Miss Snark's First Victim
I really like you title! The sentence is a little wordy and I had to read it a few times. You might consider cutting it in half.
Great title. Calls to mind the song, "Whiskey Lullaby" about an alcoholic couple. I like how he morphs from James Dean to the dead father. I'd definitely keep reading.
Nice title. I do think the sentence could lose a few words ('smoke swirling' for a start - would it really be swirling in an enclosed space?), and the 'it' in 'gave it away' made me wonder what 'it' was, so possibly could be clarified ('gave the game away', 'gave the illusion away' - something to hint at the horrors ahead?).
You had me until the But. :(
Great idea and a good start, but needs a little work to tighten and give it more punch. I'd read further because the idea is so interesting, but I have a feeling an agent might be wary of the verbosity.
I thought the same as Jayne, that it was a great opening with James Dean (though the 'swirling' isn't completely necessary). It took me a couple reads to follow and at first I thought you were missing a word or two in the second section and I still wonder if 'with' isn't missing after 'hit me' but you don't really want to ADD words to this sentence. Love the title, like the voice (don't really need 'unfiltered' either by the way or 'whittled').Also, as 'used' has two meanings here, I'm still a little confused: did his father hit him in the past (used meaning 'he used to do something, once upon a time') or is his father hitting him now (used meaning 'he used the cane to hit me')?Good start, needs tweaking
I like it!
Close, but the last half of the sentence lost me. I'd stop at "swirling," and then bring the cane down (and the MC back to reality) in the next sentence.
Great title, and really interesting opening line, but I agree with earlier comments that it is too wordy. A little tweak and it will be perfect. Would love to read more of this!
A couple less words and I'd definitely keep reading.
To long, but I like it! I'd keep reading.
It's a bit too long and wordy, and I kinda got lost on the way, but I do like the concept/idea in it so I'd read on. Also, LOVE the title. :D~Merc
Not a horror reader, but do like this opening. Don't even mind the wordiness so much (Tolkien anyone?) And love the title.
Oh my goodness, I want more. Love this sentence.
I like what you're doing here but I was a bit confused at first reading. I think you could make this clearer by breaking the sentence up into two and adding something like...In the darkness of the garage, I thought James Dean stood before me, his unfiltered cigarette hanging from his lips, smoke swirling around his head. The whittled hickory cane gave it away and I realized it was only my dead father. The bit about it being her/his dead father was a great hook. I'd read on.Good luck!
Interesting hook, but confusing. Play around with it and see how you can pare it down to the essence of what you're saying. Two sentences may work better than putting it all in one.I like the image of the cigarette, and the hickory cane. Those are enough to give me atmosphere here. Also love the title.
Not hooked - I found this sentence to be confusing.
Thanks for the awesome input! You guys are right! So...what do you think of this? I've now made it even wordier--but broke it up into three sentences. I think I like the way this sounds better than the original:James Dean was in my garage once. His unfiltered cigarette hung from his bottom lip and the smoke swirled up into his left eye so that he had to squint to keep it out. The whittled hickory cane he held in his right hand--the one he had just hit me with--that is what gave it away and that was when I realized it was my dead father.
Ditto that the wordiness made it hard to get through. As it is, I'm honestly not sure what is going on, or what point your MC is trying to make.
You know, I read the three sentences and thought they wouldn't seem wordy if they were about almost any other movie star. James Dean never said much. He was always in a sulk and that's why we love him. Maybe that's why it feels overwritten? Maybe pare down any references to him to an absolute minimum to convey his moodiness? Just a thought. And though it is the height of impertinence to rewrite anyone's work, how about: James Dean was in my garage once, cigarette hanging from his bottom lip, smoke swirling up, making him squint.Please post the first thousand words so we can see what comes next!
You have a great point about not representing James Dean appropriately. I need to think on that and come up with a different approach.Am I allowed to post the first thousand words? I'm new here!
If you go to 'Labels' and then to 'Submissions' it gives you info on how to submit the first thousand words. Email the Authoress first to make sure she's still accepting them.
Sorry, I'd pass. Nothing wrong with James Dean or dead fathers beating their kids, but the sentence is a run on and doesn't transition smoothly from Dean to the hit. It's awkward. It wouldn't be that hard to smooth out, just make it "..then he hit me with the whittled hickory cane and I knew.." but even then, you're stuffing too much stuff into the openning. I'd almost rather you portrayed Dean, then at the end of the paragraph revealed it was dad. Fred
I like it, just tighten up a bit.
It's too hard to read. It reads like micro-fiction -- an entire little narrative in once sentence.