Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First Line Grabber #21

TITLE: Shifter
GENRE: YA Fantasy

This wasn't Brae's first time stealing.

34 comments:

  1. Yes. I want to know why he's accustomed to stealing.

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  2. No...but just. I kind of want to know why it's not her first time but I'm also not 100% drawn in because it's been done before. Based on this, I don't know what sets yours apart. But you almost had me.

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  3. No. It's too plain and obvious. Someone above did something similar but it worked because it had a hint of voice and setting. (The one about 'this hack wasn't the first but it was the best.')

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  4. No.

    This is telling, and about Brae's back story. I would rather see her in real time pick up the item and shove it under her shirt. That makes me wonder if it is her first time.

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  5. Yes. This gives us a good feel for where she's been and where she's at, and it definitely makes me want to know WHY Brae's stealing.

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  6. No. There's nothing there to draw me in.

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  7. No. There just isn't enough there yet to pull me in. If you could infuse it with voice or setting or context that might help, but right now Brae could be anyone anywhere from a spoiled rich girl that likes to shoplift to an alien in captivity filching the jailor's keys.

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  8. Yes.

    But it was very tentative for me. I really think the sentence could be tighter, perhaps "theft" instead of "time stealing" which is awkward and clunky. The writing would have to be clearner, going forward, for me to continue past a paragraph or so, though.

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  9. No, but barely. It's just too passive. Maybe it it were followed by something like "but this was the first time his mark was a clown" or something.

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  10. Yes - It starts us immediately with action and conflict.

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  11. No, I'm okay with "telling" in a first line, but this one doesn't tell me enough. I'd rather see him stuff something under his shirt and have this be the second or third line. On the other hand, I appreciate that it's short and simple.

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  12. No
    -because it's too vague. What are we stealing here? I think more details would clue the reader in to what's going on. As it stands, it just makes the MC seem unlikeable.

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  13. No, but for the personal reasons that I get turned off by things like stealing, and without a character I'm invested in, I'm just turned off. Otherwise, it *seems* like we're settling into scene, so that's good.

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  14. No.
    I'm interested in the character and the story, but as a first line, it doesn't work. Show Brae in action.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. Yes, but I'm going with yes based on potential more than anything. Opening with theft is great, but I'd work on this opening to add some hint of Brae's character/voice. For example, "By the seventeenth time, thievery is easy," to establish that stealing began as a distasteful necessity, or "The second theft was than the first," to show that this isn't something the mc does often/naturally. Or if it is, say something to let us know Brae enjoys stealing. "This wasn't the first time main character did something shocking" is way too generic and not nearly creative enough, but you get a yes because I love fantasy, I like the name Brae, and I think you could polish this into a shining first line.

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  17. Yes.
    I want to know more about her situation and why she has taken to a life of crime.

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  18. No. Agree that it's too passive. Show us her stealing, don't tell us.

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  19. No -- just. I'm definitely curious about what she's stealing this time and how this time is different. But the way it's worded doesn't grab me. Starting with "this" weakened the punch. What if you had the narrator reflect on how previous thefts were easier/harder/somehow different to *show* rather than tell?

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  20. No. I didn't find it interesting. Nothing to draw me in.

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  21. No - Too mundane for me. Stealing isn't so shocking that I feel the need to figure this MC out.

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  22. Yes. I want to know more about the stealing; why this time.

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  23. No. I'm not particularly interested in why this person's stealing. It doesn't draw me in.

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  24. No, not enough punch. Maybe show the act of stealing instead (i'm not opposed to telling in an opening line, this just didn't have much juice)

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  25. No. Maybe if you said what she was stealing: This wasn't Brea's first time stealing, but it was the first time she'd.... Make it bigger and better. Stealing shouldn't be considered mundane, but it's not enough to grab me. Sorry.

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  26. No. There's nothing distinctive enough here, and it feels like it's going to lead into something that's already been done many times.

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  27. No. I'd prefer to see some action. Hard to do, I know. But what do I care how many times Brea has stolen?

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  28. No. I like the idea but this reads like a first draft attempt. I would want to see something a little more fresh to convey this idea.

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  29. don't hate meApril 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    No. Too dry, need him/her in the act or just after (or before).

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  30. No.

    You've used your first sentence to tell us what the story is 'not' about. It's not about Brae's first time stealing.

    So, what is it about? What did Brae steal? And from whom? And why? Put that in your first sentence.

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  31. No. To me, this has the same problem as #30. If this isn't her first time stealing, what makes this a memorable place to start your story? This is too vague, I have no impression of the character, what's she's stealing, why, and what she thinks about any of it.

    Also, you have a MG Fantasy called 'The Shifter', starting off talking about stealing? Considering what a big seller Janice Hardy's "The Shifter" book/series is, I'd re-think the title, for one, and starting with theft.

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  32. No. This doesn't give me enough of a sense of the character or the situation for me to care.

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  33. No. Because the title, genre, and opening line remind me way too much of another YA fantasy novel called Shifter that starts with the main character stealing something (in the first line).

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  34. No. Too generic. There isn't enough information for me to care about the character or the theft.

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