Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First Line Grabber #1

TITLE: SHADOW OF A CRESCENT MOON
GENRE: MG Mystery

I focus on that tiny green painted turtle and hope the aching in my chest that feels like I’ve been underwater too long goes away.



35 comments:

  1. Yes...but only just. I want to know why the character feels this way more than anything. But the opening has been done before, so you'd have to wow me to keep me going.

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  2. No - it's too vague; I don't like when openings talk dramatically about things I don't understand the significance of yet.

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  3. No. This is a tough one, because the voice is good, but I agree with Lindsay. It's too vague for me.

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  4. No. While I like the idea of the painted turtle, but the use of "that" twice is a bit unpolished.

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  5. No. I like the image of a painted turtle but as stated above "that" used twice needs to be fixed.

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  6. No. Too many vague and typically unconnected impressions. I feel lost after one sentence.

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  7. No, but a little tightening might make it work. I had to read it twice to understand what was going on.

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  8. No. This sentence feels rough to me, and I suspect the entire novel lacks polish.

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  9. No.

    It's too wordy/clunky for me, and needs tightening. Also i don't feel very grounded. A kid is looking at part of a turtle and feels . . . anxious i guess? It's a mystery, but not one that makes me curious, just confused

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  10. No. It's a little awkward and muddled.

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  11. No, just didnt grab me, too wordy.

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  12. Yes.
    I am with the character in a place and I know how he/she feels. Maybe it's a little much, but at least I can empathize.

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  13. No. Too wordy; it could be compressed. I can't ID with the underwater simile.

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  14. Sarah Maury SwanApril 9, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    No. Though some people felt they were in a specific place, I was lost. Is the MC in the water or just anxious? Is the turtle real? Too wordy for a first sentence. Sorry.

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  15. No. I personally don't like when characters "focus" on something or I'm told where their eyes are. It immediately punts me out of the story.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. No - but it's a close call. A tighter sentence would help - the analogy (while apt) seemed to bog it down.

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  18. No- too easy to get lost in the description

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  19. Yes, there's a mystery here I want to know more about!

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  20. No. Mostly because if feels like we're really stumbling over this first image. 'tiny green painted turtle' with no commas could be just about anything - an actual turtle, a toy turtle - so there's still no sense of the scene.

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  21. Yes. The language is evocative and I want to know what's going on, why the protag needs to work so hard to focus, what's making him feel as if the breath is squeezed from him.

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  22. No. I like that you started with a strong emotion, but the sentence is a bit convoluted. I got lost in too many adjectives.

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  23. Yes. This sentence invokes two of my senses and gives me a focal point.

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  24. No.
    This doesn’t sound like a MG voice to me.

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  25. No. I liked the imagery of the little turtle and was curious about why the narrator is somehow in trouble. But this is a very long sentence. FWIW, the narrator "hoping" also made me think of that Chuck Palahniuk essay about killing "thought verbs" whenever possible.

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  26. No. Too wordy and not clear. I think this is an example of you running sentences together to make them one for the purpose of the "First Line Grabbers". If the first sentence was "I focus on the the tiny green painted turtle" it would probably have been a yes.

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  27. No - A little too wordy in the descriptions. I had to re-read it to follow the rhythm of the sentence.

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  28. No. It's just too wordy. I think you're trying to squeeze too much in. Cut it back and focus on what is important. For example, tiny, green, painted, all before we get to turtle.
    Secondly, the entire clause about being under water. Just way too much. And remember your audience, MG. Save long descriptive sentences for after they are hooked into the story.

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  29. Yes. Although this needs revision -- you can't say 'that' turtle when it hasn't been described before -- it gives me a strong sense of how the character is feeling and I like the imagery. It might work better to begin with a line just about the turtle, and show where it is. However, this sentence really isn't long or complex, and the rhythm is fine when read aloud, so the voice is fine for upper MG. (There's no need to dumb everything down!)

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  30. No. There's too much going on here. I'd like a cleaner sentence.

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  31. No

    It's long and convoluted with too many prepositional phrases.

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  32. No. There's a lot going on there. If the intent was the stream-of-consciousness approach, it doesn't quite translate here.

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  33. Yes, even though the sentence could use work I want to know if the turtle is a clue to the mystery.

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