Wednesday, April 9, 2014

First Line Grabber #27

TITLE: When the Up Came Down
GENRE: MG Fantasy

It was no surprise Zander McCloud was bored.

45 comments:

  1. No. Too bland of an opening. Most boys get bored easily, so the reader already knows this.

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  2. Yes (only just!). I would read on to find out why he was bored, but the reason better be good.

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  3. No. It doesn't grab me and it doesn't tell me anything about what's going on. I do want to know why he's bored but unless the second sentence is super amazing, I probably would not read on.

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  4. Yes, but only because it's not no. I assume I had picked up this book for a reason, either because I'd read the back or seen an interesting cover. This sentence wouldn't drive me away.

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  5. No. The sentence is passive, and gives no sense that anything interesting is about to happen--just the opposite, in fact.

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  6. No. It's tricky to start with a character who's bored because then the readers feel bored. It can be done, but you have to give us more.

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  7. Yes, but it depends on the next couple of lines whether I'd keep reading. This is rather bland, but if you follow it up with something amazing, it works.

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  8. No. Opening with a bored character makes me feel bored. I don't want to read about a bored kid sitting around doing nothing. Consider starting in another place. You can tell us how bored he was after we're into the story, if it's important.

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  9. Yes, but with caution. I'm interested to read on to see why it was "no surprise" that he was bored, but if there isn't something likable and sympathetic about the character pretty soon, then I'd be out.

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  10. No. Opening with the MC being bored kind of makes me bored as a reader. Too passive.

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  11. No.

    It's close for me, though. There's just not enough grounding for me. The "it's no surprise" part is my main problem, because i don't know anything about anything at this point, so everything actually DOES surprise me. Also, if it's no suprise, then why even bring it up, you know? Why do we care?

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  12. No--I would add just a wee bit more to the sentence. As in [some action or event or setting], and then add in that it was no surprise that he was bored. More grounding needed, I think.

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  13. No, but close. I like the character's name. Just nothing to grab ahold of here.

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  14. Yes, but it needs to be a really good reason why he's bored.

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  15. No. Too bland for me to care.

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  16. No - Being bored is boring. I want to read something interesting with action and starting out saying the character is bored gives me the impress that I will be, too.

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  17. No. The word "bored" instantly brings up a twinge of negative emotion for me.

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  18. No. Show us the main character is bored, don't tell us.

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  19. Yes--I want to know why it's no surprise.

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  20. No, I don't mind a "tell" first line that immediately goes into a "show. But "bored" is boring to me as are characters who get bored. It makes me cringe.

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  21. No.
    No surprise. Bored. Why not start with something that is a surprise and not boring?

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  22. No
    -nothing going on here and if he's bored then I'll probably be bored too.

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  23. No. We've got no scene and no character (character's name isn't enough to get me interested.)

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Sarah Maury SwanApril 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    No. Why would I care if he's bored? Makes me not want to get to know him.

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  26. No. It begins negative and doesn't contain an interesting hint about the character.

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  27. No, I've heard never have your character begin being bored, or the reader will be too.

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  28. No. Please don’t start with a bored character. If he’s bored, I’m worried I will be too and that’s not where we want to start.

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  29. No. I don't care about someone else's boredom.

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  30. No- It gives no hint of consequences.

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  31. No. The sentence needs more information— anything— to make it more "alive".

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  32. No. Short openers are tough! But unfortunately this didn't give even tiny clues about who Zander is and why he might be bored. Also, reading about someone being bored isn't very enticing -- I wondered what it would take to interest him in anything and not sure that's where you want to be with an opening line.

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  33. Yes. But only because it made me think of Artemis Fowl. The reason he's bored would need to be compelling to keep me reading.

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  34. No - When the MC is bored, so am I.

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  35. No. I'm not interested in why someone is bored.

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  36. No. It's possible this sentence might work in the context of what comes right after it, but on it's own it's just too common and ordinary of an idea. (Young boys always think they're bored!)

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  37. No. I have no basis to understand why it's "no surprise".

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  38. No. Starting a story with a bored character unfortunately is not compelling.

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  39. Nope.
    Not only is it telling rather than showing, but the rule of bored character = bored reader applies very strongly. Even if your target age group could relate to a boredom at a family reunion or a long class or a rainy afternoon, it is not neccesarily something they want to read about. Kids HATE being bored, why would they want to read about it?
    They'd rather read about somebody who was curious or scared or excited or anxious. Anything visceral is grabby.

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  40. No. Feels very typical/overdone... accentuating that it's a boring day and then suddenly, magic happens!

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  41. No

    Zander McCloud is bored. In fact, it comes as no surprise, which implies he's always bored. DO I want to read a story about a kid too lazy to get off the couch and find something interesting to do? No.

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  42. No - A first sentence should clue me in that something unusual is about to happen, not tell me it's the same old thing.

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  43. No. Too bland. Doesn't create any tension, any sympathy, or create an intriguing picture in my head.

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  44. No. I have no idea who this kid is or why he's bored. Kids are easily bored so that isn't particuarly compelling.

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  45. No, I hate kids who say they're bored. Or someone tells me the kid is bored.

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