Thursday, October 9, 2008

F2S 7

Sometimes the smallest of life's events, the ones that seem so inconsequential that a person might never bother to allocate another fleeting moment's thought to them, wind up being the very incidents that forever alter the course of an individual's life. When Jim Riley hacked into the University computer network, perhaps his fiftieth or sixtieth successful exploit--not that he was counting anyway--he uncovered a secret that would stir his meager life in ways he could never have imagined.

15 comments:

  1. Too much telling for my taste. I wasn't hooked.

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  2. Sometimes the smallest of life's events, the ones that seem so inconsequential that a person might never bother to allocate another fleeting moment's thought to them, wind up being the very incidents that forever alter the course of an individual's life. When Jim Riley hacked into the University computer network, perhaps his fiftieth or sixtieth successful exploit--not that he was counting anyway--he uncovered a secret that would stir his meager life in ways he could never have imagined.

    I was hooked by the second line, definitely! But I would take out "not that he was counting anyway".

    I would make the second line the first line.

    If Jim's life is meager, is the secret really that huge and exciting? Because it wouldn't take much to stir a "meager" life. Just a thought.

    I am interested, still.

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  3. I think the author might be trying too hard with these sentences. They read a bit overdone and melodramatic to me.

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  4. Try to keep your hook -- your opening sentence -- under 20 syllables.

    What's important here?

    Jim Riley hacked into the University computer network. He uncovered a secret that changed his life.

    That's basically the gist of what you're getting across. Are there more intriguing ways to word it? Sure, but what you have needs to bet trimmed up.

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  5. And I need to proofread my comments before sending them.

    :-)

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  6. Ashleen O'GaeaOctober 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    "Sometimes the smallest of life's events, the ones that seem so inconsequential that a person might never bother to allocate another fleeting moment's thought to them, wind up being the very incidents that forever alter the course of an individual's life. When Jim Riley hacked into the University computer network, perhaps his fiftieth or sixtieth successful exploit--not that he was counting anyway--he uncovered a secret that would stir his meager life in ways he could never have imagined."

    I don't mind the many words -- after all, the word is storytelling, not storyshowing ;-)-- but there are two particular words I don't quite like. I think "give" would work better than "allocate" and ... well, I don't know what to do about "meager," but as Lady Glamis points out, it doesn't feel right.

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  7. I think the problem here is that it feels more like the back of a book or a query letter than a book opener. Keep the "not that he was counting" part if that's his voice. You could probably skip to the second sentence, as it shows specifics rather than generalizations. And it's more hooky.

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  8. I think this is a great way to start--the second sentence is surprising given the first sentence which is a good way to hook a reader. You just need to cut some of the details.

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  9. Passive and distant. I don't care because there's no way to connect with the character. A narrator is telling me, and it's as boring as a math lecture. Start with the action, show me the guy hacking the computer, and cut this out.

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  10. Ditto with karen_duvall's comments. I think it would work better if you started with the actual hack. The previous attempts are in the past and thus not the most important piece of information at the moment.

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  11. First sentence drags on too long. Second sentence is great, though. Overall, I'd keep reading :)

    I don't mind books written with this nearly omni narrator style, even though it seems others here don't like it! :D

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  12. I agree with Mary. It felt like a blurb rather than the actual start of a story. If you are still going to show the hack, you should start there. If you're just going to show the effects of the hack, we've missed out on all the fun.

    I wouldn't read on, based on this, but start with the hack and I'd probably be hooked.

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  13. First sentence is too wordy. If that's just for the opener, and the rest of your writing is different, I would suggest to delete or trim it. If the rest of your writing is so wordy, I would stop reading.

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  14. No, sorry, I'd probably stop after this.

    It was too long-winded for my taste, and too Tell-esque. Also, I highly disliked the author's voice telling me WHAT will happen--I want to be able to find out through the story, and with the voice/tone and way the information here is given, it was a turn off to me.

    Now, I liked When Jim Riley hacked into the University computer network, perhaps his fiftieth or sixtieth successful exploit--not that he was counting anyway-- but I didn't like that he didn't know it and we are Told it will change his life, etc.

    I think if you could start with this and give us an idea of why, and then let us come to the conclusion or assumption it will change his life without using author's voice to explain this, it would be a better hook.

    As it is, no. But good luck!

    ~Merc

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  15. Too wordy. Try editing it. I like the idea.

    Not that he was counting. Doesn't convey anything.

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