Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Line Grabber, Round Two #14

TITLE: Light Shifters (WIP)
GENRE: Tween paranormal

I was born mooning the world.

The last of triplets, I came out a** backwards, which explains my attitude so says Matti, who’s the oldest (seven minutes), the only girl, and never lets me forget my third-place position. What Matti didn’t comprehend was that my attitude might free the ghost haunting this old plantation AND save our butts from something deadlier than a mere earthbound spirit.

22 comments:

  1. No

    That second sentence runs on and on (33 words). Simplify the thought so that the reader doesn't have to work so hard to decipher.

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  2. No

    It's got potential though, I love the last sentence, that's the kind of thing that hooks me. The sencond line, and all that information, could be cleaned up and sprinkled in a little more as the story unfolds. I think it can be tightened. Otherwise it would have been a resounding yes!!

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  3. No, which is kind of a bummer (no pun intended). I agree that the second line is a huge run on that tripped me up. However, the biggest problem was that you sort of ruined the joke. You start with this awesome "show" in the first line, and then you slip into "tell" in the second. Let us see how this shapes his attitude, if not through action, at least through description of his character. And don't foreshadow that heavily at the very beginning like that. Huge pet peeve of mine.

    But on the plus side, the voice is good, and this works for upper MG. I'd probably read on, but not for long, honestly, unless what follows picks back up.

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  4. I'm not sure about this one. I don't mind the opening but it feels like it's stretching when you connect it to the paranormal. I'd also suggest you clean up some of the redundant words so it's sharper. For example, you don't need to say "third-place" and "last of triplets" and you don't need "backwards" if you say he came out a** first since that is implied. Finally, I don't think you should use "butts" again in the third line unless you are going to connect it to the butt in the first line.

    Good luck!

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  5. No.

    I liked the first line, but am not sold on the next two as they feel forced. Awkward, even. "what Matti didn't comprehend" - I am wondering if comprehend is the right word here? It sounds wrong. Reads off.

    'something deadlier than a mere earthbound spirit' - Huh?

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  6. No. One of my own writing quirks is to try to cram too much info into too small a space. That's what you're doing here, methinks.

    Plus, I agree with Kyle that the foreshadowing bugs. Find a way to show us so you don't have to tell us. We don't need to know the whole plot in the first three sentences: just include enough interesting stuff to move us into the first page.

    Finally, I have no idea how "attitude" might help with a haunting and how that contrasts with earthbound spirits. It's not good to have me so confused after three sentences.

    I do like triplets, though, and triplet ghost hunters is a fun idea. I'm sure you'll work out how to maximize your space on the first page. Good luck!

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  7. No. I liked the first sentence but the second sentence lost me by going on and on. When I got to the third sentence, I felt like I was working too hard to figure out what was going on.

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  8. No

    First sentence is great but the rest really is too much in one go.

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  9. Yes - I agree that the 2nd and 3rd sentences need tightening, but I really like this voice. For that reason, I'd give it at least a few more paragraphs.

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  10. No, there's way too much information in these first few sentences. Personally, I think it's more important to start developing the character's voice and maybe raise an intriguing question or two from the beginning of the book than it is to provide a big chunk of backstory. It's a fine line, giving enough info without overloading, but I think there's a bit too much here.

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  11. No, there's way too much information in these first few sentences. Personally, I think it's more important to start developing the character's voice and maybe raise an intriguing question or two from the beginning of the book than it is to provide a big chunk of backstory. It's a fine line, giving enough info without overloading, but I think there's a bit too much here.

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  12. No. All the focus on the butt of this kid feels forced to me.

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  13. No.It's confusing because it starts with 'I' so you think it;s first person, and it is, but someone else is a narrator. And it's unbelievable and off putting to imagine a triplet birth with one of the babies in breech. I suspect the author hasn't given birth. Ouch!

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  14. No, and I'm with Keren David on the triplet birth. It's kind of unrealistic. She'd have most likely been give a C-section, unless this was a long time ago. I know I'm being a stickler here, but that's what I think when I read this.
    Otherwise, I do think you have a good voice. :)

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  15. Yes. But only because you have definite VOICE here, and I think with a bit of tightening, you can have something solid. Your second sentence is a run on. You need to break it up after "which explains my attitude." Give Matti her own sentence. Maybe give another sentence establishing the main character's relationship with Matti and the other triplet. And then let us know the story set-up/conflict. But you've got voice. And I think you definitely have the kind of voice that will appeal to the tween readers this book is written for.

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  16. Yes. I like her attitude. :-)

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  17. This is a promising concept - I like the idea of triplet kids solving some ghost mystery. I hope you're able to rework this based on the suggestions given.

    @Keren & Rachel: I agree on the birthing points (although not a mother myself I work in healthcare). C-sections are so common now, I'd be very surprised if any triplet birth weren't already scheduled that way, esp if one was breech. If this were 30 years ago, not so much. That sounds nitpicky, and a middle schooler wouldn't know, but their parents might.

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  18. Hmm. I'm torn. I like the first two sentences but the third seems to jump way ahead in time and information. What ghost? what plantation?

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  19. No.

    I like the first line, but the second sentence is too long, and the third sentence feels too much like a movie tagline.

    That said, I do like the strong sense of character that comes through here.

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  20. Yes. I thought this had a smart humor behind it, and though it could be tightened, I would definitely read on.

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  21. Yeeeeees. I was one of the those who didn't much like the first line, but but I do like the voice and general idea in the next two. I do think they need some tightening though, and I'm not overly keen on the "but if I'd only known that..." type hooks. The voice got me, though.

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  22. Yes, just for the voice. AS everyone has said, your second sentence is too long and confusing, but the story sounds interesting!

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