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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    “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
  2. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! 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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  3. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! 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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  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy dilettante assassin! 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?
     
  5. BayView

    BayView Contributor 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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  6. 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.
     
  7. BayView

    BayView Contributor 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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  8. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Member

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    The suggested sentences.
     
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  9. 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.
     
  10. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick 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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  11. 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.
     
  12. 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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  13. BayView

    BayView Contributor 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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  14. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    She's arguing with him about something she knows she and he disagree on.
    And hmmm...
     
  15. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Member

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    They're arguing about how far a thing can shoot? And her companion merely shrugged which doesn't suggest they're in the middle of an argument.
     
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  16. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Contributor Contributor

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    What I'm getting is that the shooting-thing's range (I'm assuming it's a gun) will help prove her point (she thinks), and he's getting moody because he's not liking this argument.

    I do kind of agree about the strange eyes being a bit weird if we're in her POV, though.
     
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  17. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Member

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    There's nothing that suggests he's getting moody.
     
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  18. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Contributor Contributor

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    Apart from the shrug?

    I'm picturing a rather immature moody teenager-ish thing. (I'm not picturing a teenager, just a guy behaving like one.)
     
  19. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Member

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    It's not uncommon for someone to shrug when they aren't moody. He answered with a question (fifty yards?) which I interpreted as uncertainty, possibly mixed with disinterest.
     
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  20. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    What about this?:

    “Now hear me out,” Nadia said, as if they hadn’t had this conversation before. “What’s the longest shot you’ve ever gotten with that thing?”

    “Seventy yards?” her companion Silas said with a shrug.

    It doesn't have the mystery touch and it has less of the character's descriptions but it works in it's own way.
     
  21. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, Nadia uses a bullet sniper rifle. Silas uses a form of hot-vapour energy pistol(because it's a semi-fantasy steampunk setting). Nadia's weapon has considerably more range but has other disadvantages and Silas doesn't feel he needs that range. Really, they compliment each other but she got offended one time when he said non-bullet weaponry which replace traditional guns and ever since it keeps coming up as a form of casual bickering. Just a little recurring gag/side element to their story that's a nice way to introduce the relevance of technology to the world straight up in the prologue.
     
  22. nippy818

    nippy818 Active Member

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    In the corner of my study, turned away from prying eyes and the flicker of electric light, is such a queer and twisted painting, but one that not only holds such great sentimental value to me, but one that absolutely terrifies me.

    It was a painting assembled by the mad hands of one Jorge Arredondo, a short Mexican man, who pronounced his name as if it were the Anglo spelling. We met while attending Fort Lewis University in the southern Rockies of Colorado in the year of our lord nineteen hundred and sixteen, a full year before the American entrance to the Great war.
     
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  23. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Loooong. But nice, and there's a classical, old-fashioned feel element that helps make that seem appropriate.
     
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  24. nippy818

    nippy818 Active Member

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    I've spent the last few months reading a listening to a ton of Lovecraft and Wells, hoping to emulate their style and put my own twist on it.
     
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  25. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Supporter

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    Your language is period accurate. Also, you've successfully transported me there. Well done! I know that authors of old used longer sentences, but as others have noted, I recommend splitting some of that up to give your audience a few shorter sentences to get into this piece. I don't think longer sentences necessarily give a piece a ye-oldy feel, so they detract more than help. I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.
     
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