Share Your First Three Sentences

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

  1. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Spitting .45 caliber grammar.... Contributor

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    I like the vibe, but I would tighten it up a bit. I'm a minimalist, so I would phrase it like:

    Cars piled up Route 9. The drivers hid inside. Another bomb went off and they screamed.

    It's a strong setting. I would set it as quickly as possible and then get into some characters and story. Whatever you were about to say about shields and EMPs can be introduced through some dialogue. No reason to rush it.
     
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  2. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    Not for me, thank you. The first two sentences don't have a hint of energy, tone, or voice, and the third isn't much better. Honestly it reads like a child's book.
     
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  3. Zombie Among Us

    Zombie Among Us Member

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    The first chapter is immensely short (410 words) and the only time the shields and EMP waves are talked about until chapter five (a little over 5,000 words later.) The only other time it's mentioned in chapter one is in dialog. The setting quickly changes in chapter two (for what I see as a very good reason, and that reason being the MC going into an emergency bunker,) so then I describe the new setting, characters, and story. I will admit though that I should form the setting a bit more, not just in the beginning, but throughout the whole story. Also, I prefer medium-length sentences over short ones, but that's just personal preference. I truly do appreciate the feedback! :)
     
  4. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Contributor Contributor

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    I also think that that's too scaled-back. I think that the original conjured up a better atmosphere. I'm just not really getting any voice from these three.
     
  5. severine

    severine Member

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    Sam was a pumpkin the night she met the demon. She had wanted, desperately, to be a witch, but her mother said it was crass and cliché and she was only seven, so she spent much of October making her own pumpkin suit, stem and all. Sam hated it because it was bulky and because the adults liked to pat her head as though she was a baby.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Not even a little tender Contributor

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    I like this. I wonder if there's some fine tuning possible on the second sentence (it feels a bit too convoluted, but not by much), but I like the general structure a lot.
     
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  7. severine

    severine Member

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    Thank you - I made it convoluted for a reason (having a child narrator), but I see your point. I think I will tweak it somewhat.
     
  8. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

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    I loved this opening. I think the second sentence is a bit weird though. A seven-year-old is unlikely to use or understand the expression "crass and cliché", so it detracts from the overall effect. Perhaps substitute "stupid" or "inappropriate" (even that might be stretching 7-year-old language).
     
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  9. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

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    "Jules crouched in the dark bushes as the small band of a ghost, witch and yoda slowly approached. He’d been in the dank manure-fertilized soil for at least a quarter hour and his left calf was twinging, threatening a full-blown cramp. This was their fault again; if only they’d be more organized and get here when he’d estimated they would, this torture wouldn’t have been necessary."
     
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  10. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    I like how at first we're not sure if it's literal. Very nice! Agree with @Mark Burton that you should probably dumb down that word choice though.
     
  11. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    I wonder why a sudden proliferation (proliferation of 2 lol) of (I presume this is) trick-or-treat related openers appeared? Might it have something to do with the time of year? :superconfused::superconfused:
     
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  12. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    “Now hear me out,” said the lady with the strange eyes. “What’s the longest shot you’ve ever gotten with that thing?”
    “Fifty yards?” her older companion said with a shrug.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  14. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    Not sure if I'm in this way late. I see this in my scene, and I decided to make it all at pace or part of dialog. Holy shizzle, what a difference it made! Let the reader feel what they're experiencing. Otherwise, well, I discovered it's like telling the reader, "trust me, that's the way they felt" rather than just letting them feel it - then what they 'see' in their mind's eye will really be, ahem, err... EXPLOSIVE. :eek:
     
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  15. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    I'm all for efficiency, but there's too much cornpressed into the first sentence. Let the beginng drag, like his waiting, with three sentences, maybe?
     
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  16. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    Dunno if it was notes on the 'dialog' thought process, or actual sentences. What's up? I'm watching this so I can take insight on whether it should all be dialog?
     
  17. BayView

    BayView Not even a little tender Contributor

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    I don't really like the repetition of "with" so close together - it'd probably be fine a bit later in the story, but right at the start, it jumps out at me.

    And for my taste, I'd like this with a clearer POV right off, I think. I mean, I'm assuming this narration is coming from the POV of someone watching the characters who doesn't know the characters' names (because in any other situation I think we'd use names, not descriptions, for the dialogue tags). But without having that other POV established, the lack of names just feels kind of pointlessly coy.
     
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  18. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    I also use a sort of "tinted third-person" and while the primary perspective for this prologue is the lady, Nadia, I wanted to introduce the image and tone before immediately explaining who they are since it's obvious I'm getting to that.
     
  19. BayView

    BayView Not even a little tender Contributor

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    But if it's coming from her perspective, (even in a "tinted" manner?) does it make sense to refer to her as "the lady with the strange eyes"? Is that really how she thinks of herself?
     
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  20. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    The suggested sentences.
     
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  21. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Think of it as an open camera shot that then zooms. It hasn't quite taken her perspective yet. I'm not using strict perspective like a person narrator or distinct third person chapters. I've seen it done in successful books so I think people are willing to at least tolerate it. It's only a moment before proper character introduction and perspective.
     
  22. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    Her dialogue doesn't follow imo. When someone asks to 'hear them out' they're suggesting what they're about to say might be objectionable or absurd. But the strange-eyed lady merely follows it up with a mundane question.

    Also, "strange eyes" is too vague to conjure anything worthwhile.
     
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  23. l nimbus

    l nimbus Member

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    The chamber was collapsing, the walls slowly being torn apart and collapsing in on themselves. Debris, bones and steel floated through the air, coming apart as intersecting beams of light pulled them apart. With every room, every corridor, the destruction became more and more obvious.

    The Voidbeast wasn't just hunting, it was on a full-out rampage. Carefully laid traps were torn apart, undead scattered like dust in the wind. Light flooded the caverns, it's harsh radiance signalling their impending doom.
     
  24. severine

    severine Member

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    Ah I'd agree with you but she's supposed to be quoting her mother. I need to add some quotation marks here I think.
     
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  25. BayView

    BayView Not even a little tender Contributor

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    Collapsing... collapsing. Apart... apart. I think repetition can be effective, but I don't really know what effect you're aiming for here.
     
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