chapter. It'll cause a bigger explosion if we know anything about the world of your story first.
Aimée wrote: You'd think that way up North there would be no rednecks. But that's not true. There are rednecks everywhere, even when you live hundreds, if not thousands of miles from Alabama or Louisiana or Kentucky. Even way up North in Michigan you'll find guys wearing those cut out shirts that reveal the sides of their ribs and their arm pits, just so they can show off their biceps. You'll find people named Junior and people who say things like 'I ain't gonna say nothing,' or 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie.' You'll find people with lawn decorations. If you can call those patchy brown squares of earth a lawn. I even have a friend whose mother is missing three teeth.
Good stuff- I'm liking your voice, and I just plain like the entire paragraph. It's kinda Palahniukish, telling the reader something he doesn't know in a wry fashion.

Meh stuff- I'm not sure it's a huge revelation that there are rednecks outside of the south. Hell, there are rednecks 50 miles outside of Los Angeles. But I don't think it's that big a deal. Also, I think the redneck quotes need some work, plus you're missing an opportunity for some comedy (though if that's not what you're going for, ignore). I can't see even a redneck saying, grammatically or contextually, 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie." They don't mess up their words that much, it's still gotta flow. Just an example- "Put down dem books an git yer daddy a beer, boy."
sbs_mjc1 wrote:He had lost a lot of blood.
Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus, like shattered reflections on a pool. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket, the way the Highland men did, but the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, and he was too far from the fire to be properly dry.
Good stuff- I like your description. "The dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway." "His thoughts wavered in and out of focus."

Meh stuff- I'm having difficulty connecting wavering thoughts and shattered reflections in a pool. Plus there's a disconnect between the 2nd and 3rd sentences. First you're talking about a guy on the verge of death, then it's a guy sitting next to a fire. A short transition sentence between the two might be of help. Also I'd cut some things. Example-
He had lost a lot of blood. Robert knew this from the way his muscles felt hollow and shaky, and the way his thoughts wavered in and out of focus. One of Gordons had lent him a feilidh-mhòr, which Robert had wrapped around himself as a blanket. But the dampness of the surrounding air seeped in anyway, as he was too far from the fire.
OK, done for now. I think the other paragraphs have been sufficiently picked apart, but if any of you want a critique, I'll throw one out.

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Holly
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Holly » January 28th, 2011, 3:43 pm

Aimée wrote:After posting my paragraph into the contest, I realized that I am in no way eligible for these prizes. I don't have a query written, and my manuscript is not even close to being ready to be viewed by anyone, let alone an agent! But that's okay; my paragraph still needs some work. :) Here it is. It's literary fiction. The protagonist/narrator is 19, so I've been debating young adult, but there is a lot of sex and drugs, so probably not.

You'd think that way up North there would be no rednecks. But that's not true. There are rednecks everywhere, even when you live hundreds, if not thousands of miles from Alabama or Louisiana or Kentucky. Even way up North in Michigan you'll find guys wearing those cut out shirts that reveal the sides of their ribs and their arm pits, just so they can show off their biceps. You'll find people named Junior and people who say things like 'I ain't gonna say nothing,' or 'I buyed some popcorn when I seen that movie.' You'll find people with lawn decorations. If you can call those patchy brown squares of earth a lawn. I even have a friend whose mother is missing three teeth.
Aimee, I love it, I love it. I recognize all those folks (I'm in Gettysburg, better known as Pennsyltucky). Before I get crackin' on my WIP, I think I'll run down to the hardware store, the one with the plastic bear on the roof, and get me a new dawg license.

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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Aimée » January 28th, 2011, 4:51 pm

Dankrubis wrote:
Just an example- "Put down dem books an git yer daddy a beer, boy."
This made me laugh out loud. I'm glad you liked my paragraph, and I think humor is definitely needed in my story. Do you mind terribly if I use this line? Also, thanks so much Holly! I'm so happy that people are liking this!

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Dankrubis
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Re: Your first Pargraph!

Post by Dankrubis » January 28th, 2011, 5:29 pm

Aimée wrote:
Dankrubis wrote:
Just an example- "Put down dem books an git yer daddy a beer, boy."
This made me laugh out loud. I'm glad you liked my paragraph, and I think humor is definitely needed in my story. Do you mind terribly if I use this line? Also, thanks so much Holly! I'm so happy that people are liking this!
Heh, I don't mind at all, have at it. Just drawing from my redneck roots :)

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