Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Line Grabber #21

TITLE: Digo Bait (working)
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Jaeron knew it was unwise to make his captor angry, especially with the constant threat of being served for supper, but the younger boy, terrified and half starved, looked so miserable, Jaeron had taken pity on him.

55 comments:

  1. No. Too complex a first sentence. It is had been just the first section about making his captor angry, I would have been drawn in and wanted to read more - that would have been a Yes.

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  2. No
    Needs to be taken apart and restructured into 2 or more sentences so the setting and danger are not lost in the words.

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  3. No

    This is too complex. You're dealing with three people in your first sentence: Jaeron, his captor, and a younger boy (where did he come from?) Break this into more than one sentence, leading with Jaeron's plight. If you just said "Jaeron knew it was unwise to make his captor angry, especially with the constant threat of being served for supper." I think it would work better.

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  4. Yes. It immediately makes me sympathetic to Jaeron. It makes me wonder how his helping the younger boy would make his captor angry. And what the captor is going to do to him.

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  5. No. That's a long, long sentence. Too convoluted. Too much information.

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  6. Yes. Even though it's a long sentence, it's laid out and punctuated in a way that makes it possible to absorb it all. I still think you'd be better off breaking it up into multiple sentences, but it compelled me and hooked me.

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  7. No. The first time I read the sentence I almost thought the "younger boy" was his captor. It's too long and confusing for a first sentence. I agree that three people shouldn't be introduced in one sentence.

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  8. Yes. I don't think it's too much information because of how it's presented - it's clear and makes perfect sense to me. But I would worry that every sentence is this long. Although, when I read short first lines, I worry that every sentence tries too hard to be punchy. I like the "constant threat of being served for supper" and that alone would make me read on. As gross as it is ;)

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  9. No.

    Confusing to the max. What's going on here? Also the repeat of the MC's name, a no no for me. it should draw me in, but it really doesn't because it is too long, too much going on. Simplify.

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  10. No, BUT for a first coulple sentences, it might work. Just end it after supper. That would leave me wanting to know all kinds of things! Up until that point it would have been a yes!

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  11. No. It's too wordy for an opening line.

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  12. No. Too much going on here to be able to sink in and enjoy. Had it ended at 'supper', it would have been a yes.

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  13. No.

    Too many characters for the first line plus I had to read it a few times to figure out what was going on.

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  14. No.

    The sentence was very complex for a first line. There was a lot going on and a lot revealed too early. Some of it could be taken out and explained later. I like the premise, though, and a good, tight first line would make this an interesting read.

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  15. No. I'm with Jean - would have been a definite yes if the sentence ended after "supper".

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  16. No.
    Definitely too long and complex and don't like seeing the MC's name twice.

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  17. No. Way too much information, way too many commas and clauses, and half-starved should be hyphenated. Small errors like that in the opening don't give me confidence in the rest.

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  18. No. Like other comments it's a very long sentence. I think it would be better off as two sentences or one with less pauses.

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  19. No. I don't understand who the "younger boy" is and how taking pity on him will make his "captor" angry. And is the captor Jaeron's captor? Or the younger boy's? Too confusing :(

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  20. Yes.

    But I had to read it more than once. I liked the voice.

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  21. No. As others said, you're trying to do too much in the first line. It's a good place to start, but the phrasing could be improved and the concepts split up.

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  22. No. Too much crammed in here. A better first sentence would be your first ten words, or with a short bit added: Jaeron knew it was unwise to make his captor angry, but he didn't feel he had a choice.

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  23. No. Way too much information.

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  24. Yes- but its a little long and convoluted. I'd find a way to give us 'each course' separately.

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  25. No. I was confused by this. The mention of the "younger boy" threw me off. Three characters in the first sentence without any connection to them, is a wee bit much for me.

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  26. No. Unfortunately, this is too long to hold the weight you're trying to give it. Length and sentence complexity is something I struggle with, too.

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  27. No. Too much stuffed in there. I'd shorten it and make it punchy.

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  28. No. I was confused and thought for a few seconds that the "younger boy" might even be Jaeron's captor. I like Sara J. Henry's suggestion for how to break this up. Good luck!

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  29. Yes. I agree with some of the other comments that it's too long. I think it would be stronger if you ended the first sentence at "served for supper." That being said, the sentence still hooked me and I want to know more about the boy and who might be cooking him for dinner.

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  30. No but I think it could be better if you put a period after angry.

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  31. No. Needs clarity. If you took out "especially with the constant threat of being served for supper" it would make more sense.

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  32. No. Though it did sound interesting. An improvement would be to end it after "supper", but it's still passive.

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  33. No.

    It has promise in some of the concepts, but the line itself is too complicated. I had to read it slowly to make sense of it. At the same time, for all the stuff packed in, it's too vague.

    I really like the idea that Jaeron will be served for supper as a consequence. I'd keep that. Aside from that, though, you give us a vague captor, a vague younger boy, and a vague idea that Jaeron did something that showed pitty. This definitely needs a trim.

    The first sentence needs to present the dilema of choosing between being served for supper and helping the boy. That's the hook. Then launch straight into the action he takes. Weave in details about the starved boy and the angry captor as you go.

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  34. No. Too halting and complicated. Also I'm put off by the thought of the mc being eaten.

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  35. No.
    There's too much happening for one sentence right now. I think you have a good start and I do feel a connection to the characters, but it's just a lot to take in all at once. I think that if you simplify you'll have something really special here.

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  36. No. It's overloaded with information. I recommend breaking it up into a couple sentences and adding a little more context.

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  37. Yes. Although this needs a little work, (I would actually make it two sentences) Why is Jaeron a prisoner? Why is he being held?
    ~Sarah F.

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  38. No, you abused those poor little commas. Break it up. :)

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  39. No. I read it a few times to try and figure out what was going on, and I'm still not entirely sure. Sorry. I DO like that the character is trying to help the boy, and that tells me something likable about him and makes me sympathize with him, so that's great.

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  40. No. This is too difficult to follow -- you give too much information without explaining any of it. Sorry.

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  41. Yes.
    Fascinating concept, totally hooked me. I could forgive the lapses in punctuation.

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  42. No. Darnit! I like the idea so much, but the sentence is too convoluted and I mostly just feel confused.

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  43. No. All the information you present here is, I assume, relevant to what happens next, but it doesn't all have to be in the first sentence. The first half, up to "supper", can probably be inserted later in the page, and your first sentence would still be informative and attention-grabbing!

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  44. No. I agree with one of the other posters, that if the sentence stopped after supper, it would be a yes. But as it currently stands, it's too long and it's character soup.

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  45. No. Needs to be tightened and too the point

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  46. No. It has a good skeleton but it's not concise. Too many commas. Maybe one comma - but five? The idea is very intriguing. The mystery is good but the punctuation makes it a negative.

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  47. No. This sounds like a second sentence, and works well as that. It would serve your story best for an opening line to introduce the character and maybe reflect on a feeling or situation that leads to this. OR end the first line at the comma after angry.

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  48. Yes. It's too long for a first sentence, I'd definitely break it up, but it still made me want to read on.

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  49. No. Too many characters in the first sentence. I had to read it several times to understand it. Are both boys captured? Too many things going on.

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  50. No. The way it's written, it sounds like Jaeron is afraid of being served for supper, as though he is the captive. But the second part of the sentence makes it seem like Jaeron is the captor.

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  51. No.

    The sentence rambles and is too vague. You're forcing too much into this first line.

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  52. No.

    Try ending it after "anger." Trust that the first portion is strong enough to draw us along. We can get the other information (which is interesting and intriguing) in the next sentence and the next. It doesn't all have to come in the first sentence.

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  53. No. Wordy and confusing. Threat of being served for supper makes me wonder if they're planning on eating him.

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