Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Line Grabber #19

TITLE: Circling
GENRE: Thriller

The full moon provided exceptional visibility, illuminating the silvery grass underfoot and, Lance-Corporal Nick Brady was sure, exposing their hilltop stakeout to any casual observer.

51 comments:

  1. No. It's too long, and too wordy.

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  2. No. Too much description.

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  3. No
    It lacks crispness and pace. A more staccato approach would work I think.

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  4. No. Too long, three commas. I don't think all first lines need to be a 3-word punch, but this seems a bit overboard. Maybe just removing the "Lance-Corporal Nick Brady was sure", or just leaving it at "Nick Brady" and reveal he's Lance-Corporal in the next few sentences.

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  5. No.

    This is a little too far from the sitation for my liking. You'd be better off to start with something simple like, "Lance-Corporal Nick Brady was sure they could be seen." (Okay, maybe not that but something that gives us the character and his feeling/conflict right off the bat).

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  6. No. It's too wordy and loses the immediacy of the situation.

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  7. No, it's too long and tries too hard.

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  8. No. It meanders a bit much for my tastes. The inclusion of "Lance-Corporal Nick Brady was sure" really slows the pacing.

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  9. No. This feels like it's supposed to be leading to a high-tension moment, especially with the mention of a stake-out, but shorter, more brief sentences work to convey that kind of feeling. This is too much at once.

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  10. No.

    Far too long. Too detailed for my liking. Too flowery.

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  11. No. The sentence is so convoluted that it reads like a sentence fragment, especially since you missed the comma that should go before and.

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  12. No. BUT it does have nice visuals. My only concern is that it's too long. I wanted to see more of Nick's emotion here, is he ticked off their position is exposed? Maybe he'd curse the full moon.

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  13. No. It's too long and the description is a bit much for the situation.

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  14. No. Too wordy. If 'Lance-Corporal Nick Brady was sure' was removed, it would help smooth things out.

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  15. No.

    Too wordy, too descriptive, and though I see the conflict the moonlight creates, it gets lost in the sensory overload of this sentence.

    Also, the conflict that eventually gets revealed at the end was stated so nonchalantly. You make the exposure of their stakeout sound like no big deal.

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  16. No

    Too long, too descriptive, and too many commas. I would almost suggest starting with "The full moon was sure to expose their location to any casual observer" and build from there.

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  17. No, not yet. I like flowery but your sentence structure is off and you're trying to cram too much information into the first sentence. I'd ditch the silvery grass and focus on the exposure - that would probably catch my interest best.

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  18. No.
    It sounds like you threw in the Lance-Corporal phrase specifically to get his name into this first sentence and it just makes it screech to a halt. Without that phrase, I think this might have been a yes. The "was sure" also weakens an otherwise strong sentence.

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  19. Yes. This did hook me because I want to know what's going to happen! The voice felt appropriate for the character and situation. That said, I'd take the advice of the others and tighten it up.

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  20. No. There's too much going on. It is flowery and poetic, not the way I would think a Thriller would begin. Tighten it up and take out some of the part about the grass and I would probably read on.

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  21. no.
    Too much going on in this first sentence. Shorten it, edit the adjectives out, and it would be evocative.

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  22. Yes. Although it's a bit wordy, I'd want to know why they'd be doing a stakeout under a full moon--something I understand is not something any team in this position would relish.

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  23. No.

    The sentence is monotone.

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  24. Yes. I like how the moonlight both helps and hinders the MC. The sentence could use some trimming though (ex. end the sentence after "hilltop stakeout" and maybe take out "Nick")

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  25. No. Too crammed, too many adjectives. You could have the full moon illuminating the grass (grass is almost always underfoot) without pointing out that it provided exceptional visibility (show, don't tell).

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  26. No- too wordy- I got lost.

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  27. Yes. I think overall that the concept of the line is good. It does lack a certain crispness, but isn't too far afield for adult thrillers. Still, I think it could be tightened and you could get to the punchline a little quicker.

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  28. No. I agree that it's too long. It needs to have more of a punch to it.

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  29. No. I feel like maybe you took two sentences and merged them into one, but then they both lost their punch.

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  30. No. This entry seems to suffer from comma-itis. As a writer of long sentences with many commas myself, I sympathize!

    I like everything through "underfoot"--maybe that could be a sentence on its own, then transition with something like "Unfortunately, Lance-Corporal Nick Brady knew that it also exposed..." Just an idea.

    Good luck!

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  31. No. Needs tightening up, focus.

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  32. No. You might be better off to start with the Corporal and what he's doing rather than the moonlight.

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  33. No.

    This is too flowery and wordy to convey the tension and sense of danger that it should. It feels like it might be better as a second sentence. It's also angling down--starting up high with the moon, moving in closer to the landscape, and then focusing down to Brady and his problem... but I'd rather start this out from Brady's perspective, with his nervousness about exposure.

    I also wondered why experienced people would place a stakeout on an exposed hilltop in the first place... but not in a good way.

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  34. Yes.
    It is a bit long, but it's in keeping with the thrillers I've read. I think you could probably refine it a bit, but don't loose your sense of atmosphere just to make it shorter. You can't ever please everyone and I think your story might be one that needs more than one line to get moving. And that's okay. I would keep reading for sure.

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  35. No. Interesting image, but needs tightening up.

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  36. Yes. I love spy and intrigue books. I want to know who Nick is and why he's on stakeout.

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  37. No, because I think you need that urgency sooner.

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  38. No. Just because I'd rather start right with the MC and not with the description. Shortened and turned around a bit, I think I'd like it.

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  39. Yes. I agree with the others that it's a little bit long, but I like the information shared and the fact that you really establish what your voice will be like throughout the piece.

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  40. No. This is too convoluted and that long name really tripped me up. Show us instead of tell us. Put is in the situation of possibly being seen and the tension that goes with that. I think you've spent too much time with a description of the scene rather than putting us there.

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  41. No. Too long, and too much information. I do like the image of the moon illuminating the silvery grass, so if I were to rework the sentence, I'd keep that for sure.

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  42. No. Too much description that doesn't really capture your writing style and the MC's voice.

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  43. No. Like where you are headed, but could have stopped with "exceptional visibility."

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  44. No. Needs to be tightened. Too much scenery in the first line.

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  45. No. Too many words. And not an interesting enough situation.

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  46. No. I think there are two sentences here; if it were broken up and reworded it can work. A stakeout can be a great starting point. I agree with other commenters on a shorter opener focusing on one specific detail.

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  47. No. I agree with others - too wordy. For a thriller, you need to pick up the pace, create tension.

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  48. Yes. I like that you tell us the setting, MC and introduce conflict right away. And yes, while a thriller needs to proceed quickly, I can see how a long sentence like this to start would allow the author to then get straight into action with a series of short sentences.

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  49. No.

    I don't mind long and twisty, but this one felt 'off'.

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  50. No.

    Maybe if you broke it up into two or even three sentences, you could get the same info across without losing a sense of urgency.

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  51. Yes. I'm not as familiar with adult thrillers, but there's something about this that intrigues me. And even though it's a bit wordy, I can see that you have a sense of rhythm. I don't think every first line has to be a short punch - though generally I would agree that the best ones are.

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