Share Your First Three Sentences

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

  1. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    This works just as well. It was the ambiguity that caused the confusion. Actually, I think this is better. I like it. Don't rush it. Take the whole scene up to the explosion from her perspective as if she's entering hostile combatant territory. It works for multiple reasons. It creates better suspense, and despite the fact that she's pretending in order to get their attention and establish a specific dynamic from the start, it also aptly symbolizes her real apprehensions. When you get that page or a chapter going, throw it in the workshop. I'd love to read it.
     
  2. NoseyNobody

    NoseyNobody Banned

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    For one—before they strap me to the electric chair and I ago the way of yesterday—it’s is true what they say about me: that I’ve taken to the roads with a loaded gun and disturbed the pedestrians. The oddest part of it, if I were to cherry pick, would be about how it’d all happened in the span of three sunsets. I mean, to have lived 36 years believing in the lord’s grace and then to have tossed it all with a flaming desire to go to prison, I’ve to say, it’s all a fucked up spectacle.
     
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  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think there's an interesting voice at work here, and there's something about the phrase "taken to the roads with a loaded gun and disturbed the pedestrians" that really resonates in my brain. The typos are distracting, and honestly, for my preference I'd want the voice toned down a little bit too (like, I'm not sure I see the point of the "For one" at the start, and a few other little bits), but I tend to not be a fan of really voice-heavy things, so that's pretty subjective.

    Overall, with tidying, I think it'd be a really interesting opening.
     
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  4. MikeyC

    MikeyC Active Member

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    I have to say this thread has really helped my writing in general - not just on the first three sentences, but as a whole as well.

    Time and time again I think on a sentence I have just written and I say to myself 'Would I post it in this thread?' My writing has improved immeasurably.

    A Big Thank You!!

    Rgds

    Mike
     
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  5. EstherMayRose

    EstherMayRose Contributor Contributor

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    For me, the interesting thing is exactly how this guy managed to get banned in three posts and less that twenty-four hours. Is that a record?

    Sorry if I'm crossing a line here, I'm very tired.
     
  6. DK3654

    DK3654 Almost a Productive Member of Society Contributor

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    Sock puppet account maybe?
     
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  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I was wondering about that myself. Impressive.
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Contributor Contributor

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    I may be wrong, but I think they may have been either the person selling diet pills in the Research subforum, or the dude trying to sneaky-sneaky their Youtube channel in some other thread. Which, you know, rules against blatant self promotion and marketing and all.
     
  9. subs jb

    subs jb New Member

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    I must have been 39 when my psa came back positive.

    I didn't care really. I had lived my entire life with one foot in the grave and the other kicking dirt in on top of it.
     
  10. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

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    That's an interesting intro. But, why the paragraph break between the first and second sentences? Also, perhaps flesh out what psa is for the uninitiated (prostate-specific antigen test) and what it means if it comes back positive.
     
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  11. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I think he might do that in the next sentence?

    Prostate cancer was hilarious. I mean who wants genitals anyway, and what is the point of breathing? At least I had my blog entries as a testament to science and to literature.
     
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  12. PuppyBaby15

    PuppyBaby15 New Member

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    “Just fucking kill me already!” Hopia scream at him. Her hazel hair was a rat’s nest, her neck covered in bruises and bites, her body battered and her hands restrained. All he did was look at her, the glance, those rusted silver eyes.
     
  13. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

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    Hi @subs jb, and welcome to the forum.

    It is clearly a dramatic start to a piece of prose (and a hell of an introductory sentence for your first post) but the drama is somewhat impacted by having to go and Google what a PSA is and what the impact of its positivity is, as @Mark Burton says.

    Also the one foot in the grave and the other kicking around up top did give me a very wild Gerald Scarfe like image of a protagonist with extremely long legs. It isn't quite a mixed metaphor, but it certainly comes close which, all in all, is quite an intro to the work!
     
  14. Night Herald

    Night Herald Mr. Dalliard, command the earth to swallow me up! Supporter Contributor

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    From a long-neglected WIP I've resumed working on. It's a Fantasy short story set in the world of one of my novels.

    Yesterday I had a thousand brothers. Today I have but one, a foundling, no true blood of mine. He has not said his name or another word; if it is for want of tongue or want of wits I do not know.
     
  15. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

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    Hi @PuppyBaby15 and also welcome to the forum. A "fuck" with your second word, you will fit in well (c:

    Lot's of drama and powerful imagery in this opening. I really liked rusted silver eyes even though silver doesn't rust, obviously, rust is the oxidation of iron, but it spoke volumes.

    Hopia's hazel hair is a bit too much alliteration for me in such a short space, and "he" should probably have a name fairly soon to get us involved.
     
  16. Hammer

    Hammer Senior Member

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    The words work brilliantly for me but I would probably want to tease the punctuation. The middle sentence somehow feels comma-splicey to me although I am not sure that it is. I can't help thinking that the first two might work better conjoined - Yesterday I had a thousand brothers -- today I have but one; a foundling, no true blood of mine.
    although that takes from your voice.

    Also the fuddy-duddy Englishman in me wants the "if" to be replaced with a "whether" in the third - He has not said his name or another word; whether it is for want of tongue or want of wits I do not know. ... but that might just be me... (c:
     
  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Only with the contradictions it reads like a parody, so whilst kind of beautiful it is less than reassuring - in an opening this is important - to me - I have to trust the words, at least - or maybe learn something, but:

    Yesterday I had a thousand brothers - No, you did not.
    Today I have but one, a foundling, no true blood of mine. So, he is not your brother.
    He has not said his name or another word; if it is for want of tongue or want of wits I do not know. Because he is a baby.
     
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  18. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Set it up for 'sense.'

    “Just fucking kill me already!” Hopia scream at him.

    Her hazel hair was a rat’s nest, her neck covered in bruises and bites, her body battered and her hands restrained.

    All he did was look at her, the glance, those rusted silver eyes.
     
  19. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    I don't like the word foundling. It's too highfalutin if all you mean is child, or guttersnipe, or waif?
    I'd also change tongue, to courage... or perhaps pluck.
     
  20. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    I agree with @matwoolf. Plenty of time to explain PSA in the next paragraph or two, just so long as you do explain it soon. As usual, I wish this were the "Share your first five sentences" thread. It's a neat exercise, but most authors go for impact in the first three, not clarity. If that's the goal, I think you've scored.

    Lose the break though. That's definitely all in the same paragraph.
     
  21. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  22. Night Herald

    Night Herald Mr. Dalliard, command the earth to swallow me up! Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, the punctuation is by no means final. I'm just trying out a certain rhythm of speech for the narrator.
    It was actually "whether" in the previous incarnation. I changed it on a whim, and may just as soon decide to change it back :)


    I chose foundling specifically because it refers to one who is found. The foundling is not a child, but a grown man who is found abandoned. I used the word in an attempt at metaphor, to describe him in relation to the narrator's “true brothers”. I like to use words in ways that are somewhat askew from their common usage and/or proper meaning, which probably isn't a great habit.

    But the word is clearly just causing confusion here, so I'll get rid of it.

    Courage or pluck won't work for my purposes. The man is quite obviously not very shy or timid, but has sustained head injuries (therefore wit) and is heavily bandaged. The use of tongue has two meanings: the narrator, being in an unfamiliar country, considers that there might be a language barrier, or that the man speaks no language at all, or is mute, or literally has no tongue.

    Again, not a baby. I was trying to be all metaphorical. Clearly that isn't working so well.

    Your interpretation is reasonable, but incorrect. The narrator is a soldier whose army suffers a defeat, scattered, and is hunted down. As far as he knows, he's the last survivor. The "foundling" is a wounded man found alone in a ruined village.


    Anyway, I made some changes:

    Yesterday I had a thousand brothers. Today I have but one, and he is no true blood of mine; still I am glad of his presence and his ax. He is tall and grim and says nothing, whether for want of a tongue or want of wits I do not know.
     
  23. Carriage Return

    Carriage Return Member

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  24. Night Herald

    Night Herald Mr. Dalliard, command the earth to swallow me up! Supporter Contributor

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    The "blood" in question is a reference to a certain initiation ritual, but yeah, you're probably right. I'm making it more convoluted than is strictly necessary.
     
  25. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Sorry @Night Herald - I didn’t want to come across as mean with the quibbles. You have a nice brooding character in the making...

    ...still no need to cram all that masculinity into 3 terse sentences...and compromised with the semi-c. Do warriors even use semi-colons?

    You say -

    Yesterday I had [lost] a thousand brothers. Today I have but one, and [he is] no true blood of mine; still I am glad of his presence and his ax. [He is] tall and grim and says nothing, whether for want of a tongue or want of wits I do not know.


    Another point would be your usage of ‘but’ which is arguably affected...like a Hollywood grizzly in his narration. Why not unravel a little...a little more naturalistic, write it out? I tried one effort but deleted after my fifth paragraph.

    He is of course your warrior.



     
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