Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Line Grabber #22

TITLE: 1000 Suns
GENRE: YA (apocalyptic)

I knew when I opened the door everything I remembered would be gone.

56 comments:

  1. Yes.

    I like it because it gives us a vivid scene with conflict right away. The only thing that wasn't perfect for me was the "everything I remembered." The first time I read this, I thought you meant that his/her memory would be wiped out but then I read it again and thought you meant everything he/she remembered from the room would be gone. This is probably clarified in the following lines so it's not a huge problem.

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  2. No. This seems cliched to me, and also too dramatic when we don't know the characters yet.

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  3. Yes
    I'm confused but not in a frustrating way. I want more information which is probably a good sign that the 1st line works.

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  4. Yes. It's simple, clear, easily read, not clunky. All good reason :) And I like ideas about memory/losing memories so I'd want to know more.

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  5. No

    I'm confused already. When you open the door, your memory will be wiped? Or when you open the door the room you see won't be like you remembered it? It feels a bit too cliched and vague to me at present. If you clear up the confusion of what action leads to what event it might help.

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  6. No. I want to like it because I love apocalyptic YA, but it's not quite grabbing me.

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  7. Yes. I liked it. I wasn't confused (although maybe I should have been?). I took it that when the door was opened, the person's memory would be wiped. I'm definitely interested in reading more.

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  8. Yes.

    What happened? Where did everything go? How long has she been inside for?

    A good first line that triggers questions.

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  9. Yes. I'm curious where this door leads and why it would cause the MC memory loss.

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  10. No. It's a good image but having read plenty of apocalyptic fiction (both YA & adult), it's also a cliche one.

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  11. No. Conveys the feeling that the MC will spend the entire novel trying to regain the knowledge that they lost by walking through the door and so I don't need to read any further.

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  12. Yes, I like the image. But with "The Maze Runner" out there, you've got some stiff competition to top with this opening.

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  13. Yes.

    This was almost a "no" because if she walks through that door, her memory will be gone and that doesn't seem to make for an interesting story.

    However, I have to trust you as the author to keep me interested and this isn't about the rest of your story. This is a critique of your first sentence. I want to know more, so it did its job.

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  14. Yes.
    But yes in a "it didn't turn me off" sort of way and I always want to read more when it comes to apocalyptic books.

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  15. Yes, but tentatively. It's tight and clear, but I'd need to second sentence to be a knock-out to keep me interested.

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  16. Yes. I'm intrigued as to how he/she knows that the memories would be gone. Also whether he/she goes through the door.

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  17. No. When I first read it (before noting the apocalyptic part of the genre), I thought that the act of opening a door would erase this person's memory.

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  18. No. The sentence just confused me - if everything will be gone, then why not just leave the door shut?

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  19. No.

    It didn't stand out to me as a first sentence.

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  20. Yes. This is a very evocative beginning, and I'm curious to see what tragedy lies beyond.

    However, there is something about the sentence construction that threw me off. Perhaps, "When I opened the door, I knew everything I remembered would be gone." Or even better, something more stylistic like, "When I opened the door, I knew everything would be gone. Everything I remembered..." (except, you know, in your voice and style).

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  21. Yes. What could make you forget everything by simply opening a door? Is the person just concerned that what they see will blow their mind or will there be something to actually take away previous thoughts? Intrigued!

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  22. No. But almost a yes. A little vague. Maybe if you put a few specific things she would forget, like her parents or her pet cat, it would make more real.

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  23. Yes- interesting premise. I'd like to see how it's handled.

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  24. Yes, sets the stage and tone, and prepares us to witness what the mc is experiencing.

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  25. Yes. I want to know what's beyond the door and why the mc's would be affected that profoundly.

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  26. No. I'm not fond of "I knew" as an opening. This would be much stronger (in my opinion) as "When I opened the door, everything I remembered was gone."

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  27. Yes, while it can be improved, I want to see this new world that lies on the other side of that door. What the mc has lost.

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  28. Yes. It made me curious, but I didn't love it because it borders on melodramatic.

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  29. Yes.

    I pondered taking it back, though, when I saw that half the readers above me thought it meant her memory would be wiped and the other half thought what lay beyond the door was gone.

    Whichever it is, you need to tighten the line up to eliminate the confusion.

    That said, either scenario is interesting to me, so I would read on. I made the assumption that the MC is about to open the door on a wasteland.

    I liked the image and the tension it evoked because she needs to see what's become of everything, but there's also this hesitation because seeing it will make it real and there'll be no more pretending. At the moment of seeing, the world she remembers will no longer exist. It gives me tension and emotion.

    I agree that "I knew" is filter phrase that weakens an image.

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  30. No. This feels like one of those "blank slate" openers that are very vague. Why not just get to the meat of the story? Why not just start with the narrator already stepping through the door, or having stepped through the door?

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  31. Yes... tentatively. The yes is because I'm intrigued, and I like stories about memory and how it can be warped or changed. The tentatively is because this is slightly vague, and could be tightened up a bit (lose "I knew" -- you don't need it).

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  32. Yes.
    I wouldn't worry too much about people being confused about what opening the door will do. I'm certain your next couple sentences spell it out. I like the choice your MC has and I want to know what choice she will make and why.

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  33. Yes. I like the simplicity, and there are so many questions I already have. Where does the door lead? Why will it make this person forget everything? What is this person going to be forgetting? Where was this person to begin with?

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  34. Yes. I want to know what kind of person would put themselves in this situation and not be freaking out.
    ~Sarah F.

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  35. Yes, MORE! I love apocalyptic shiz.

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  36. No... but so close. It was mainly the confusion I had about whether opening the door would reveal the world outside had changed completely, or would erase their memory. It's so close, though. I like the mood, I like what it conveys about the characters. It's only that confusion that swayed me into a no. Sorry :(

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  37. No. I like it, but you need more punctuation, and a little more info. Slow it down and let it speak.

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  38. No. The idea is good, but I think it would be stronger with an image or unique wording.

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  39. No. This is at once dramatic and vague. Is the door metaphorical? Will things be explained to us? Is the narrator in the same situation as everyone else in his/her world, or is predicament something unique to him/her?

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  40. Yes. Absolutely. This sounds interesting. It sounds exciting. It sounds like some serious stuff went down, and I really want to know what it is.

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  41. no. i didn't connect with the voice and as an opening it felt a bit cliched. However, the promise of action and/or something intense on the other side of the door would grab most.

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  42. Yes. I want to read more and see what happens. Sounds like the character has opened this door before but for some supernatural reason when she opens the door at this point in time everything she knew would be gone? or maybe different? or maybe if worded differenty this door is not a door and maybe a portal to another universe and when she steps in her memory is erased?

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  43. Yes. I think the first line, even though there is confusion of the meaning, makes one want read on in order to discover the meaning. I thought the first line meant when she opened the door everything she remembered would be gone due to an apocalyptic event - like the trees would be gone, houses burned, etc.

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  44. Yes. EVen if forgetting everything is figurative, it sets this moment as something memorable with consequences. As long as the second sentence gives context right away, something tangible to work with and not another sweeping statement, it works.

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  45. No. I thought it could be stronger if you show your protagonist opening the door and seeing everything is different, than telling us "I knew when I opened the door..."

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  46. Yes. This was has me wanting to keep reading to find out why she's going to forget everything.

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  47. No.

    Maybe this would be salvaged by the next sentence. This line as it is confuses me because I see two ways to read it and my mind maybe interpreted it in the wrong way.

    It seems like it can be someone standing with their hand on the doorknob who knows their memory will be wiped if they open the door. OR it can read like they've just opened the door and knew immediately that their memory was wiped (which doesn't make sense - how would they know?). I suspect it's supposed to be the first one, but I keep reading it as the second one.

    I feel like this is a line that really belongs much, much later in the story, where the protag is making the choice: open the door and lose your memory, or don't and....

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  48. Yes. I am intrigued. I like the bit of confusion of will she lose her memory or will everything beyond that door be gone. I feel confident it will be explained in the next sentence or two -- which I want to read. I do wonder if you could add a bit more specifics to this to create more punch. Like what type of door -- her bedroom door, the front door of the house....

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  49. Yes.

    But I'm wavering. It is non-specific and melodramatic. And I'm not sure which meaning it's supposed to convey. Yet my first impulse was to read on, so I'll give it a mild yes.

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  50. No. But I went back and forth. It made me think for a moment, but it sounded a bit too dramatic and cliche for me.

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  51. Yes. This told me right away that the MC has a difficult choice to make and that the decision will shape the book.

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