Share Your First Three Sentences

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

  1. frigocc

    frigocc Active Member

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    Anyways, following up on whether I'd make fun of cancer kids...

    Leukemia Skywalker finally unmasks the redeemed Heineken Skywalker to reveal that-

    "Hey, he looks just like me!"
     
  2. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Oh, keep the burden for sure, the ... was just where I chose to end my example because it then looped back to the way it was before.

    And with the everything, I purely meant you don't maybe need the comma after.

    Sorry - this has to be the least clear post I've ever made on here!!
     
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  3. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    @frigocc not particularly constructive but a personal opinion on "Leukemia Skywalker": no.
     
  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    LOL. I was ready to do anything you said! Okay, maybe not, but I still bow before your greatness :D

    Anyhoo, let's try this for size:
     
  5. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Definitely better - in my (humble) opinion, anyway. I'd mention the capitalised After but as you said you plan to split that into two I think?

    The only bit I would highlight now is "that it put particular focus..." purely because I don't like that double p. Just my opinion though, keep going ahead with it and see what others think! Looks good.
     
  6. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks :)

    Ah-hmm. p..p

    Platyparticulyput? I twisted my fingers just typing that! I have a particular peeve about those, too. Damn! :D
     
  7. frigocc

    frigocc Active Member

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    I'm not sure if I want to go with the whole Star Wars parody thing. First off, Luke isn't The Chosen One. Secondly, even though it'd be nice to already have the story patched out for me, not sure I'd feel much accomplishment unless it was my original idea. Plus, may come off as too Spaceballsy, like "Lou, use the fork!"

    Instead, I could just make it a generic Chosen One story with the same style of writing. Was thinking of maybe "Lou Clark," a reference to Lewis and Clark, since my character will (reluctantly, of course) travel the galaxy, and explore new places.
     
  8. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    Seeker had been watching everything since May 12th, 1984, but it wasn’t until the market crash of 1987 that it put particular focus on us. Now, After almost two decades later, it was preparinged. No longer just watching, it was looking... for one of us to share its burden.

    Just my two cents. Don't think you need the additional explanation with ….looking....share its burden. This seems to say enough and prepares us to dive into the story with an air of mystery.

    Really like this opening by the way @Some Guy , good stuff.
     
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  9. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    Virg sat quiet at his wife’s funeral, after forty-five years of marriage. He had lost his one love who had cared for his every need. His sister-in-law saw him hanging his head as he wiped the tears away, so she came and stood beside him as they sang the closing song, Amazing Grace.

    The wife wants to know why all my short stories start out with the husband sitting at her funeral. I told her don't worry sweets the guy always goes first.
     
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  10. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    It was a short trip from the wooden planks of the sidewalk to the rain-laced thoroughfare. Thanks to the mud, his landing was relatively soft too. A small mercy, Nat thought, considering he had just lost the power to raise his hands in order to break his fall.
     
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  11. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    I would prefer it if the scene's who, where, & when weren't all answered in the first two sentences. You chose to tell us Virg "lost his one love" as opposed to show us, which isn't nearly as gripping and immersive.

    If this were my story, I'd consider opening with Virg listening to Amazing Grace, and then slowly feed clues and details about whose funeral he's attending, the degree of pain he's going through, and finally the nature of his relationship with his late wife.
     
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  12. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    Enjoyed the piece this is from Shannon. Looking forward to reading more!
     
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  13. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    Opening of my memoir:

    The tattoo etched on my chest reads 'Maverick', although I am nothing of the sort. The truth is; I'm a coward.
    I died once. Well, twice, if you count the time I actually died, but that is of lesser consequence.

    Still working on this, since the flow into the third sentence isn't there, and I'm torn between using 'coward' and 'dreamer' for the second.
     
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  14. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    Thank you very much Maverick :)

    The piece is called The Deadlands, if anyone is interested. Chapter One is in the Novel section of the Workshops.
     
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  15. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    I'm pretty shaky when it comes to SPAG, but I don't believe that's the correct usage of a semicolon. Hopefully someone else can weigh-in here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  16. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    You're likely correct, but a comma isn't a strong enough pause and an em-dash feels too long of one. Any suggestions?
     
  17. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Senior Member

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    A colon imo. https://www.thepunctuationguide.com/colon.html

    Emphasis

    The colon can be used to emphasize a phrase or single word at the end of a sentence.
     
  18. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    Excellent! Much appreciated.
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    theres a good guide to semi colon use here https://www.grammarly.com/blog/semicolon/

    but in essence B2P is right a semi colon used like that should link two related but independent clauses (in the sameway you'd use 'and' or 'but')

    I'd have said you don't need any punctuation at all. "The truth is I'm a coward"

    That said I wonder if you can cut some words here for more impact

    I have 'Maverick' tattooed on my chest, but I am nothing of the sort. I'm a coward.
    I died once. Well, twice, if you count the time I actually died...

    (that said i'm not clear on the connection between your cowardice and the fact that you died once... so its possible the whole thing could be strengthened with info that we don't have)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  20. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Interested to see what people think of this:

    Father Cassidy found the old man where he always did; there was a bench at the edge of the footpath, a crooked seat of rotting slats of wood twisted with ivy and thistles. Sheltered by the clawed branches of the trees overhanging the path, the bench was stained with the mess of the roosting pigeons above. Forty feet away, kids screamed and leapt wildly about the bars of an old play park.

    Might post the first chapter of this one in the workshop later, I'll see if I can get it polished first!
     
  21. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Member

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    Hi Piper, my honest opinion is that this is a 'miss' for me.

    I'm rarely the best at grammar but I'm unconvinced the first sentence makes sense. Then we go into a lot of description about the bench - perhaps the bench/location is important and its needed (?) but it feels like way too much unimportant description of a simple bench.
     
  22. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Hey NC thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it. Makes a lot of sense - I've posted the first section in the workshop, if you come across it you'll see I've made a slight change based off the description thing, I'll definitely take another look at it considering what you've said here and I'll see what a couple other people think! Thanks again.
     
  23. Mark Burton

    Mark Burton Fried Egghead Contributor

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    This piqued my interest, but then there was no connection between this clause and the one following the semi-colon. A semi-colon means the earlier clause is linked to the second one. You hint that the old man was found by a bench or on a bench, but then the bench is pretty much unusable and you don't tell us he's definitely found there.

    You also add in some pigeon excrement and screaming kids in a play park for good measure. It brings to mind an explosive with a detonator. The detonator (the first clause) goes off and before I can understand what's happening the main charge goes off and my mind's blasted apart by the fallout from the rest of the piece.

    My suggestion is try to do less with this opening. Think of a simple mystery that the reader might want solved, like why the old codger is sitting on a rotting pigeon-poop infested bench. It doesn't even have to be a main part of the story. For example, you can reveal a page or two later he's sat there every day for 20 years since his wife passed. You can revisit it and fill in further blanks later too. So, in another few chapters you can reveal e.g. he's been doing it because that's where they first met.

    Be definite in your associations between the characters and their environment. You've described the environment, but the codger is an undefined blob. Is he sitting, standing, leaning on the bench? What does he look like? Is he stooped or upright? Well dressed or tatty? Well-groomed or mad scientist? Is he alive or dead? Paint a mental picture with words and don't overdo it but give the reader something to at least partially fill out the blob with. At the moment, it's all too labelled for my brain.
     
  24. RobinLC

    RobinLC New Member

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    I grew up in a poor neighborhood of South Carolina all my life. I married a farmer and settled down in a nice little dump with high hopes. Too bad hopes are always beaten, stomped, and spit on for good measure.
     
  25. The Piper

    The Piper Senior Member

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    Love the third sentence, not as keen on the second, only because "married a farmer and settled down" could probably take a little more time than just half a sentence (I like "nice little dump", although I'm sure some people wouldn't). The problem for me is in the wording of the first: I don't think you can have "grew up" and "all my life" in the same sentence.

    Hope this helps!
     
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