Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Line Grabber #17

TITLE: Aligned
GENRE: Literary

I almost married Christopher Bailey.

71 comments:

  1. Yes. I'd want to know why the "almost", obviously.

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  2. Yes
    As above, why was it almost.

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  3. Yes.
    Same reason the other said - plus, superficially, I like the character's name!

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  4. Yes. I want to know why it was an 'almost' marriage.

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  5. Yes.

    Excellent! I have a character and a conflict right off the bat!!!

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  6. Yes. Raised lots of questions of questions that would keep me reading.

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  7. No.

    A lot of us have almost married someone. I think, for me, it would be good a little longer, I almost married Christopher Bailey, but...except...(something amazing here)

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  8. Yes. Nice and crisp, sets up the expectation of what's coming next.

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  9. No. It's kind of an intriguing thought, but it lacks voice. There's nothing to set it apart and make it distinct. If there were some indicator of how almost marrying Christopher Bailey made her feel - even a hint of...regret, glee, sorrow, satisfaction, something else?

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  10. No. I think sometimes trying to be the shortest, punchiest line backfires. I'd like to know even just one bit of info about why the MC didn't marry him, or something about him. I feel like this is trying too hard. It doesn't make me care why the MC didn't marry him.

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  11. No. This one's close for me, but like someone else said, a lot of us have almost married various people, so it would almost have been better with a but after it.

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  12. Yes, it's the 'almost' that caught me.

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  13. Yes.

    The right words in the right order.

    It's the "almost" that does it for me here. You've created a reason for me to say "Why?" and I want to read on.

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  14. Yes

    I like the use of "almost" because it sets up the character, her situation, and the fact that she (I'm assuming) decided to walk away from a marriage proposal or wedding.

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  15. Yes. Good question raised with the 'almost'.

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  16. Yes. I don't actually know who that it is, but I like almost-marriages and it's funny enough that I'd keep reading.

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  17. Yes.
    I think there is room for a little more about him, but I'd read on expecting that tidbit right away.

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  18. Yes. I'm instintly intrigued who the speaker and her almost-fiance are. I'd definitely read on.

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  19. Yes. The almost has me. I need to know why it didn't happen.

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  20. Yes! Short, sweet and sassy. Who's Christopher Bailey ;)

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  21. Yes, but it's an almost no. The 'almost' got me, so I'd want to know more. But, given the genre, you'd have to do a very good job after this to hold me.

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  22. Yes.

    I like the voice which gives it a yes. But everyone I know could make that exact statement [insert different name] multiple times. Hope the next sentences make it interesting.

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  23. Yes. I'd like to know why there's an "almost" there.

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  24. No. Not enough for me to even care, except maybe for Christopher Bailey.

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  25. No. The next few sentences may lift it up, but this alone would not pull me in.

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  26. No- this is too common place, now if you had given me a hint like: "except he always smelled like ____________" I'd be hooked.

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  27. Yes. Heck yes. I want to know the story.

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  28. Yes. This one sentence leads to so many questions and I'm compelled to read more to figure out the answers.

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  29. Yes. I want to know if that decision was for the good or bad of the character and why it didn't happen.

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  30. Yes. It's pitch-perfect to me. This is a good example of short done well.

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  31. Yes. Like most here, I want to know why. I'm assuming we get some of that, or at least how she feels about it, soon.

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  32. I'd keep reading. I love punchy one-liners, and I think this one gets the job done. Definitely a fan of the "almost" and also want to know who and why she didn't marry this Bailey character ;)
    Ninja Girl

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  33. Yes. Sure, I'd read on--the nice thing about a short, punchy opening sentence like this one is that you'll almost always give the book another sentence or two after it!

    I must admit that on first reading I thought it said "I also married Christopher Bailey," which I found very intriguing...but "almost" is interesting, too! =)

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  34. No.
    A lot of stories start with this same idea (even if your premise is more unique), so it doesn't really stand out to me. The funny thing about single lines - you could have the most amazing explanation for why she didn't, but it doesn't come through in the first line.

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  35. Yes. Straight to the point and I want to know why she didn't.

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  36. Yes.

    It's very specific--"I almost married Christopher Bailey" rather than "I almost got married once." And the almost is intriguing.

    I envision a deep story about courtship and trials and lost love. I imagine the story itself will tell me what consequences she faced and how she felt about it. (Unless she's a he.)

    If that's not what the book is about, then it might be starting in the wrong place.

    This one was weird for me, though, because I actually know a Chris Bailey.

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  37. Yes. I think it's strong and intriguing. And you always think about the one you almost married and the reasons why you are so happy you didn't, so I want to know his/her reasons!

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  38. Yes. I want to know why. Sometimes simple works!

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  39. Yes. Nice, succinct, and made me wonder whether that was a good or bad thing.

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  40. No. It wasn't enough to draw me in. I maybe would've liked something more about the character or the reason behind this decision. Obviously, you can't get everything across in one sentence (and no one should try!) but this just didn't stand out to me as original or intriguing.

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  41. No. Made me wonder if I should know who Christopher Bailey is. Might have worked for me if it had been followed by "but then."

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  42. Yes! I really want to know more.

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  43. Yes. "Almost" has a story behind it, and since that's the story your character is probably going to tell, I'd read on to find out the "why."

    I particularly like the lack of embellishment - there's no attempt to explain here, just a statement that entices the reader to ask "why" and read on.

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  44. No. I guess it's because anyone can list a million things they almost did, but I'd rather hear about the things they actually did.

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  45. Yes. I want to know who this person is, and who Christopher Bailey is, and why she almost married him but didn't -- so many great questions, and off of just the first sentence!

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  46. No. I'm too busy wondering who Christopher Bailey is and why I should care if the MC almost married him. I'd like a bit more about why not or who the guy is. i.e., I almost married Christopher Bailey, the most popular guy in town (most gorgeous kid in school)...

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. No. The language isn't unique enough, nor is the idea. If it were YA or MG, then I'd be more interested.

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  49. No.
    I dont like stories starting with the protagonist's regrets (or relief).

    I would read on if the line was something like "I almost married Christopher Bailey, before he was arrested for the murder of his three previous wives"

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  50. No. But only by a little. Like many other of the above commenters, I do like the "almost," and am curious. But perhaps you could include just a LITTLE more information about Christopher Bailey? It almost feels like there could be an interesting story here, and I wanted just a little more of that "interestingness" in the first sentence.

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  51. Yes. With echoes from both pro and cons above. I would have loved an "except".... if it was fabulous and not overwirtten.
    Though the "almost" lingers with a hint of intrigue.

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  52. yes. would've like the addition of a caveat (or hint of one)as in I almost married...but found out he was a murderer an hour before the wedding...

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  53. Yes. Clear, simple, and I can feel the "but..." pulling me forward.

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  54. Yes.
    I want to know why she didn't, and whether this is something she regrets, or if it was more of a lucky escape.

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  55. Yes. The specific character name grounds me and the "almost married" implies instant conflict. However, something else (character, plot, setting, voice) is going to need to intrigue me very quickly in order for me to keep reading after that.

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  56. Yes. I want to know more! who is Christopher Bailey? and why is she relieved she didn't marry him? Great opening

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  57. No. Not enough specifics. There's no voice here, no indication as to what might come next.

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  58. Yes. It's simple and makes me want to read. I don't think voice needs to be established in one sentence. Sometimes it is, but it shouldn't be a requirement for a first line. The first line's job is to set up the story and make the reader want to continue.

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  59. Yes. Your line leads me to want to read the next. Whatever you do next will be just as important.

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  60. No. Too introspective for my taste.

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  61. Yes. It just sounded like you were about to launch into a really good story. And it's amazing that I can get "voice" from such a short sentence, but I do.

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  62. Yes. I'd like to know why she didn't.

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  63. Yes, of course. And please don't change it to add any "but he was..." at the end. You shouldn't listen to people who want to change your voice. Remember "Last night I dreamed of Manderly again." How many people would suggest adding "but" at the end of it? No, no, no! The next tidbit of information will, I imagine, come in the second sentence which I'm sure is a doozy!

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  64. Yes.

    Ditto above comment from Miss Sharp. Don't change it, it's perfect as it is.

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  65. Yes. I want to read on. The simplicity really works.

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  66. Yes.

    It draws me on to the next sentence to find out why not and how she feels about it. Was he the love of her life who got away? A serial killer she barely escaped? I can't wait to find out.

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