Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August First Line Grabber #20

TITLE: Anomaly
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

Unable to look away from the thick, sharp needle ready to spew cyanide into my veins, I wonder if it really matters how I die—because it’s going to happen either way.

77 comments:

  1. No: Too much description, needs to be toned down a smidge.

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  2. Yes, although it's the end of the sentence that draws me in. "I wonder if it really matters how I die -- because it's going to happen either way." Do you really need the first clause?

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  3. Yeah, but only because this seems like a great lead-in to a dystopian. As a fantasy, though, it kind of falls flat.

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  4. Yes. I'm instantly intrigued by what the narrator could have done to warrant an inevitable death, especially one by cyanide. And I have a thing for cyanide.

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  5. Yes. Even though the sentence is a little clunky and falls flat at the end, I'm immediately captured by the fact the MC is dying in the first sentence.

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  6. No. It feels a little gimmicky and overtly attention grabby, and if I were already into the story, it would pull me out.

    It's also clunky, and I think the sentiment would be more powerful in short, direct sentences.

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  7. Yes. It sounds interesting and I would like to know why it matters how she is going to die.

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  8. No. It is a little too heavy for a first sentence.

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  9. No. Too wordy, and I don't think needles spew things.

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  10. No. Start with "I wonder if it..." and then it's much better. Tried to do too much.

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  11. Yes. I'd have to read long enough to see if the MC lives. Then we'll see.

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  12. No. I was really on the edge with this one, but the writing was too much and the end about it happening anyway was like DUH. Everyone dies.

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  13. No. Very wordy.

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  14. No. Feels overdone with the word choice.

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  15. NO. The first sentence sounds too defeatist and depressing. Had the first part with the cyanide been left off, then it would have been a yes.

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  16. Yes.

    But only because the awesomeness of the first half of the sentence overrides the not-awesomeness of the second half.

    "Unable to look away from the thick, sharp needle ready to spew cyanide into my veins," YES! Love this.

    "I wonder if it really matters how I die—because it’s going to happen either way." Don't love so much. A little cliche. Not an interesting or original thought.

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  17. No. Too long. Some of the word choices seem off - a thick needle? a needle spewing? - which makes me think the rest of the story will be just as cumbersome. And 'either way' doesn't make sense to finish the sentence. There are many ways to die.

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  18. Yes - it's a little cumbersome for a first sentence, but I still want to know what happens.

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  19. No - but I would if you inverted it and cut it in half, i.e., beginning with "I wonder if it really matters how I die - it's going to happen either way."

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  20. Yes, because the end makes me want to keep reading--I want to know why the mc is going to die. I do think the wording is a little bogged down. Still, I'm super curious to know more about this.

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  21. No, regretfully. I like the idea, but as others have said it's too wordy. Try something like "Unable to ignore the needle about to inject my veins with cyanide, I wonder if it really matters how I die."

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  22. No: "Thick, sharp needle ready to spew" sounds really clunky - the overall sentence is a bit too long too. Really heavy handed for a first sentence. I like the premise, but this is not as great of a first line as it could be.

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  23. No. Needles don't spew, but besides that, when I look at a needle I'm more wondering how much it'll hurt. Wondering how you die would be less important when it's happening, I think.

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  24. No. The sentence feels a little awkward, and I know that she's not going to die. 'The I survives' right?

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  25. No, the word 'spew' drew me straight out of the story. It seemed both imprecise and too cavalier for the context.

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  26. Ewww, you guys are killing my breakfast! But I'd go for a yes because I like the second part, how it's going to happen either way.

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  27. No. Construction is off for me.

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  28. No. I mean, I'm torn on this one. It just felt a little too bulky and the word spew hung me up for some reason. Sounds like something I'd read, but I'd simplify it a bit. The ending of the sentence does it's job and grabs me but it was all that did.

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  29. No, a bit too much description for the first line. Close but no.

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  30. No. The word choice is clunky. A needle can't spew inside a vein and why is he wondering about death when it's imminent? I wonder about the weather tomorrow. I don't wonder about imminent death.

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  31. No. Overly wordy, especially with extra adjectives like 'thick, sharp'. All we need to know is that it's a needle.

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  32. No, it feels a little over written to me.

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  33. Yes. It's wordy, but I'm intrigued.

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  34. No. Wordy and clunky and a bit confusing. And "spew" threw me off.

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  35. No. Too much information! Perhaps if you edited it down, made it punchier.

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  36. No. I agree with an earlier comment: "I wonder if it really matters how I die -- because it's going to happen either way." Do you really need the first clause?

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  37. No. Tough to read,sounds morbid and if the protag is giving up in the first sentence, where is the story?

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  38. No, a little too dark and intense for the opening line. We don't know your character well enough yet to care if or how he dies.

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  39. No. Too much description and I didn't like 'spew.' It has good conflict though. I little tweaking and I think this one's a winner.

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  40. No
    Yuck. I hate needles so this just makes me cringe and not want to read.

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  41. Yes. But, take out the "thick", it slows the first part down too much. I was also a little confused by the "either way" since we don't have any idea what the other way is yet. But I would read the next couple lines.

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  42. Yes. I thought I wouldn't like it at first since I like shorter, snappier first lines, but I think it accomplished what you wanted without falling apart.

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  43. Yes although I'm on the fence. This would stand better without the last phrase.

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  44. No. There's just too much detail happening here. I get the feeling you're trying to tell me that this character was facing something that was going to kill him that wasn't the needle. My problem is that death is going to happen to everyone. It's never an either This or Death option. It just either This Death or Death Later or Death Considerably Later.

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  45. No. Good idea, but over written.

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  46. No.
    Too awkward in its construction and the choice of spew does not fit with needle.

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  47. No. Turned off by "I wonder" (telling).

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  48. No, sentence feels too clunky.

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  49. No. I was on the fence here. I'd like to know why this character is about to be killed, but this sentence is clunky and makes me worry that the rest of the story will be wordy and slow.

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  50. No. "Spew" seems a bit heavy handed, especially along with those adjectives.

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  51. Yes, though I don't like "spew" I want to find out more about how the narrator is telling the story or how s/he got away.

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  52. Yes. I think it might strengthen the sentence to somehow move the death up, or somehow split and shorten--there is a lot of info in this sentence--but the needle and cyanide drew me in right away.

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  53. No. It's clunky and packs too much information into one sentence. And "either way" suggests one of two ways but we only see one.

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  54. No, though I'm tempted. There's really too much introspection going on for a first sentence. Try starting with the needle and explain the inevitability later.

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  55. No. The sentence is a bit clunky, and since he/she is narrating the book, I know he/she isn't going to die.

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  56. Yes.I'm curious as to how they got into this position, and I'm intrigued by the voice. I wonder if this is showing an ending as prologue, though. It does feel kind of clunky, though, and could probably be split into multiple sentences.

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  57. No. If the first sentence is this flowery, I can only imagine what the rest of the book is like.

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  58. Yes. For YA I think it works okay. It's awkward though, and I didn't like 'spew.' It's your character though, he/she is going to say what they're going to say.

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  59. No. Death in the very first line is never much of an enticement for me.

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  60. Yes. I want to know if the MC finds his/her way out of this predicament.

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  61. No. Way too much going on, maybe if it was edited down to something simple, it would have a bigger impact.

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  62. No.

    I like the idea of going to die no matter what... but the description here was too heavy, and it didn't feel in the moment (too retrospective) to be 1st-person present.

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  63. No. Too complicated and "spew" calls attention to itself.

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  64. No. It starts with way too many prepositional phrases. Start with "I wonder.. ."

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  65. Yes. What in the world is going on?

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  66. No. Too much information forced in, which makes it sound stilted

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  67. No. I don't care about the character yet, so I don't care whether he/she dies or not.

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  68. No. Seemed forced, especially the word 'spew'.

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  69. No. The subject matter is interesting but the first line us too wordy.

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  70. No, I think there's too much going on. If it was simple like 'I can't look away from the needle.' maybe.

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