Wednesday, April 1, 2009

FS45

TITLE: Ligaya
GENRE: Coming-of-Age YA Novel


My name, Ligaya, means bliss; I first savored its meaning the summer I turned fourteen.

24 comments:

  1. Sorry, no. It's the name Ligaya.

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  2. It doesn't hook me. If she has an unusual name - wait a bit to introduce it, a line or two.

    YA girls don't really savor the meaning of things, it doesn't seem to resonate with the genre.

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  3. Sorry doesn't hook me. Why would a teen be savoring her name? Just doesn't sound right.

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  4. To be honest, this kind of reads like a facebook entry (or a twitter tweet); blunt, short, relatively meaningless. I like the sound of the second half (after the ;) but it doesn't hook me.

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  5. I liked the sentence; it evoked a sense of wistful longing. But since it felt like an adult looking back on her youth, it may not be tone you're going for in a YA?

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  6. Hooked if I'm looking for a sexy teen novel.

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  7. I don't know if I'm hooked, but I'd definitely read the next sentence or two.

    That's the thing with a one-sentence "hook." Most of what people said they wanted after my first sentence, I give them in the next three. Would they really stop reading after one sentence or not? ::shrugs::

    Anyway, I definitely liked yours enough to see if the next few sentences say something about the bliss and set the tone for the novel.

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  8. seems flat to me.

    Not sure I'd read on.

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  9. The line felt awkward to me. For YA, the "I savored..." feels too heavy, especially for a first sentence.

    Don't think I'd read on.

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  10. Nope. Doesn't work for me.

    When I was fourteen, I hated my name as did every other girl I knew. Fourteen year olds are the ultimate escapists and wish they were someone--anyone--other than who they are.

    And I didn't savor anything at that age.

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  11. It doesn't grab me, sorry.

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  12. It's sort of awkward and, dare I say, gawky. I'm not feeling it.

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  13. I would read on, because I want to read what happened to her that summer that taught her about bliss. However, I wonder if this would resonate with a YA audience as an opening. Maybe if you changed tense to something more present, and turned it on its head, had her thinking how stupid her name was, or worrying that she'd never feel bliss, or something more angsty, it might feel more YA.

    Good luck!

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  14. Learning about bliss doesn't give me any hint of tension to come. If her name meant bliss but in the summer of fourteen, bliss was a dim memory... or something similar, that would present a taste of conflict.

    The only way I could see the prospect of a summer of bliss being interesting were if it was sort of excess of bliss, such as I might find in a story revolving around a courtesan (just trying to find an example there), but that's definitely not what's happening in a YA novel.

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  15. Thanks so much, everyone! I thought the problem was starting the sentence with "My name..." Now I know it's using the word "savored," which could be misconstrued as something sexy. Here are the next two lines, which are anything but: "It began the moment my snip-happy mom decided, after years of cutting my hair short, that I was old enough to let it grow long and still keep it louse-free. Mom was as passionate about the upkeep of her daughters' hair as she was about her backyard--whenever she ran out of weeds to whack, out came the shears.

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  16. Sorry, but not hooked. Openings where a character has to introduce themselves to us (i.e. Telling) tend to start off with lots of extrapolation and backstory, with nothing active actually happening in the here and now.

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  17. Sorry, not hooked with the following lines either. I have no idea what the story is about and that first graf needs to clue me in.

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  18. I'm reading on. Not necessarily hooked yet, but a sultry coming of age novel and summer makes for a good start.

    Fred

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  19. It doesn't hook me, but I do like savored cos it's not typical verbage for a young teen coming-of-age novel

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  20. I actually LOVE this opening line. I follow this blog in an rss feed and as I glanced casually over the lines in my Google Reader, prepared to mark all as read without reading them, this entry caught my eye. I would definitely read on, but the tone of the opening sentence reads more like mainstream literary fiction (think, The Lovely Bones or The Secret Life of Bees) as opposed to YA. And while the name of the narrator is intriguing, my initial reaction was to think this was a YA fantasy novel (and the name does make me think of dragons). But as I said, I loved it and would definitely read on.

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  21. I'd ditch the semi-colon (I know, OK for the contest), and "savoring" isn't the word I'd choose. It makes me think either of food or stuffiness. Neither really makes me think YA.

    But again, no accounting for taste.

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