Tuesday, June 22, 2010

25 Words #43

TITLE: Dandelion Lawn
GENRE: YA

They say start your story at the beginning. But this story starts at the end. May 18th 2009, onstage at the Wood City Civic Center.

18 comments:

  1. Erf. The next part would have to be really good to keep me going. But I have a built-in prejudice against a story that refers to itself as, er, a story. And the copyeditor in me has to point out that it's standard to write "May 18, 2009," with no -th and with commas around the year (repeat after me: the Chicago Manual of Style is your best friend).

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  2. I don't mind the mis-formatted date (it seems like part of the voice) and I'm intrigued enough to read further... but keeping my interest would require something happening very soon.

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  3. Who is your character talking to? He'a talking to me, and if he's talking to me, then there is no story happening. If the story starts on May 18th at the Civic Center, put him at the Civic Center and start the story.

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  4. Agreed with Barbara. Cut out the first sentence and maybe have your narrator speaking directly to us, if that's how the rest of Dandelion Lawn plays out. Ex:

    "My/This story ends with me onstage at the Wood City Civic Center, May 18 2009."

    Maybe some description of the crowd/music/setting/etc would help pull readers in a little more.

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  5. Just read an article about drawing in the reader. According to it, the first sentence should show the MC in trouble, pulling the reader in.

    I don't see any trouble here...

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  6. I agree with Barbara...if the story starts there, put us there immediately. Intrigued by what could be happening onstage, though. It sounds like the kind of story I'd like to read :)

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  7. I like it - shows the character's voice. I think capturing that is very important.

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  8. Personally, I don't like the narrative-y style, especially for an opening line. I would need to be absolutely RIVETED by the next sentence to want to keep reading. But that's a personal thing, I guess.

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  9. I think stating that the story starts at the end is kind of obvious. Many writers and narrators begin their story at the end or middle. I like having a date so I know what time period to think. The onstage part is good, I want to know what this person is doing onstage, but the name Wood City Civic Center means nothing to me. Jump right to the action on stage.

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  10. The first sentence didn't do much for me one way or the other. The second sentence drew me in, so I'd read more. But I'm hoping the next sentence will be the start of an actual scene.

    Like the setting.

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  11. Not sure on this. I think it may be better to dive right in, and make the 3rd sentence (whatever it is) be the 1st.

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  12. I like the tone of the beginning. The third sentence doesn't seem to hold the same voice as the first two.

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  13. This sounds more like a movie voice over than a novel opening line.

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  14. I like the intrusive voice. I am hooked. :)

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  15. I kind of like this, if it's what I think it is. If this is a first-person POV, then you get the voice of your main character, and he seems kind of uncertain how to tell his story. If that's what you are doing, ramp it up a lot. Make him trip over how to start the story, and then decide to start it at the ending, even though he knows that isn't how you're SUPPOSED to start it.
    If, on the other hand, this is a 3rd person omniscient narrator, then it just seems as if YOU don't know how to tell the story, so you are starting with what you know you're not SUPPOSED to do because you can't think of any other way. Not a great confidence builder for a reader on the first sentence.

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  16. I think this could go either way. I'd be interested in seeing the rest of the first page, so I guess you've hooked me :-)

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  17. I don't know if this opening is the best approach -- maybe just start it with the third line. Otherwise it feels too much like author intrusion.

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