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  1. Rovertos
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    Rovertos New Member

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    Feedback on Opening Line please :-)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rovertos, Feb 25, 2010.

    Hello people,

    This is the opening line from a novel I have been struggling to write. Here it goes.


    He had denied it over and over again, but when he kidnapped the body from his aunt's funeral at some point he thought to himself: "This can't be right... I'm either mad or immoral."


    Just write whatever springs to your mind. I'm kind of worried this sounds too much like something taken from an Ed Wood's script. This should be half black comedy half psychological thriller, not a farce. Thanks :)
     
  2. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Immoral is too formal a word, for an inner thought (my opinion). Maybe something like creep or perv, or whatever would be used in colloquial speech.
     
  3. EileenG
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    EileenG Member

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    Do you kidnap a body, or steal it?
     
  4. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    I would really like to know the difference.
     
  5. EileenG
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    EileenG Member

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    How about "When he stole the body from his aunt's funeral, he thought to himself "This can't be right, I'm either mad or a weirdo."?

    The "He had denied it" bit at beginning weakens the sentence.
     
  6. Rovertos
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    Rovertos New Member

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    He had denied it over and over again, but when he stole the body from his aunt's funeral he finally thought to himself: "This can't be right... I'm either mad or immoral."

    This is better... The first part of the sentence is essential, this should make evident that the MC has been questioning his sanity and morals in the past. Any other word than "immoral" would definitely drive this already daring sentence off the cliff.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Critique does not belong in this part of the site. However, I will say it looks like you are trying toi jam too much story into the opening sentence.
     
  8. JZydowicz
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    JZydowicz Member

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    It depends what your story is intending. If it is more lighthearted, then I think it works pretty well. The wording is a bit confusing though, try switching it around like this:

    He had denied it over and over again, but after kidnapping the body from his aunt's funeral at some point he thought to himself: "This can't be right... I'm either mad or immoral."

    "at some point" is clunky and unnecessary and can probably be removed entirely.

    Why not just end the sentence with "This can't be right."
    "I'm either mad or immoral" sounds stilted because no one would think that exact thought. Also, if you are concerned with thematic development, it is way too explicit in laying out some of your elements.
    Anyway, "This can't be right" sufficiently says your character is a bit nuts because you just described him stealing a body!

    "to himself" is also unnecessary because you don't think to other people, it's always to yourself.

    So the final sentence would look like this:

    He had denied it over and over again, but after kidnapping the body from his aunt's funeral, he thought, "This can't be right."
     
  9. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    When he stole the body from his aunt's funeral, he thought to himself 'This can't be right, I must be mad.'

    actually I like the following better:

    When he stole the body from his aunt's funeral, the sane part of his brain screamed 'This can't be right.'
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Instead of saying: "...When he stole the body from his aunt's funeral," why don't you say: "...When he stole his aunt's body from the funeral,". Lot less clunky, I think.
     
  11. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    Does the aunt own the funeral home or is it her body that he's hijacking?
     
  12. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    To me, it sounds a bit clunky. I think it's good to start out with a hook to grab the readers attention, but to me, it feels like your telling a bunch of story in one sentence. Also, the "He had denied it over and over again" seems odd. If it were me, I'd expand this sentence into something more of a paragraph. I think it will still be attention grabbing if you elaborate. I've never stopped reading something after one sentence. But it is an interesting statement, my preferance would just be to change it up a little. Good luck!
     
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