Share your opening sentence!

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Margo
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Margo » April 5th, 2010, 4:47 pm

r louis scott wrote:I left the Roman road while the sun was still low in the east and warming my back.
I'm likin' this one. Thought I'd mention it as some didn't seem to get ratings. I'd give it an 8, but I suspect the entire first paragraph would go higher, mostly based on tone. Yes, it has me for at least a page.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Quill
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Quill » April 5th, 2010, 4:49 pm

Margo wrote:Okay, heck, I'll give this a spin.

For Quill's line above, I'd say 7 or 7.5 only because of the punctuation. I dislike the fragmentation. With different punctuation, I'd say 8 easily, possibly 9. I like the immediate indication of trouble ahead. I like the tone, so I'd continue.

My first line, adult fantasy novel:

They made me on a rainy night like this one in the city-dome of Roytvald.
Hey, thanks. I'd read yours, too. Good job.

Curious. How would you re-punctuate mine? I've actually cut my dashes way down in the story, but these pesky ones have remained.

Margo
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Margo » April 5th, 2010, 5:02 pm

Quill wrote:Gatoweh—Autumn—1779 by the whiteman’s calendar—midday by the sun’s position, but twilight for the Iroquois people, dusk for a centuries-old way of life.
Quill,

Forgive me if this example is a clunky mess, as I don't have the rest of the paragraph to see how it would fit together. I would actually just turn the dashes into periods and maybe make the last phrase a sentence too. This is purely a matter of how I personally experience info set inside dashes (making me think of an aside) versus periods. I'm fine with one-word sentences as their own little statements or beats, if you will. So see what you think of this and how it would fit into the rest of your paragraph.

Gatoweh. Autumn. 1779 by the whiteman's calendar. Midday by the sun's position, but twilight for the Iroquois people. Dusk for a centuries-old way of life.

This is just my personal taste. I like the finality of the beats created by the periods. In this case I think it adds to the inherent drama of what you've already written, YMMV. :)
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Margo
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Margo » April 5th, 2010, 5:10 pm

Matera_the_Mad wrote:
Beyond the low rise lay a place of the dead where the Bull band's winter camp should have been.
Oh another good one. I especially like the implications of "should have been." I'd give it...hmm.....an 8 or a 9, and I would keep reading.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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RobPeach
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by RobPeach » April 5th, 2010, 8:14 pm

I feel selfish in not wanting to share some of what I deem my better ideas. I wonder if I am the only one to feel this way.
I find it difficult to do a "rating" as this is an excellent thread with many great ideas. Thank you, everyone.
-----

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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Serzen » April 5th, 2010, 9:12 pm

Quill wrote: Curious. How would you re-punctuate mine? I've actually cut my dashes way down in the story, but these pesky ones have remained.
Mind if I add mine own rendition?

The original:
Gatoweh—Autumn—1779 by the whiteman’s calendar—midday by the sun’s position, but twilight for the Iroquois people, dusk for a centuries-old way of life.

I would be inclined to write:
Gatoweh, autumn, 1779, by the whiteman's calendar. Midday by the sun's position, twilight for the Iroquois people: the dusk of a centuries-old way of life.

I know, I changed a couple of words, sorry.

The first set of commas are parenthetical, telling the reader that what they surround says the same as what came before them. The comma after 1779 shows a pause, a qualifying statement following. Sort of a "for what that's worth." The colon at the end indicates an explanation of what was just said, a restating of what came before. It's repetition without rhythm.

~Serzen
Il en est des livres comme du feu de nos foyers; on va prendre ce feu chez son voisin, on l’allume chez soi, on le communique à d’autres, et il appartient à tous. --Voltaire

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Quill
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Quill » April 5th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Thanks, guys! I like both revisions better than my original. And I've been looking at it for a long time.

Man, I've got to get me a beta to start getting some feedback on this project.

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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Margo » April 6th, 2010, 11:01 am

Quill wrote:Man, I've got to get me a beta to start getting some feedback on this project.
I know the feeling. My last critique group was well-meaning, but it was a case of the blind leading the blind. Everything I wrote was "really good" and they liked the names. I can only remember one time they took issue with a word choice -- a single word. Boy, did I think I was ready for prime time! Then an agent cut the ms open for the autopsy, as in, "It's dead, Jim." It's not that it wasn't well-written, it was just well-written suckfulness (nod to Sharon K. Butcher again for that glorious phrase) devoid of tension and structure.

I am considering joining the online writing workshop. I belonged to it briefly a few years back, just long enough to accidentally insult a published author. I *ahem* hadn't heard of her, reviewed her chapter, and told her I thought it was great and that her work was thoroughly publishable. She was nonplussed having to point out to me that she already had been published...lots. Needless to say, I will be googling everyone I give feedback to if I join again.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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gonzo2802
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by gonzo2802 » April 6th, 2010, 11:24 am

It's kind of neat to see the way a first line really sets up a story!

Okay, here's mine:

If I was physically capable of suffering a headache, I'd be in the midst of a terrible one right now.

KellyWittmann
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by KellyWittmann » April 9th, 2010, 4:28 pm

It was in anticipation of times like these that my mother had named me after a lioness.

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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by lexcade » April 17th, 2010, 4:31 am

from the one i'm shopping:
"My eyes fluttered open with the lack of focus that only comes from sleeping too long."

from my WIP:
"Machial stretched and relished in the sunlight beaming down on his face."
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

Sommer Leigh
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 17th, 2010, 11:27 am

I've written a prologue for my current WIP, but I haven't decided whether I really need/want it or if I wrote it really just to get me started. So I'm going to share the first line of the first chapter:

Zoe Gray's nightmares didn't come every night, not anymore.

And this is the second sentence, which I love in conjunction with the first:

She'd been scared everyday for five years, so to bring real nightmares the trigger needed to be truly awful, something unforgettable, something that burned straight through the irises into the deep, dark, protected places inside.

I really love the first sentences posted here. They are quite inspiring!
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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Robin
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Robin » April 19th, 2010, 4:13 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I've written a prologue for my current WIP, but I haven't decided whether I really need/want it or if I wrote it really just to get me started. So I'm going to share the first line of the first chapter:

Zoe Gray's nightmares didn't come every night, not anymore.

And this is the second sentence, which I love in conjunction with the first:

She'd been scared everyday for five years, so to bring real nightmares the trigger needed to be truly awful, something unforgettable, something that burned straight through the irises into the deep, dark, protected places inside.

I really love the first sentences posted here. They are quite inspiring!
Sommer, yikes!! Sounds frightening. Cant wait to hear more :)
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

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bronwyn1
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by bronwyn1 » April 19th, 2010, 5:14 pm

Here's the first sentence from my latest WIP:

The old woman set a meaningless photograph in front of me.

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Robin
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Re: Share your opening sentence!

Post by Robin » April 19th, 2010, 8:00 pm

Here it goes:

“Goodbye, Mama Joy. I love you.” Ata whispered as the black coffin was lowered into its final resting place, the ominous sky reflecting on its surface.
Robin
"A glass slipper is only a shoe. Dreamers who only dream never have their dreams come true."

http://www.RobynLucas.com/

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