Miss Snark's First Victim
Great opening sentence.
'resist the urge to wonder' puts me off a bit. If condensed, I think it'll read stronger.Also, perhaps a bit of connection between location and Mr. Bailey might help my interest.
a little awkward, but I would read more!!
Am I still in love with Jake Bailey, I ask myself as I drive through the Smoky Mountains heading back to Atlanta. I think you need to rearrange this a bit to capture my attention. The first section of the sentence doesn't entice me much.
I think it could be tightened a bit. I'd drop the headed back to Atlanta. The Smokey Mountains conjures atmosphere and puts the reader (present tense) in the moment. Driving through the Smokey Mountains, I can't resist wondering if I'm still in love with...
Not hooked, I'm afraid. Like one of the others said, I think its the long intro- it weakens the sentence.
Like everyone else, I think it needs to be tweaked a bit. "I can't help but wonder if..." or one of the other variations mentioned.
To me, "I can't resist the urge to wonder" means "I wonder" and in first person you don't need to say "I think" or "I thought" or "I wonder" because it's implied with the actual thought. "Am I still in love with Jake Bailey?" Make sense?I think there are a lot of speed bumps here - but totally fixable.
Didn't hook me, I'm afraid. I agree with Amy Sue, though. It's fixable!
Not hooked. The passivity of the beginning of the sentence and the use of present tense just takes all the energy out of it.Plus too many words for too little information. The fact that she doesn't know if she is still in love is not interesting without context.
This has been a great exercise. I think I've decided to revise my opening to something more like this...Mist fills my eyes in a way that seems to match the permanent fog hanging on the Smokey Mountains around me. I will myself not to cry as I wonder if I still love my college sweetheart, Jake Bailey.
The sentence feels a little clunky, but I'd keep going since you're hinting at some interesting stuff. You've got to the end of the paragraph, anyway.
I don't like the sentence "I can't resist the urge ..." Are thoughts urges or do they just occur. It's hard not to think of something.. it's not a resistance thing. Perhaps you can't get the thought out of your head (although that is a cliche). Nice concept just don't like the wording of that sentence.
Maybe. It needs snippage, as others have said. I also admit I'm having trouble connecting Smoky Mountains to Jake Bailey. Unless that's where he is? Or... I'd expect that to be connected in the next sentence.
I read the revision and it doesn't work for me at all. :( I wish it did. To me it's purple prose.
Not quite hooked.
So, the two comments that seem to be repeated were that the sentence was too long/wordy and that there was no connection between the Smokey Mountains and Jake Bailey. Every time I rewrite this I like it better and better, so thanks for all your help! New beginning:Mist fills my eyes, matching the fog hanging onto the Great Smokey Mountains I'm speeding through. I can't get away from Jake Bailey fast enough, even as I wonder if I still love him.
the latest revision works better, but I'm not hooked. 'even as I wonder if' is still too long.
"Am I still in love with Jake Bailey" and "I can’t resist the urge to wonder if I’m still in love with Jake Bailey" do not mean the same thing. I like the way you worded it. It has more depth, more meaning. I wonder WHY you resisted it in the first place. The only tweak I would agree with is taking out the Atlanta part. "Driving through the Smoky Mountains" alone is great. I like this!
RE the new one: Mist fills my eyes...This is a much more ordinary sentence and contains none of the intrigue of the original, in my opinion. Not everything has to be resolved in one sentence. You don't have to tie Jake with the locale at all and I don't understand why anyone would think you'd have to, frankly. Good luck!
Any which way I twist the original opening sentence, it seems not to work for me. I think you have a good hook there. First, I don't need to know where she's headed. Smoky mountains gave me enough of a backdrop to the scene. Is she driving away from him, toward him? The other sentences are too awkward. Work with the original one.
I didn't like the posted 25 words, but others have identified why and it's improved since then. I'm still not hooked but it's getting better. For me, the speeding through the mountains part felt like an afterthought at the end of the sentence, not the most important part of the sentence.
A bit wordy for my taste. A lot depends on if that's part of the voice. I've read some really good wordy books, but not very often.As it stands, it doesn't do it for me.
I liked it.I would assume that the sentences follwing it would explain the drive and where Jake is, etc.I've been studying first sentences and first chapters in lots of novels lately.This actually fits the style of a few recent books I've come across.Maybe:During my drive through the Smokey Mountains back to Atlanta, I can't resist wondering if I'm still in love with Jake Bailey.