Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #47

TITLE: Breaking the Butterfly
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

We peel back the oleaginous foundation of Maddy's clothing millimetre by excruciating millimetre, separating fabric from scab as selectively as we can.

49 comments:

  1. Yes. Even though it's over-written, I feel for poor Maddy already.

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  2. Yes, but I think the word oleaginous is a bit over the top and could be replaced with something simpler.

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  3. No.

    This feels over-written to me. I had to read it twice to understand it. Too many big fancy words strung together in one sentence. I want to be dropped into a fantasy, not dragged by the heels over every bump.

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  4. No. Oleaginous made me stumble as I had no reason to think that the foundation or Maddy's clothes would be oily especially if it had already scabbed over. Wouldn't it be crusty?

    I liked the "millimetre by excruciating millimetre" but it would probably be better in a later sentence.

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  5. Yes. Where implications of violence don't usually sell me in an opening, you opened with people apparently trying to help a victim with results of that violence. The unusual word choices also made me smile.

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  6. Yes, but I was on the fence. Simple (but specific) words can make a HUGE impact—it was your *fantastic* image of "separating fabric from scab" that pushed me to a yes. That made me curious about both the story and your prose. The fancy words in the first half of the sentence made it feel muddled, though, and I think you'd have a stronger opening if the first half was as simple as the last. :) Good luck!

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  7. No. To quote Twain, 'Don't use a five dollar word when a fifty cent word will do.'

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  8. It is a yes, but barely. I think the language should be simpler.

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  9. Yes. So many questions pop up! Good questions. All that I NEED answers to. Like now

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  10. Yes, but only just. I don't think it's very overwritten, but "oleaginous" is probably too much for a first line.

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  11. No: had to reread. Often, the best first sentences are the simplest ones.

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  12. Yes. I was really on the fence with this one. While I agree with others that it's over written, it's an interesting way to start things off. I want to know who's hurt, and why. I'm also a sucker for UF.

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  13. No. For me the sentence didn't flow well for me.

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  14. Yes, but I agree with other commenters that the sentence could use simpler language and still grab our attention. Loved the "separating fabric from scab" -- what a great image!

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  15. No, overwritten. Too many adjectives here. I also didn't engage with the 'we'. I'd engage better with an 'I' or a 'Jane' than a 'we'. It is interesting though.

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  16. No. It's a great sentence, but not so much an opneing line IMO. Too little context to know who Maddy is or why we shoud care.

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  17. Yes, but I'm thinking 'ick' as I read, and it's quite an off-putting description.

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  18. No. While I want to know what happened to Maddy, it's a little over written.

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  19. No. It stopped me. Give me a reason to read on.

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  20. "Oleaginous" sounds a bit thesaurusy, but the mood is good. I think you would hook your reader better with a simpler first line.

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  21. Yes. I want to know what happened to poor Maddy.

    I'd do away with the word "oleaginous" though.

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  22. Sorry, but no. Use of extremely uncommon adjectives is kind of distracting for me. I'd be afraid the whole book is full of them and I'd stop right there.

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  23. No, but then I'm not a fan of omniscient POV. Even so, I'm still pulled out by having to look up a word (oleaginous).

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  24. No- Sorry, trying too hard for me. Sometimes it's best to put the Thesaurus away.

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  25. No. I didn't like "oleaginous foundation" of the clothing - I didn't understand how it could have that texture while her body was scabbed. Also, there was too much 'yuck factor' for me, with the image of separating fabric from scab.

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  26. Yes! But I agree with the above comments about the word "oleaginous". Otherwise, I do want to read more.

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  27. No. I agree with many of the other comments--it feels too overwritten.

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  28. No. Umm, maybe I'm stupid, but I don't like having to look up words in the very first sentence.

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  29. No. As others have pointed out, it's overwritten.

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  30. Yes, but I was torn. As some other people have said I just think its a bit too much. BUT, it does sound like a very intriguing way to open a story.

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  31. No. Simplify. I also think the use of "selectively" feels off.

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  32. No--the reader doesn't know who "we" is, and this reads more like something farther down the page. I think something to show setting or engage with a named character would start this off better.

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  33. No. Entirely because I have a weak stomach, and would not want to read more about scab-peeling. *shudder*

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  34. No. Not as it's written. I'm curious, and loved the careful attention of "millimeter by excruciating millimeter," but the unusual nature of Maddy's clothing and the difficulty of separating it from her scabbed wound are fighting for my attention. in a bad way. Unless the oleaginous (and honestly, I would have to look that up to know exactly what it meant = pace breaker) fabric is integral to the plot, why add that detail now?

    Hope this helps!

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  35. No, the sentence was too long and awkward.

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  36. No. I'm all about learning new vocabulary, but if I have to look up a word in the first sentence (oleaginous) then the book is probably not for me.

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  37. No, but almost a yes. I bet it could be simplified to make it stronger.

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  38. No, though I like to learn new words, cracking open a dictionary for an opening line yanks me out of the moment.

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  39. Not as is. If simplified, yes. It's interesting and different and I want to know where it's going. Maybe: Mom and I peel back Maddy's clothing millimeter by excruciating millimeter, separating fabric from scab the best we can.

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  40. No, Too many unnecessary words.

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  41. No. Same issue as many above: the thesaurus-sounding word.

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  42. No - I don't like when I have to look up a words meaning in the very first sentence. This would have been a yes if you simply delete "the oleaginous foundation of"

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  43. No. I don't mind a big word if it's the perfect word, but is there some reason to say oleaginous instead of oily? Also (and this is really what did it), I'm not sure how clothes have a foundation.

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  44. No. If I have to look a word up in the first sentence, I'm already working too hard.

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  45. Yes--You start with story and with a specific image the makes me ask questions. You might cut 'the oleaginous foundation of.' I can't imagine what the foundation of her clothing is, and oleaginous, whether you know it's meaning or not, doesn't roll off the tongue easily.

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  46. No. Kinda wordy long and structurally problematic. So much so that, when I came to grammatical errors(BIG no no) I found myself focusing on that rather than reading the sentence. So I was forced to start at the beginning and read again... and again. Not a good way to begin.

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  47. Yes, but I think the use of "oleaginous" is overkill. It makes the reader pause, and you don't want the reader to pause.

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  48. No. Too confusing. Make it less wordy.

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