Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #10

TITLE: Keep Your Eyes on Me
GENRE: Upper YA Contemp

Death smells like rubbing alcohol and regret.

40 comments:

  1. YES

    I like the unique take on what death smells like. I'm hooked based on that description

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  2. Yes. Intriguing and unique. Grabbed me right away.

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  3. Yes!
    It made me want to read on.

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  4. yes!!! Love this - wouldn't change a thing

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  5. Yes. Good analogy to start with, and puts us in a specific place.

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  6. No. This would be far more interesting if there was an intriguing contrast in the comparison.

    ...smelled like rubbing alcohol and hope.

    Otherwise it's a pretty mundane description of any hospital death.

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  7. Yes, but if it turns out to be a parent that died, I'd stop reading. The description rings true.

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  8. No. It feels like it's trying too hard to be profound.

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  9. Yes. Great image and made me chuckle. Sets a interesting tone.

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  10. No. Regret doesn't smell? Confusing. I like the death smells like rubbing alcohol. Maybe, regret kills . . . something along those lines.

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  11. YES. It's short and concise and I enjoy writing that plays with words, images, metaphors...so I like the character telling me that regret smells. Also, it makes me think that the character must have spent some time cleaning up a murder with rubbing alcohol and regretting his/her actions. I'd read on!

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  12. Yes - voice is good, I'd read on to give it a chance to hook me.

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  13. Yes. Great voice and interesting description.

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  14. Yes. This made me want to know why.

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  15. No, sorry. Opening with death and regret just isn't for me. Since I also don't know what regret smells like, it didn't really engage my senses the way I think you were going for.

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  16. Yes.

    There's something kind of Dexter-y about this and I'd read on to find out more.

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  17. No it kind of sounds like a bad cliche

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  18. No. It doesn't work for me. I don't relate to how the character describes death's smell. To me, death smells like something else so this throws me off.

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  19. Yes.

    And altho I like the simplicity of it, I also wish I had something to visualize. Is she/he kneeling over a body? Reflecting someplace else?

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  20. YES. Though the next few sentences would be critical for me.

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  21. No.

    Inherently, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's a cliche. Not word for word, obviously, but the idea of something smelling like a smell + emotion. The cab smelled like cigarettes and desperation. The suitcase smelled like pineapple and hope. I'm just over it. Something more startling might work if you're tied to the simile.

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  22. Oh yes. I want to know exactly why the MC makes this analogy.

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  23. Yes. I don't think I've read a description of death like this before, but it also seems plausible in an odd way.

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  24. Yes
    It packs a punch in that one line!

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  25. Yes. I want to know why the MC knows this. The rubbing alcohol makes me feel like there's an attempted cover-up.

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  26. I liked it. If you never sell the book, save the line for another manuscript. It's a good one.

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  27. No--It doesn't tell me anything. All I get from this is that maybe someone died, or maybe your MC is near death.

    Create a first sentence that puts the reader in the scene. Where is your MC at this moment? Who is your MC? Why is he/she saying this? The answers to any of those questions would be a stronger opening that a vague comment with no context behind it.

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  28. Yes. I love the idea that regret has a scent like death.

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  29. Yes. Definite yes! Love the voice.

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  30. No--I like what you are getting to, but it's not quite there for me. I prefer punchy first lines, but in this case, the shortness doesn't pack the punch, it feels too straightforward with not enough hook. Or, maybe it's the absence of voice. Maybe if the character is inserted more, something like, "It shocked me when I realized death smells like..." to get the character's voice and reaction in there.

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  31. No, too over-written and heavy-handed for me. Bringing a heavy emotion like regret into the first line is tricky.

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  32. Just. I'd read on to find out where this was going.

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  33. Yes. I love the sentence, but I'm not sold on your genre. I think you mean Contemporary YA. There isn't really a category for Upper YA- there's MG, YA, and NA.

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