Share Your First Three Sentences

Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tenderiser, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    When you say fictional 16th century with English and French influences, you mean a fantasy world based of 16th Century England and France? I've got a high-fantasy saga based off Elizabethan England(as the main setting with broader countries around), so you're not alone.
     
  2. Spirit of seasons

    Spirit of seasons Active Member

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    I meant the fence was stained, not the moat, I it could be either, since a battle just took place and blood tends to get everywhere, perhaps I should have a line about red running into the moat for dramatic effect. Or is the cities name, but that might change if I find something more compelling. The next line mentions the protagonists armor.

    Thanks for the info, I'll polish it when the story is finished, I just wanted to share the dark gritty atmosphere.
     
  3. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Given "The picket fence" is capitalised I think that's additional reason, beyond also breaking up the sentences, that "the moor" should be followed with a full-stop.
     
  4. LittleTwistedMe

    LittleTwistedMe Member

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    I'm game! Here they are:

    Quick! I have to be Quick! I had to start over the blood kept getting on the paper.
     
  5. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

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    I can hear their claws at the door, eager to get in and consume my flesh. They're not the only ones that are hungry, though. It’s taking every last bit of my willpower to refrain from allowing them in just so I can return the favor and get one last bite of delicious meat myself, before they tear me to pieces. I’m just so hungry.

    I realize this is four sentences, but I wanted to include the last one as it completes the paragraph.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I feel like the language is bit formal (consume instead of eat or devour, refrain instead of keep, allowing instead of letting) which may fit your character's voice or may not. It does make things feel a bit more distant, for me.

    And I wonder if you're giving away a bit too much with that first sentence - I normally argue in favour of greater clarity, but I wonder if a bit of mystery, in this case, might serve you well? What about if it was just "I can hear the claws at the door, desperately trying to scratch through" or something. I don't really have an explanation for why I feel like this would be effective, but... I think it would be!
     
  7. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

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    I do agree with the wording being much too formal. I've been re-reading Lovecraft lately so I've got his prose on the brain, which is something I'll have to smack out of me with a steel chair.

    As per the first sentence giving away too much, the sentence is actually a bit of a misdirection from the greater matter at hand in the story. This is the second short story in a four story series I'm doing about the apocalypse, each story focusing specifically on a different Horseman through the guise of a different main character, and all in a sequential timeline leading up to the end of the world. I posted another three sentences a bit ago that was the introduction to my first story, starring Pestilence. As you can probably guess, this one focuses on Famine.

    I will definitely take what you've said into consideration, though. Thanks!
     
  8. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    "I knew very little of my friends personal lives back in the days. Most of what I know now has been revealed to me over the years, part by part, until I somehow became the keeper of my friends’ most hidden thoughts. By now, there is not a thing on earth that could not remind me of them; not a word I might hear; not a smell; not a book that could not bring me back to James; not a flash of dark hair or sharp thing that wouldn’t remind me of Thomas."

    Trying this new thing out.
     
  9. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Active Member

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    I came home from school in an empty house. No one left a note, I received no calls or voicemails on the phone, nothing that would indicate where my family have gone. I looked everywhere, even in strange areas that my family couldn’t possibly place a note at.
     
  10. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

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    Beware of the double negative

    "By now, there is not a thing on earth that could not remind me of them;"

    Also in your first sentence you have days it should be day.

    Also you refer to days and then later you refer to years. 2 time frames side by side is rather confusing. I think I understand what you are trying to say but it might be worth seeing if you could say it a different way!

    Otherwise it seems ok! Not entirely sure what the story is about though is it about someone who has listened to some one but has dementia so cant remember what has been said?
     
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  11. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I feel like English might not be your first language?

    The phrase is "back in the day". The usage of "days" doesn't make sense.

    "Bit by bit" sounds a lot more natural than "part by part".

    You use "could" a lot but I believe it really should be "would". Can't tell you the grammatical reason behind that, but "could" does not sound right to me at all.

    Lastly, you're missing an apostrophe in friends. Should be friends'.

    Aside from syntax, I actually quite liked your last line. The repetition with "not a..." is quite nice.
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    actually in that sentence it should be 'does' " Now there is not a thing on earth that does not remind me of them" ... both would and could refer to the future, now refers to the present
     
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  13. samgallenberger

    samgallenberger Member

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    These nights were common in the city of Mazono. Doors bolted shut against the terrors of the night, and even the most daring citizen was home with locks in place and alarms activated. Therefore, it was with a mind filled with apprehension that Shelly Davidson locked up shop later than usual.
     
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  14. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I don't normally bring up show vs. tell that often, but this seems like (and without knowing where you go on the rest of the page) like a prime candidate for showing.

    Shelly checked the clock. Bolted the door shut. Hoped there was enough light to evade the monsters. idk
     
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  15. samgallenberger

    samgallenberger Member

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    That's good advice. I'll use that and rework.
     
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  16. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    It's a cool setup. What kind of world is it?
     
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  17. samgallenberger

    samgallenberger Member

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    It is a world like ours but countries are realigned very differently. Powered individuals exist too. The specific city mentioned is basically the most dangerous one on the planet.
     
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  18. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    Thanks for your help!

    It's just a simple story about a man looking back on his school days before the war lol
     
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  19. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

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    I've thrown a few small grammatical fixes in the quote above, in blue.

    As per the beginning itself, it grabs your attention enough to want to read on, and that's the eventual goal of any opening. However, one thing jumped out at me.

    Though I kept the word itself, you may want to find a way to change "couldn't" into "wouldn't", as, if there were places where the family couldn't possibly leave notes, how is our protagonist checking them? Wouldn't seems more appropriate in this context because there are a lot of places someone may not even think to leave a note that our protagonist could check once they'd exhausted their other options.
     
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  20. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    Damn it lol! Yeah I speak french, but I really want to write in english. I'd say I'm fully bilingual but writing a whole book is hard. I live in fear of writing a sentence that would be great but makes absolutely no sense so I really appreciate your help. I'll remember for next time, thanks!
     
  21. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    But can I still use would or not at all? I kind of really like the sound of it and I like to work with the 'musicality' of a sentence (if that makes sense). It's why I chose to write in english lol
     
  22. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Nah, all you need is a good proofreader. It might mean you'll need to edit your book more times for language, but you'll be fine. In fact, I have a theory that people who speak more than one language have an advantage when it comes to writing - you process language differently. You have other idioms, and other associations a monolingual speaker does not have. Thus, you can play around a lot more, you have more ideas to choose from, and there's a higher chance you'd come up with something seen as original or quirky in the English-speaking world, because they'd never have made the association you have.

    Like, I'd love to use the phrase, "All you're good for is cooking up froth."
    I sort "made it up" - it's really from a Cantonese idiom "A pot of froth" - it means you make a mess of everything. So you can say, "You made it into a pot of froth!"

    I tried to use the phrase "mouth washed with oil" once - again from the Cantonese, meaning someone who sweet-talks or sucks up to you to sell you something. His mouth is greasy, sly, slippery, dishonest. I feel like it's such an apt image that there's probably an equivalent or something similar in English, but I only know it as Chinese.

    I'd love to find a way of translating yet another one:

    Your head is big but it's empty, without a brain. And when you do get a brain, all it does is grow grass.
    Meaning: you're stupid :D In Chinese it flows a lot better obviously.

    Imagine writing these into your book, but making it work in English narrative :D

    So anyway, certainly don't see the fact that you're writing in your second language as a bad thing. I might be more tempted to see if there're ways of turning it into a strength ;)

    And yes, it's pretty common for your various languages to be fluent to different degrees when you're bi/multilingual. Literacy is a whole other thing besides, as being bilingual doesn't necessarily mean one can read/write, as literacy depends a lot on schooling. (I'm bilingual, but my Chinese literacy is nowhere near my level of English literacy) I can only dream of attempting to write a book in Chinese. Our Finnish mod here tells me she learns a lot of her idioms and colloquialisms by watching a tonne of youtube videos - her English knowledge is often vaster (is that a word?) than even native speakers. I think there was once an American idiom that she used that even an American beta reader hadn't heard of lol. So a high variety of exposure is important. She often corrects my English haha (and I'm supposed to be the native speaker).

    Anyway, all that to say, certainly don't see the fact that English is your second language as something to be worried about, or ashamed of, or whatever other negative feelings you might have. In my experience foreigners often possess better English than native speakers :bigoops::whistle: and it also gives you an edge when it comes to playing with words. An important tool for any writer ;)
     
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  23. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke

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    The cherry of Michael Rockford’s cigarette glowed brightly, like a miniature star in the dark night sky, as he took a long drag. A calming sensation flowed through his entire body as the nicotine soaked into his system, and he sighed deeply. Though he was grateful for the job, and had been doing this for well over five years, he still got nervous every damn time.
     
  24. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    Ha, that's definitely true! I do this a lot with French orally which makes some sentences way funnier in some cases. I just never thought about it with English since I'm not as familiar with it and can't see myself doing it right away, but it must be the case as well. Interesting though!
     
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  25. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    I'd lose the second and the fourth comma, I don't think they're very useful and it breaks the flow of the sentence a bit. It's just too many breaks. Otherwise pretty nice, I like the "miniature star"!
     
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