Share Your First Three Sentences

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

  1. Nariac

    Nariac Senior Member

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    I'm guessing it's the "confident reply"
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Mostly the confident reply to the police questioning, and the "technicality" aspect of it. It felt like a sort of "gotcha!" response, like the speaker was proud of his/her own trickiness.
     
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  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Senior Member

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    I'm not going to red/green this because it would look more severe than it is.

    It was just past one in the morning; the arrangement just past mad. <Detective X> was asking me when I'd last spoken to Aubrey. "Last Tuesday," I replied confidently. It wasn't a lie. Nothing had been said as I pulled the trigger.

    I would condense some obvious things for sure:
    • "One o'clock" implies "the time." So just start with "It was . . ."
    • I'd chop "she was murdered" and let the next line answer it. (as I pulled the trigger) It's a minor increase in tension.
    • Sentence 1 and 3 are very good (1 is an excellent opening. 3 is a clever use of passive), but 2 should be drastically condensed. It wobbles a bit. I think it's all the time qualifiers.
      • lingered -- action
      • as the police officer asked -- ongoing action
      • about when -- start of a time-based preposition
      • had last spoken -- past perfecting into the faraway
      • before she was -- moving forward again to event
    So sentence 2 is marched up to the guillotine. I'd specify the name of the officer too. That helps to ground the scene. It's optional though.

    The rest of my edits are just verb adjustments. I chopped one from the first line that was totally optional. (Here's where I would normally name that style device, but . . . I get carried away with that and will restrain myself somehow.)
     
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  4. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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  5. X.x.V.x.X

    X.x.V.x.X Member

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    @BayView All that feedback I've got off you is amazing! Thank you so so so much! I think I might tidy it up just a little but keep it 98% the same, if you understand what I am trying to get at.

    'Flair'. Love it. I'm so glad that you see my (very different) point of view. The most important thing in writing to me (let's discard doing what you love to write and grammar and things and just think about it plainly) is to grasp the readers attention by doing something out of the ordinary. I do try to accomplish this, if it works is another story!

    And yes... I did check out that thread...!

    @EstherMayRose Thanks for that feedback on the 'I' scenario, I do see your point there. If only I could do just a thing you said... I'd love to make it feel so intense and so well written, I just edit my so called 'book' so often I feel like it changes everyday! Cheers :)

    @Mckk Thanks for that, you cleary spent some time writing that :) The backup and support you have given me on this is really really nice (especially how you wrote a paragraph about it). Glad the last line isn't too complicated to understand otherwise that would be quite poo. Don't worry I haven't changed any of my writing for the "I's" yet :) Also going to give your book a crack!

    @OB1 Thanks for all the advice there! Will take into consideration but need to take soem of BayView's on board too!! Thanks also for spending time rewriting and trying to improve my work, as an alteration on your signature, the best feedback you can get is honest feedback.

    @Seven Crowns That was extremley helpful, you have spent some time on that reply, eh? My writing sometimes may appear a bit clunky, taking your advice into consideration for some of my older works that need a bit of TLC. Cheers Seven Crowns!

    Long reply... :D
     
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  6. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, my sister’s paintings were encyclopedia sets. You’ve probably even seen a few, if you’re the art museum type; a rare breed that seems to be going extinct.

    I'm not sure if I like the second sentence, specifically the "encyclopedia set" part, as it doesn't really seem to hit home for me. If anyone has any suggestions for a more suitable comparison, I'd love to hear it!
     
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  7. X.x.V.x.X

    X.x.V.x.X Member

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    If you don't mind using 'branded' objects and things and not just general everyday items, you can compare it to a well-known book series that is very long. For example:

    Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that's true, my sister's painting were the whole Harry Potter series. You've probably even seen a few, if you're the art museum type; a rare breed that seems to be going extinct.

    You may not like this idea but it is what sprung to mind almost immediatley! I thought the second sentence sounded fine until you pointed it out individually.
     
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  8. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with your encyclopedia sets sounds clumsy. Can't say I have far better ideas but I've given it a go below:

    - If that's true, my sister's paintings could have been the Bible.
    - If that's true, my sister's paintings would be the equivalent of War and Peace. (Paradise Lost, Beowulf - think of something that's been known to be a long read)
    - If that's true, there would not be books enough to contain all my sister's paintings. (I'm almost copying from the verse in the Bible, I think at the end of John? Where it says, "If all of Jesus' words were recorded, there would not be books enough to contain them.")
     
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  9. Zerotonin

    Zerotonin Serotonin machine broke Contest Administrator Supporter

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    I considered it and dismissed it initially, but I think I may end up going with something similar. It'll be more easily recognizable in this day and age, as I don't think they even sell encyclopedia sets anymore.

    @Mckk I considered the Bible, but hadn't considered some of the more classical literature. That's a good idea! Thanks!

    ETA: What about something like this...

    Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, my sister’s paintings were like the epic poems of Homer and Virgil. You’ve probably even seen a few if you’re the art museum type; a rare breed that seems to be going extinct.
     
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  10. X.x.V.x.X

    X.x.V.x.X Member

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    Glad we're on the same wave-length, that is what I thought. Harry Potter does seem to be known by 99.9% of people nowadays, it seems to be everywhere!
     
  11. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Homer and Virgil definitely makes me think of old paintings, so the two go well together :)
     
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  12. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    It's another one that sounds nice, but when you start digging in I'm not sure it stands up to scrutiny. Like, the expression isn't "an average picture is worth a thousand words, while better pictures are worth even more words" or whatever. If a picture is worth a thousand words and she's made a million words worth of pictures, then according to the equation she's made a thousand pictures, right? Is there some other way to suggest quality rather than quantity?
     
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  13. X.x.V.x.X

    X.x.V.x.X Member

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    Oh! Yes! That is absoloutley perfect :)
     
  14. OB1

    OB1 Active Member

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    @X.x.V.x.X

    I am sorry I didn't mean to re-write your work, I merely wanted to give you an example of what I meant using your 3 sentences. Hope I didn't cause offence.
     
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  15. rincewind31

    rincewind31 Active Member

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    What about

    Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, my sister’s paintings were practically a thesaurus.
     
  16. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Zerotonin -- Who is someone? I think it could be a mistake to open with "someone" once saying something, and on top of that saying something pretty cliche. I'm not sure that's really how you want to start your story. And I don't think people have stopped going to museums.
     
  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    If I was going heavy on 'voice' I'd exaggerate, and slow it all down with filler to fix the image in the reader's mind...

    Once upon a time Some one once professor said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, If that’s the true, my sister’s paintings were encyclopedias all lined in her kitchen. Although You’ve probably even seen a few of them [pictures], if you’re the art museum type; a rare breed that seems to be going extinct to my way of thinking

    :)
     
  18. X.x.V.x.X

    X.x.V.x.X Member

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    I think we have both taken each other the wrong way :) I'm very thankful that you spent time rewriting to improve, after all that is the reason I posted it here! Thanks!
     
  19. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Senior Member

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    This thread is hibernating?

    Here's an opening centered on setting. It's from a dystopian sci-fi piece I'm starting. The MC works for a federally sanctioned pimp in a city of bone. (there's a pun there) The city's grown from stem cells (explained later in the plot). The MC considers herself a sociologist/nurse. She uses her womanly wiles to revive citizens who have sunk into technologically-induced brain comas. I think a quarter of the way in, the piece will do a genre shift to paranormal/horror. In fact, I'm sure of it.

    The enameled spires of the city were teeth grown from a mountain range jaw. When Tress joined the crowds on the avenues of its gums, she ignored the life pulsing beneath her feet; for under the crystal-sleeved minarets, the high crenelations and the jaundiced sky, Philadelphia was very much alive.
    I guess that's only two sentences.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
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  20. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributor Contributor

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    I like it very much.
    But, for some reason, and it's just my own personal taste, I don't like beginning important passages with the word, The. When I resort to the dreaded the at the start of a sentence, it usually means I haven't spent enough time thinking on what it is I mean to say (if that makes any sense?). Indeed, only very rarely do I begin a sentence, no matter its importance, with The.:)

    Also, in that you're using the metaphor of a mouth... I would prefer that Tress enter the story as if she's being swallowed.
    How about this as a beginning, or something similar... A lacework of wrought iron frame a gothic entrance that yawns long and ugly...


    Here's my first three sentences for Chapter 13, Smoke from a Distant Fire... and yes, I know it's prose of the purple sort. But it's from the POV of a 12-year-old girl who's in very unfamiliar surroundings and writing away in her diary. It gives me perfect license to get my purple on.:)


    Autumn dusk had settled over the rolling hills, setting a quiet fire to the horizon with smears of copper and crimson against a dark violet sky. But how soon the last stroke of twilight had given way to the first twinkling stars—those jewel-eyed ladies of the night that for threepenny will whisper sweet nothings in the dying of the light. Such were the breathless musings of Adeline as she scribbled away in her diary and sat by the crackling fire, over which hung an unlucky rabbit on a crudely fashioned spit that Mabel would turn from time to time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  21. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    I read a lot of your stuff and usually like it. This...isn't up to the usual standard I expect from you. Hell must be freezing over, because I love description and usually crave more of it, but to me this reads as overly-described word salad. I'm dyslexic, which sometimes requires me to read something twice, and I had to read this four times to get the meaning of it, and I'm still not entirely sure what you're trying to say about Philly, but I'm now tired of rereading it. As you pointed out, it's only two sentences. Two sentences shouldn't be exhausting to read.

    This part especially seems like overkill, because I don't think we need three separate references to teeth and gums to convey one idea:

    When Tress joined the crowds on the avenues of its gums,

    My change would be: When Tess joined the crowds on its avenues,

    This all sounds harsh, but I'm frustrated because I've seen you write so much better. I thought perhaps I was just tired, so I read it last night then came back to it again this afternoon to be sure. Nope, it wasn't because I was tired.

    You can do this so much better. I'm rooting for you to.
     
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  22. Alsaindar

    Alsaindar Member

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    Klade Foules poured over the compiled reports once again, his unease growing with every review. Individually they were nothing worrisome, but together they painted an ugly picture of more unrest than usual in the deepest levels of the Hive. Skirmishes were occurring with regularity between Underhive scum and enforcers over the last few months, violent crimes were spiking in the Lower Hive, and most troubling, several of his informants had accidentally found the hard way down long flights of stairs.
     
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  23. Malisky

    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    I like it as a starting point of a story, but it's kind of heavy. You know, the ornaments look pretty but their pulling down the branches of the tree, in a sense. This is just my take:

    Klade Foules poured over the compiled a pile of reports once again, his unease growing greater with every review. Individually they were nothing worrisome, but together they painted an ugly picture of the ever growing chaos that reigned in the deepest levels of the Hive. Skirmishes were regularly occurring with regularity between Underhive scum and enforcers over the last few months, while violent crimes were spiking in the Lower Hive, and most troublesome was that several of his informants had accidentally found the hard way down long flights of stairs. started embracing a new method of changing floors, just by diving down several flights of stairs, head first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
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  24. Alsaindar

    Alsaindar Member

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    I appreciate the suggestions, a lot of that did feel a bit heavy when I was going over it. In my current draft, the above is the introduction, as I thought I should start with the main character and what he’s doing, followed by a description of his environment. I am curious out of the above and the below which one you think is a more interesting beginning.

    The artificial light of a yellow sun shone through the glass, but no warmth came with it. Far below, clear blue water crashed soundlessly upon a pristine white beach. To his knowledge though, no such place existed on Akira’s surface. At least not in the last few hundred years since the hives grew taller than the mountains, and the ash and smog of the world’s industrial might choked away any semblance of natural beauty
     
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  25. Alsaindar

    Alsaindar Member

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    Disregard this post, internet was a little frizzy and I double posted on accident.
     

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