Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August First Line Grabber #17

TITLE: Heart's Conviction
GENRE: Historical Romance

A cool September wind carried a gathering fog and the rank smell of sewage from the Thames.

75 comments:

  1. Yes. Some intriguing conflict and good description.

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  2. Yes. Good scene setting in one sentence.

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  3. Yes. It seems like a good description that makes me want to learn more.

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  4. No. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not into first lines that give description of the setting unless it's unbelievably shocking.

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  5. Yes. The well worded description makes me think I'm starting a well-written novel. Bonus points for the London setting.

    This is my favorite first line so far.

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  6. No. It tells me nothing of the plot, only setting.

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  7. Yes. I don't mind when people start with setting. And I like the clear picture you created.

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  8. Yes. I'm into it because I like the mood. But wind generally disperses fog, causing it to *not* gather.

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  9. No. It doesn't do anything for me.

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  10. Yes. Nice writing. But I might also tag on a bit at the end, showing the MC standing there on the soil or something.

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  11. No. Too wordy.

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  12. Yes. I'm going to say yes. While I think I'd prefer story/character in the first sentence, as apposed to description-- I still liked it. I like how it started out with "cool september wind" and ended with "dank sewage". The contast is interesting. But you'd better get to the point fast.

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  13. No. I like the description, but don't have reason to care about it yet. I want a character and their reaction to the setting rather than just a description of it. Or the character doing something.

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  14. No. But if you added in the narrator's reaction - a memory, a thought, a *something* which shows us his reaction to the setting I'd probably have said yes.

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  15. NO. Too many adjectives in the first sentence.

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  16. Yes. Even though there are too many adjectives, I still like it enough to want to keep reading. The mood is set. But the rest needs to be stronger to keep interest.

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  17. No -- too much going on here for me, and none of it is character or plot development (I realize others may be more inclined to like setting as set-up than I am). Also, I had the same thought that the wind usually disperses fog rather than gathering it.

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  18. no. a little too wordy for the first line to draw me, but i do like the image

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  19. No.
    There's nothing here to pull me into the story. Plus, it's one of those 'weather' beginnings that editors always say they dislike.

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  20. No. I dislike openings that start with landscape description.

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  21. No. Weather is kind of Blah as an opening.

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  22. Yes. I don't know if it's supposed to make me laugh, but it did. And it brought to life what it was really like back then.

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  23. No, there's wind, for, and a foul order all in one sentence, plus addejectives for each. It's too much.

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  24. Yes, it's an interesting description. But if you didn't get to the characters in another sentence or two, I'd lose interest.

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  25. No. Too atmospheric with nothing happening.

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  26. No. It doesn't grab me enough to want to know more. To me, it could be the opening line of plenty of books. I'd want something more unusual and distinct.

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  27. No. It is a little to flowery for my personal tastes.

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  28. No. I always worry whenever a first sentence focuses entirely on setting and not the characters in it.

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  29. No, nothing about plot or character mentioned.

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  30. No. I'd be more apt to read on if the 'a gathering fog and' portion was edited out. Otherwise this is too wordy and ambiguous to grab me.

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  31. No. Sets a nice scene, but no one there to see it. (Wind and fog are not usually found together.)

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  32. Yes, but I'd cut out the gathering fog.

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  33. No. Nice imagery, but I'm not connected to the story.

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  34. No. The imagery is well done, but I don't have much to go on other than that.

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  35. No - well done, well written, and gross. But it doesn't tell me anything about the characters.

    Though starting off a romance with the word sewerage in the first sentence is... interesting. hah

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  36. Yes
    I happen to be a fan of opening with good imagery.

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  37. No. It's nice imagery and well-written, but would do better somewhere other than the first line.

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  38. Yes. I love anything having to do with London.

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  39. No, I'm torn. I want to like this but I think with some work this could sound stronger. It reads like a string of details but it isn't all that compelling. If the character was actively participating in being turned off from the scent, or lost in the fog, I think I would care more.

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  40. Yes. But the next lines better tell me something about the characters, unless this is a story about the Thames.

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  41. Yes, nice scene setting although I think it would be stronger putting the fog off to a later sentence.

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  42. No. Although it's quite possible to have fog while it's windy (I've never seen that), it distracted me. The sewage smell was a turn off for an opening. Mentioning the smell of sewage just doesn't seem to be the way to begin a historical romance. At least IMO.

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  43. Yes. As much as I want to say don't open with the "it was a dark and stormy night," the genre can support a sentence like this, and it's got nice imagery.

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  44. No. I'm not closing the book yet, but you also don't have me yet. I like the sensory details, but I'd hope to see the characters soon.

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  45. No.
    If you lost one of the three sets of adjectives then I would re-think but there are too many modifiers in too short a space (even for the genre) and that makes me think the rest of the book might be a tough slog. Keep some of them by all means but resist the urge to dress up every noun or verb.

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  46. No. No conflict, only information about the setting.

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  47. No. Don't like opening with setting description, doesn't feel interesting.

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  48. Yes, seems appropriate for the genre.

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  49. Yes, I think it does a nice job of setting the scene. I do hope the character is brought in very quickly, though.

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  50. No. I like the imagery, but this is effectively kicking off the story with a weather report. I'd rather see something happening, and then a picture of where it's happening.

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  51. Yes. I don't like "carried a gathering fog," because that doesn't make much sense to me, but I would like to keep reading because I feel instantly transported to the setting. I like really being "in" the setting when I read.

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  52. No. Only descriptive of setting. I need someone to care about.

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  53. Yes. Anytime a book is set in foggy England my interest is caught.

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  54. Yes, I like the description. Creates the setting quite nicely. Though it probably does depend on the sentences afterwards as to how strong it is in the story itself.

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  55. No. My eyes glaze over during setting description on my best days, so it just doesn't work to hook me in a first sentence. If the next line has some action in it, though, you might catch me before I close the book.

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  56. Yes. The description sets a mood, especially the part about the sewage smell, but it would be better if you could add a character in somehow to experience the smell.

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  57. Yes. The description sets up an unsettling mood for me. I want to know more.

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  58. Yes. For the genre it sets the scene well enough to make me want to read further.

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  59. No. I'd like to get away from the smell of sewage since I'm aparently alone in the gathering fog. Pity, I could use a handsome rake about now...

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  60. No. I can't visualize a wind and a gathering fog. Wouldn't the wind blow the fog away?

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  61. Yes. Descriptive writing that isn't overboard and draws me in.

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  62. No. All I have is a fog and stink and neither are appealing.

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  63. No. All I have is a fog and stink and neither are appealing.

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  64. Yes.

    I'll buy it for an historical. It's the right style, and I did like that it seemed romantic description at the front and then ran into sewage. It could stand some trimming, though, and all in all, I would have prefered character to setting.

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  65. Yes. Great juxtaposition of scene elements.

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  66. No. The scenery, fog and sewage, wasn't interesting enough.

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  67. Yes. Nice description of the setting.

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  68. Yes. I'm in the moment right from the start and now I'm curious to what's next.

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  69. No, I'm not too hip on openings that focus on description.

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  70. No. Fog and bad smells seem like cliched descriptions for historical London.

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  71. Yes. The writing s solid and I have faith ths is taking me somewhere pleasurable.

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  72. No, but only because I think there's too much. I'd lose the September wind or the fog e.g. have the stink roll in with the fog or blow in with the wind.

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