Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Line Grabber #27

TITLE: Celebrewty
GENRE: YA Horror

"I don't want attention... I need attention... or else I'll die!"

59 comments:

Holly Bodger said...

No.

I have a really hard time with dialogue in the first line. It's too hard to feel the meaning when we don't know who is talking or, for that matter, who is in the book or what it is even about.

Nicole said...

No. While it certainly gets across the melodrama associated with teen voice, I'm not grabbed.

Katherine Ernst said...

No. This snippet of dialogue seems way over-the-top dramatic. Now, maybe your character is someone who is overly dramatic, but without any context, I don't know that so it just seems like poorly written dialogue--especially with the multiple ellipses.

casey said...

No. A bit over the top for me even though I realize its teen angst. Need a bit of context to be drawn in on this.

Loralie Hall said...

No. I agree that without context, this just feels like too much.

Cheyenne Hill said...

No. Not a big fan of starting with dialogue. We don't know if it's the MC or someone else talking. But I think the major reason for the no is the flow of the speech itself is a bit fiddly for an opening line. And agreed, too melodramatic right off the bat.

Alessa Hinlo said...

No. This is just too melodramatic without context.

Happy Dolphin said...

No
Immediately turned off by the self-absorption of the narrator.

B.E. Sanderson said...

No. Starting a book out like a whiny child is a quick way to get me to stop reading.

KimberlyFDR said...

No

Too over-dramatic and starting off with the use of ellipses turns me off.

Alice said...

Yes, why is attention needed? Death or need. interesting.

Rachel Menard said...

No. Starting with dialogue is rarely a good idea, and from this one line I feel the MC is a little overdramatic.

Tyson said...

No.

I hate ellipses. And it sounds like a stompy, pouty teenager. Over dramatic. One I wouldn't want to read about. :(

Jean Davis said...

No. Too over the top with drama.

MarcyKate said...

No. I'm ready to call the punctuation police after that and I just have a hard time getting into a first page when it starts with dialog.

GSMarlene said...

Yes.
I want to know if this being will fade into nothingness if s/he doesn't get attention. I think I would have a good expectation of this being the case from reading a back cover blurb. If that wasn't the case, then nah, maybe I wouldn't have been as intrigues.

mfleming said...

No, it just seems kind of whiny and it doesn't tell me much.

S. Kyle Davis said...

No. I'm sorry, but the ellipses are very distracting, and not really grammatically correct. And this doesn't make me like this character starting out. I can guess the type of character development you're going for between the title and the line, but perhaps make the character more likeable while you show their desire for celebrity (if I'm right in understanding that).

Rick said...

No. I know the inherent irony is supposed to be funny, but I rolled my eyes. Which isn't the reaction you usually want on page one.

Jessica Negron said...

No.

Very dramatic, forcing the reader to make a big emotional investment from the beginning. We don't want to do that. We want you to establish something for us to invest in first.

Erin said...

No. I'm not opposed to dialogue as a beginning but this just doesn't quite do it. Ellipses usually mean something has been removed from a sentence. I don't think there is anything missing here. Possibly take out "I don't want attention". As a sentence, I need attention or else I'll die, works for me. And it wouldn't have to be dialogue.

A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer said...

No.
Assuming this is the MC, the voice is too whiny and melodramatic for me.

Liberty Speidel said...

No... ellipses in the first line are annoying, and the voice just doesn't strike me as likeable.

Amy said...

No.

The MC doesn't come across as likeable.

Sara J. Henry said...

No. Once you've established your MC and tone of the piece, this might work, but not as an opening line.

Yttar said...

No. It sounds overly dramatic.

The REALLY Real Curious Crow said...

No. Unfortunately, a little too melodramatic for me to want to follow this character into the story.

SMKrafty said...

No- it feels melodramtic not real. Focus on the reason, then I'm hooked.

Harper K. said...

No. I like to find a character to sympathize with right off the bat, and this line just doesn't earn my sympathy.

rbgreene04 said...

No. I don't believe the dialogue. I'm not sure anybody would actually say this.

Tara said...

No. Not a fan of starting with dialogue--no idea who's talking or why they're saying what they're saying. A line of setup before jumping into this would do wonders. Good luck!

Ru said...

No. I don't love the ellipses and I can't tell if the speaker is being over-dramatic (which would turn me off) or sarcastic (which I could get behind).

JL Dannor said...

Yes. I would read a bit more to see if the character was self-absorbed, or if there was another reason for the drama.

Larissa said...

No. I'm not grounded at all, and I worry that this is the mc speaking, and I already don't like her/him.

Patti said...

No. I don't really like dialogue as an opener and since I don't know the character, I don't really care if they'll die of lack of attention.

Shakier Anthem said...

No, for the reasons others have mentioned: unattributed dialogue in the first line, overly dramatic with no sense of stakes.

sarahwedgbrow said...

No. I don't like dialogue as an opener...and if the rules must be broken, it has to be excellent.

skywriter said...

No, sorry. There needs to be a set-up of some sort before launching into the dialog. Even one line to bring us in would work:

Jordan leaned against his locker, his breath coming in short gasps.
"I don't want attention...I need attention...or else I'll die!"

His best friend Mark stared at him. "What the he11 is the matter with you today?"

Heather said...

No.

I have no problem with dialog as the first line, but this doesn't provide any context. I don't know who's talking or where we are or what's going on. It's shockingly dramatic. It sounds very YA, but in it's most irritating form.

The punctuation isn't doing what it should. Ellipses in dialog indicate a trailing off or hesistation. That doesn't match up with the sentiment here.

It would be interesting to know whether there's a legitimate reason the speaker will die without attention.

Cheryl said...

No. Sounds like something I've heard before. I do like that you're setting up the horror aspect here in a bit of an ironic way, but maybe the sentence could be tweaked a little to feel more fresh?

AG said...

No, sounds too melodramatic. Although, I wonder if that's what you're going for!

Wen Baragrey said...

No. Even though the title seems to be some play on "celebrity", and this could be some spoiled celebrity talking, it mostly just makes me want to slap whoever it is talking and that isn't a great way to start.

Julia said...

No. I'm sorry, but this seems so immature. (I agree with Wen -- I kind of want to slap your character right now.)

Jo-Ann said...

Yes. I'm willing to believe the melodrama is deliberate, and would love to see the speaker get their come-uppance. Well done for creating a thoroughly unsympathetic character with just one line. I'm wondering if you base her(?) on a Kardashian.

Beth H said...

No. I cringe at dialogue in first lines generally, and this one isn't compelling enough to break the rule.

Steph Su said...

No. Unrealistically overdramatic.

geewiz said...

No. Too much drama without context. Would put this back on the shelf.

A.C. Turcotte said...

No. I'm okay with dialogue for the first sentence, so that doesn't bother me. But this seems to me like it's bordering the ridiculous. I can't imagine anyone saying that.

Nata ArtistaDonna said...

No. Dramatic beginning

Vicki Tremper said...

No. Seems overly dramatic. (I don't have a problem with dialogue as first line, however.)

Stephsco said...

No. There isn't context yet for what's happening. Whatever happens to elicit this reaction should come first. Also, the elipses are distracting; it was probably added to stress tension but it drags out the opening, and that's not what you want!

Danika dinsmore said...

No. As with others, makes me think whiney brat and that's my least favorite kind of protag. (with exceptions, as it has been pulled off well before, but rare)

A Little Push said...

No. Too melodramatic for me.

TKAstle said...

No. Opening with dialog is dicey. This line is so over the top it's off-putting. Probably used later, when we know the character who says it, it could be effective, but used as the opening of the book it justs makes me go, "Oh, please. Dramatic much?"

macaronipants said...

No. No idea who is talking or why.

Bron said...

No. Starting with a line of dialogue is a risk, because we don't know who is speaking or setting or anything. You have to do it really well, and this was way too melodramatic for my taste. It sounds too self-aware for someone who was this fixated on needing attention and thus not authentic.

Traci Van Wagoner said...

No. Too over the top without giving us any context and information about the character. Is this statement really true or is he/she being overly dramatic? I also found the ellipses distracting.

Abbe Hoggan said...

No.

I don't know if the speaker is the MC or not, but it isn't a character I want to spend any more time with. Also, the ellipses feel like cheating. Without them, this would be at least two, maybe even three, sentences.

Lanette said...

No. Too melodramatic. The only way this would work if the statement is literal, but even then there are better ways to start a novel.