Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #15

TITLE: The Parade of Haunted Homes
GENRE: Commercial Fiction

Johnny Briar first put boot to pavement twenty-one years ago, and not before and not since had he wondered on the occupancy of hell.



39 comments:

  1. No.
    The sentence is a bit long and clunky. Consider breaking it up? I'm also confused by the phrasing "wondered on the occupancy of hell". I'm not sure what this means, and I'm also wondering if 'on' is the right word (about?).

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  2. No, clunky sentence, reads a bit awkward, unclear.

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  3. No.

    It's complicated and a bit boring, honestly. I like the details of putting boot to pavement, but not wondering about the occupancy of hell just threatens to put me to sleep

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  4. No - talking about his boots being on the pavement, I read it as "wandered," not "wondered," and then I get lost by the time the sentence is through.

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  5. No. I really don't understand what this sentence means.

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  6. No. I don't understand the meaning of "boot to pavement" or what it has to do with "wondering about the occupancy of hell." Although now I'm wondering about "the occupancy of hell." Do mean how many souls it can hold? Or who exactly lives there? I think this would have to be a lot clearer for me to read on.

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  7. No. The sentence confused me, both in tense and in subject and in... well, all of it. I think you need to find a sentence anyone could read for the first time aloud without tripping up.

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  8. No - a little pretentious with the 'boot to pavement' and 'occupancy of hell'.

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  9. No. Sounds like a sermon coming up. It would be more interesting if he did think about the occupancy of hell afterward. At least that would tell us something happened that caused him to consider it. But if nothing happens to him, why should I read the story?

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  10. No. Strange choice of words. Who says boot to pavement? I'm still not sure what the sentence is trying to say.

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  11. No. You're trying too hard for a poetic tone, and you've sacrificed clarity. Has he been alive twenty-one years or been in the army that long or on some kind of quest? What does "thought on the occupancy of hell" mean?

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  12. No. The phrasing and structure is interesting, but I'm finding myself working too hard to figure out the idea behind it.

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  13. No. Some interesting images, but couldn't figure out what the second half had to do with the first half.

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  14. No. No flow. Might be a better way to say 'not before and not after'.

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  15. No - I'm a little confused, and the sentence seems awkward.

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  16. No. I don't quite know what's going on here and the 'and not before and not since' really didn't parse very well for me.

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  17. No. It sets the tone for the entire book and makes me wonder if all of it will be like this.

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  18. Yes- I thought it was funny and different and wanted to know where it was going.Who doesn't wonder about the occupancy of hell?

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  19. No--it's too distant. I can't connect with the character or voice here. It sounds like a distant observer describing someone--which is fine if you're writing from an omniscient POV, but I'm not a fan of omniscient.

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  20. No (sorry!)

    I had to read it twice and I still wasn't quite sure what was going on.

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  21. No. Awkward sentence that evokes nothing in me. Clever idea if stated more clearly.

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  22. What does 'boot to pavement' mean? I'd love to know. Does it have something to do with the occupancy of hell? As in, his 'boot to pavement' might lead to his 'occupancy of hell'? If that's what you meant, it's not clear. DON'T DITCH THIS SENTENCE. It just needs reworking. Okay, maybe massive reconstructive surgery. But it has promise.

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  23. No. I don't understand the sentence. I think maybe you've used the wrong preposition with "wonder"? But I am interested in what "the occupancy of hell" means and hope that a clearer sentence will get your story off to a great start.

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  24. No. It was wordy. I feel like if it was tightened, that it could work, because it has some intriguing concepts. It really has some promise. I'd spend some time revising.

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  25. No
    Sentence is too complicated.

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  26. No, sorry. It's hard to figure out what you mean and why he SHOULD wonder about that.

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  27. No. I have no idea what that means, even after a re-read.

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  28. Loved the - Johnny Briar first put boot to pavement twenty one years ago - but you lost me on the last half.

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  29. No--You're starting by telling us what he 'isn't' doing, or 'hasn't' done. What is Johnny Briar doing today? Where is he now? What is his situation? Start there.

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  30. No. I've read it three times now, and I'm still not sure what you're trying to communicate. Most of my confusion happens in the last half of the sentence.

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  31. Yes. I guess I'm the lone voice in the wilderness on this one. The imagery was fine for me and I would like to read the next couple of lines.

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  32. No--but I do get the voice and tone right away. This almost works for me; I like the boot to pavement, but the wondering on occupancy of hell was a bit too abstract. I really want this to work, it's just not quite there for me.

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  33. No. The two halves of this seem totally unrelated. It may become clearer in the next sentence or two, but reads oddly here.

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  34. No. I read it three times and it still means nothing to me. Why are we learning what he doesn't wonder about. There are a lot of things I've never wondered about.

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  35. As is, yes and no. Boot to pavement is nice. Original. I think what is confusing are the double negatives. I also think, as someone mentioned above, that maybe it could be better if something did happen to make him think about the occupancy of hell.

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