Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August First Line Grabber #28

TITLE: Bet Her Life
GENRE: YA Sci-fi/Thriller

Today is my 6,570th day of life.

94 comments:

  1. Yes. Because what 18 year old talks of his age in days.

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  2. No. The number is too distracting.

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  3. Yes. It's so exact that makes me wonder why the speaker is thinking that way.

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  4. No. The number is too distracting.

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  5. Yes. It promises intriguing character voice, but it needs to be held up really well really quickly.

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  6. No. Was kind of on the fence, but it isn't really enough to keep me reading. And I agree about the number being a distraction.

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  7. No. It's a nice fact, but it doesn't get me interested in the story.

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  8. Yes. It's not a great first line, but it's definitely enough for me to want to read the second.

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  9. No. I recognize that the number hints at something different and therefore a story, but I wasn't intrigued enough.

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  10. No. It just doesn't interest me.

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  11. Yes. A thought provoking first sentence.

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  12. No. I don't want to do the math.

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  13. Yes. I'm interested in why she's keeping track like this. It immediately sends me into a foreign worldview.

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  14. NO. I don't want to have to do math to find out how many years that is. (my calculator says 18, but what about the leap years?)

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  15. No, the language doesn't seem real to me and the number throws me off.

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  16. No. Confusing - I don't want to have to calculate how many years - what does that mean? Need more.

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  17. No. It is awkward to read such a big number in a short sentence.

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  18. Yes. Bang on for tone and it makes me want to know more.

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  19. No. I don't really care what day of her life it is. I want to know what about this day of her life makes her story worth reading.

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  20. Yes, but with reservations. With just a little bit more info in that sentence it would be unqualified.

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  21. No. Because I have no idea how long 6,570 days is. I guess I can see it being interesting but I can't figure that out because I'm all- Huh?

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  22. No. I mean, I'd probably still keep reading, but that has more to do with me than the book. The long number is a bit awkward, and I agree with everyone else that when I stop to figure out how long that is, I get pulled out of the story.

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  23. No. My first inclination was to do some math, not read on.

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  24. No. It stops me dead, trying to figure out how many years that is. If I had more sentences, I'd skip this one because it means nothing until I do math.

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  25. no. it stops me to figure out how old he is. but i like the voice and already have some sense of a futuristic setting for some reason.

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  26. Yes, because someone who thinks like this might be interesting or insightful. But don't expect me to figure out MY days!!!

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  27. Yes, already sucked in by specific, long number. Gives me an idea of character, voice, and setting. And maybe a little conflict if MC is tired of being alive.

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  28. Yes, because the phrasing sounds a bit ominous and I'm curious where the character is going with that particular line of thinking.

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  29. No, Seemed contrived to me, something a writer would say.

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  30. No. 18th birthday - hurray, but what else can I know about this person that makes me interested?

    I feel like there should be a comma and then a second part of the sentence. I don't think it's too contrived, and it is interested how they speak about years in days... but it doesn't "hook" me, yet.

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  31. Yes. It makes me curious to read on.

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  32. No. Immediately I'm distracted by calculations and such. I think you could get the same point across but in a more engaging way. I'm the person who would literally stop and find a calculator, so maybe it's just me!

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  33. No. While others might be intrigued by someone with Rainman-like counting skills, I'm not particularly interested.

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  34. Yes. It's mundane but it adds characterization and I like that.

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  35. Yes, I'd read on but I agree with others that this is not a great first line.

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  36. No. I don't like the phrasing, it makes me worried that if the first short sentence is this convoluted, if the rest of the story will be too. I'm also thinking this might be more of a New Adult, not YA given this narrator is 18.

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  37. Yes. So many questions. Vampire? Zombie? Alien? Other? Now I wanna know who lives that long, and why they are literally counting the days.

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  38. Yes. This is vague enough that I want more and I know it will be intelligently written by the use of mathematics.

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  39. Yes. Why does the character know this? I want to find out why.

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  40. Yes,because the tone promises something different, but the number requires you to calculate, which pulls you away from the story.

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  41. No, this did not draw me into your story at all.

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  42. No. I wouldn't slam the book shut immediately, but the sentences that followed this one would have to be very good. It just feels a little forced.

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  43. No. It made me want to pull out my calculator. Too distracting as a first line.

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  44. No. I only did the math on this in the spirit of this contest.

    Translation: "Today is my 18th birthday." Doesn't hook me. The only thing that makes the sentence stand out is the "6,570" itself. Sorry :'(

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  45. Yes
    It's funny and intriguing.

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  46. Yes -- curious why the time is counted this way.

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  47. Yes! Interesting beginning, makes me wonder how it's going to unfold.

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  48. No - although it gives a hint about the mc, I went into arithmetic mode to figure out age. Not where I want to be when reading a story.

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  49. Yes. It's dramatic, snappy and it fits with the title and genre. You manage to say a lot with so little. I am definitely intrigued and want to know more.

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  50. Yes. It caught my attention. But may I say that I was just as impressed with the people that took time to realize that the mc is 18 years old.

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  51. Yes! This catches my eye and I want to know why he's counting that way.

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  52. No.
    The number is meaningless and/or confusing at first glance and stops the flow before it begins.

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  53. Yes, sure the number is distracting, but I want the next para to let me know if I'd continue.

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  54. No. I think there is potential to make this more of a statement, embued with more emotion. Like this, it doesn't pull me in.

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  55. No. I need a little something more than age to pull me into the story.

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  56. No. Unfortunately my first reaction was, "So what?" It's doesn't give me any sense of the character except possibly that s/he is over-precise.

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  57. Yes. I think it's interesting, and you wouldn't put something so specific in the first line without something to back it up. I'd read on.

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  58. Yes, love the voice and am curious about the story. I'm assuming the MC isn't human.

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  59. Yes. I'm intrigued by the use of days rather than years. From the first line and title, I'm hoping it has lots of numbers.

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  60. Yes. I'm curious why the character is thinking about how many days he's been alive-why he's thinking of it that way.

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  61. Yes, because it's a unique, nerdy voice, but with reservations, because it does feel to me like it's been done before. If I kept reading, your next sentence would REALLY have to clinch it for me.

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  62. No. Funny thing is, I think I would have had an enthusiastic yes, if the genre was contemporary YA, because it would have screamed quirky character right from the start. As a Sci-fi/Thriller, however, I'm getting a monotone, doomsday-ish voice from it, and that's become pretty standard in that genre, it seems.

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  63. Yes, because people generally don't talk about their lives in relation to how many days they've been alive.

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  64. Yes, but I need to be hooked fast

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  65. No. I don't care how many days old someone is, I want to know why I should keep reading.

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  66. No. I thought it read years and then when I reread I realized it was a totally different story. Maybe if I hadn't misread it.

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  67. No. It aroused my curiosity, but I think it could be stronger if the first sentence hinted at why the number is important.

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  68. No. Just doesn't grab my attention. Feels a bit "so what?"

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  69. Yes. Because you just know something important is going to be appended to that thought, especially given the genre, and it gives you a really quick look into both the voice and the character of the MC.

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  70. No. The number made me pause and wonder how old that actually was, before I even had a chance to become invested in the story.

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  71. No. Made me stop to figure out how many years that is, and then makes me wonder if it happens a lot in the story.

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  72. No. I couldn't even think of moving on until I pulled out my calculator. Though I'm mildly interested in why she's calculating days instead of years, that's not enough to bring me back after I'm done dividing.

    It is possible that, if the calculation is in the very next sentence, I would move on--but you'd lose me quickly anyway if something more interesting didn't pop up soon.

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  73. Yes-No. On the fence (sorry). The thought of having to calculate the age in years from that large number was daunting, but it also made me question whether the character had Asperger's, which would hook me.

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  74. No. It's interesting that someone bothered to count, but not interesting enough and not meaningful.

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  75. Yes. Why not? Sounds intriguing.

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  76. No. If I've got to start calculating in my head at the very first line I run the risk of never getting to the end of the book

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  77. No. While it is intriguing, it made me think it make take too long to read through

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  78. Yes. I'd read on at the very least.

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  79. No. It made me want to grab a calculator to figure out how old that is rather than wanting to continue the story.

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  80. No.

    It's basically, "Today is my 18th birthday," but with sci-fi sauce. It's a wasted bit of futuristic flag waving, though I might have been intrigued if the age were mentioned in the context of a bigger, more interesting hint of conflict.

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  81. Yes. Very intriguing first line.

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  82. Yes. I'm intrigued by the line and wondering why the character knows such specific information, why it's relevant, etc. and I want to keep reading and find out more.

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  83. Yes. Interesting, and gives us a hint of character already.

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  84. Yes. Because it could be about anything. (I would hope not vampires)

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  85. Yes. I'd keep reading to see what kind of MC sat down to figure that out.

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  86. No, the number throws me off too much. But I'm also not really into sic-fi stuff.

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  87. Yes. I want to know why? How? I want to experience this world.

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  88. Yes, assuming it ties in with the story concept.

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