Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First 50 Words #14

TITLE: Searching
GENRE: Historical Fantasy

Living every day as someone else made it possible for me to forget me, Crystal Miller, the girl who let her mother drown while she swam to the riverbank and saved herself. It was easier to pretend to be someone else when we lived in Pennsylvania.


  1. In my opinion, I think the point gets lost in the sentence because it's too long.

    Perhaps shorten it to - Living everyday as someone else helps me forget I killed my mother.

  2. I am very intrigued by this! She let her mother drown...hmmm...I want to read more. But I do think you could shorten and tight, as Mary said, to really give the reader that first punch. Good Luck : )

  3. This is intriguing but feels like you are giving away too much in the first sentence.

  4. Intriguing, yes! But (isn't there always a but?) I had to read the first sentence a few times to "get" it. Could be my shortcomings. I'd suggest trimmiing it.

  5. I agree with Holly. I think you give too much away too fast. I think living as someone else is enough of a draw at the start. The reader will want to know why and read on.

    If you put everything out there right away, it's easier to make a determination on whether or not you want to read more. (Oh, it's a story about a girl who blames herself for her mother's death. I don't like those kinds of stories.) Down goes the book. Your story may be about more than that, but you've already lost the reader.

    If you dole the info out a bit at a time, you keep giving the reader a reason to hang on a little longer, another sentence, another parg, another page or two, until they're so invested in the character, they can't put it down.

    Let them get to know your MC a bit, then drop the Mom bomb. (but definitely do it in the first chapter.)

  6. I think you're giving away a lot, but if that's what you're going to do, I say go all the way with it and revise so that "Saving myself while my mother drowned" happens in the first half of the sentence rather than the last.

  7. I agree that the first sentence is WAY too long. I think it was the original Miss Snark that something about beginnings having shorter and to the point sentences, and then the sentences get longer as you go on, and then shorter again towards the end (you understand this isn't an end all be all..your sentences should always vary in length) but I do think it is important to keep beginings and tight and straightforward as you can.


  8. Can the last sentence here be the first? It was my favorite: "It was easier to pretend to be someone else when we lived in Pennsylvania." I love that line.

    I like stories about people pretending to be someone else, so I'd definitely read on, but the whole mom thing kind of makes me pause. I agree that it might work better a bit later, after you tell us more about her.

  9. Superb. Would love to read more.