Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #42

TITLE: Lucas Peregrinus and the Escape from Manuki Island
GENRE: Middle Grade Adventure

Six pairs of obsidian eyes stared down at me from the rocky outcrop above my hotel room.

43 comments:

  1. No, because I'm having a hard time picturing a rocky outcrop above a hotel room. Is he on a balcony?

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  2. Yes. There's an immediate air of mystery and potential danger.

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  3. Yes. The sense of impending threat pulls me in.

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  4. Yes, the voice drew me in straight away, and the six pairs of obsidian eyes.

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  5. No.
    Only because I was jarred by a hotel room being near a rocky outcrop. I can't wrap my brain around this setting.

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  6. Yep, want to know what creature(s) the eyes belong to, why a kid is in a hotel.

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  7. No. Had a hard time with the rocky outcrop above the room and it didn't feel MG to me.

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  8. No, had to reread because I wondered how the rocky outcrop is in the room. I guess the MC is looking out the window. If it were a bit clearer, a bit more polished, it would be a yes for me.

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  9. No, had to read several times to make sense.

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  10. No: The sentence was too twisty to wrap my head around.

    Admittedly, "obsidian" doesn't sound too middle grade.

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  11. Yes. I like the title; the obsidian eyes fit well with it. Also, to be honest, I'm not sure why everyone is having a problem with the rocky outcrop above his hotel room. To me, it seems obvious that his room abuts a cliff or something and he's looking out the window.

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  12. Yes. I went back and forth, but I was intrigued. I'd keep reading.

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  13. No. It was a little awkward to read. However, I think if you rearranged your clauses to end on the strongest part of the sentence, the obsidian eyes starting down, it would work quite well.

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  14. No. I had to read it a few times to make sure I got it. Also, how far away is the outcrop? If it is in the distance, then I can picture it. If it is close it feels odd because no one's view from a hotel would be a bunch of rocks.

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  15. No. The eyes watching felt generic without more context, and I was confused how anyone could see an outcropping that's "above" from inside a room.

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  16. Yes. It introduces threat/menace and would entice me to read more. I must admit, though, it was the combination of this first sentence with your intriguing title that promised adventure ahead.

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  17. No. I think this is too close to the action. I'd prefer to start with character.

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  18. yes! It hits you with mystery and danger right away. Love it!

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  19. No, but I *really* wanted to say yes. I think if it hadn't been for the confusing bit about the "rocky outcrop above my hotel room" it would be a yes. If you could clarify/simplify that description, it would have been a yes.

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  20. No (sorry!)

    I'm having a hard time visualizing what's going on. Is the MC looking out a window? On a balcony? Some super power where he/she can see through the walls/ceiling?

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  21. Yes

    though i'm right on the edge. I'm also confused by the rocky outcrop. If he's looking out a window, or something, maybe just saying that would clear things up

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  22. No.

    Sorry, but I have too many questions and not enough interest to find the answers. How can the MC see the six pairs of eyes on the rocky outcrop from his hotel room? Is the rocky outcrop RIGHT OUTSIDE? Are these giant stone eyes made of actual obsidian in the distance? Why describe them as obsidian? Are they just shiny black eyes, or are we talking about statues? If they're just black eyes, isn't obsidian a little over-the-top? It's just not for me.

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  23. Yes, but maybe end with "outcrop." Hotel room setting could be in next sentence.

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  24. No: I can't imagine "obsidian" and "rocky outcrop" rolling off the tongue of a middle-schooler, so it makes me wonder how authentically kid the voice would be in the rest of the manuscript. (Sounds like an adult's vocabulary. Not saying a kid *couldn't* know these words, but it just feels off in this instance.)

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  25. YES. That's yes in CAPS! I found this concise and intriguing. I loved the hotel room -- shows the narrator is out of her usual environment. Six pairs of eyes is just so much creepier than one. And obsidian seems so unnatural. All this, and there's still room for the eyes to be statues and the narrator to have an overactive imagination. Or, she could be about to be chased by crazed, wild animals.

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  26. Yes. But probably more because of your title :) It has a fun MG flair. I had no trouble with picturing the setting. But perhaps it could be polished and clarified a bit.

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  27. Swirl & SparkJune 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    No. The rocky outcrop above the hotel room was confusing. The first part of the sentence would be better by itself:)

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  28. Yes. I had a hard time visualizing the outcrop and how it's located above the room. But I love your title and the sense of impending doom you've created.

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  29. No. The structure of the sentence presents a confusing image.Is there no ceiling on the hotel? Can he see through walls?

    Or, is he looking out the window to a rocky ledge and six eyes are looking back?

    It's quirky enough to be interesting, but you need clarity.

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  30. Yes. Though if the eyes turn out to be inanimate objects, I will be disappointed and probably put the book down.

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  31. Yes. Sounds adventurous. But I think it would read better if you cut "over my hotel room." It creates an odd picture, sort of interrupts the image of the rocky outcrop.

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  32. No--I think you lose some of the impact by too many descriptors. Obsidian is a great word, but maybe not for the first line of a middle grade. Maybe save that for a line where there is more context for young readers to draw from (I suggested with my fairly limited knowledge of children's lit!). I just think this needs some paring down and the adjectives can come later.

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  33. No
    We're thrown into a little too quickly and I don't care about the MC yet.

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  34. No. There are a too many prepositional phrases.

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  35. No. Is a middle-grader going to know what obsidian is? Also, black eyes would be hard to notice in a rocky outcrop.

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  36. Yes, because I'm about to discover what's behind those obsidian eyes.

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  37. No, but it was close. It's a little too long. I was thinking something like this: "Six pairs of obsidian eyes stared into my hotel room."

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  38. No. I was immediately wondering how close the rocky outcrop must be if you could see the eyes staring at you, and this left my visual really confused.

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  39. No--I can't imagine anyone building a hotel beneath a rocky outcrop. I think if the setting was different, it might be more believable for me.

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  40. No. I think if you left out the rocky outcrop and just left the hotel room you'd have way more impact.

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  41. No, because the logistics were confusing. Is your MC outside his hotel room? Is the outcrop actually overhanging the hotel?

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  42. Yes but change obsidian to something else.

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  43. Yea! From obsidian to six pairs to rocky outcrop and hotel. Everything sings to me and promises great MG adventure.

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