Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #17

TITLE: Blacktop Oracle
GENRE: Paranormal

After finding Mac’s body on Wednesday, Coop’s mom let him stay home on Thursday.

46 comments:

  1. Yes - I'd keep reading because I'm wondering who Mac was, and how Coop is going to be impacted by his death.

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  2. Yes! I want to know so many things just from this one line. Why is Mac dead? What Coop's relationship with Mac is. Why is his mom letting him stay home? and How Coop may or may not have been involved with Mac's death. Nice job!

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  3. Yes!
    It's crisp and hits you in the gut! I want to know more. Well done!

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  4. No. I'm not sure who found the body - Coop or his mom. Also, it seems that the first sentence should probably deal with the MC and at this point the most active person is the mom.

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  5. Yes, because that line is raising questions in my head and I want to read the answers, and learn about the connection between the two events and people.

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  6. No

    I'm curious enough, i just think, as the sentence is, i'm confused. It sounds like Mac's mom is letting him stay home, but he's dead. I had to read it more than once to figure out what was going on. I think it's too many pronouns and not enough names

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  7. No, because who is Mac? Who is Coop to him? If you'd just said "a body" I would probably run with it, because that's intriguing. "His brother's body" or some anchoring detail like that would be even better. Using the name makes it clear this is supposed to be an important detail that I don't have and therefore makes me less intrigued than confused.

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  8. Yes. It made me laugh out loud. Although I agree with Leah that it would be stronger without Mac's name and instead with his relationship to Coop.

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  9. No. It felt just a little bit too disconnected for me. How does Coop feel about the death and his mom letting him stay home?

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  10. Yes! It made me smile, for some strange reason lol. It's just such an awkward way to start (in a good way!)

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  11. Yes, but agree with everyone else about changing Mac's name. What I read the first time is that Coop's mom let Mac stay home from school after finding Mac's body. Well, duh, was she going to force him to go anyway? That's just cruel.

    Mentioning only Coop would make the "him" be clearer and you could show what the relationship between the two boys was - though I assume that will be shown in the next sentence.

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  12. No. It makes the death seem inconsequential. Also, what is it with death in these first sentences? So many people dead right from the start.

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  13. No. The way it reads, it sounds like Coop's mom found the body, and I don't think that's what you meant.

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  14. Yes. Definitely want to find out who Mac and Coop are and what lead to Mac's death. Nice hook.

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  15. Um, most definitely--YES! I am intrigued.

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  16. Yes. It raises good story questions, but the way it's written, it's Coop's mom who found the body. If it was Coop, you might reword as: After finding Mac's body on a Wednesday, Coop begged his mom to let him stay home on Thursday. (Could also cut the "on Thursday.")

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  17. No. I hate dangling participles.

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  18. Yes, but I'd reverse the order of the clauses somehow.

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  19. Yes, because of the story it hints at. But who found the body? Coop or Coop's mom? And I'm not sure I need to know right away that the body was Mac's. I don't know who Mac is. Introducing three characters--Mac, Coop, and Coop's mom--in one sentence is too much.

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  20. No. There isn't enough voice or emotion here. I feel like I'm being told of events by a detached observer, and I don't like that. Draw me in with character, don't just tell me what's going on.

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  21. I like the story hinted at, but there's a dangling modifier at the start-- did his Mom find the body or did Coop? That trips me enough that I'd stop here.

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  22. No. I'm guessing Coop's Mom didn't find Mac's body, so the improper sentence structure killed it for me.

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  23. No--but if the sentence were properly formatted so it sounded like Coop found the body then it would be a yes.

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  24. Yes.

    Sentence structure needs some work, but I like the concept behind this. Makes me believe there's something bigger going on/some secret, and I want to know it too!

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  25. No. Not as it's written right now. I'm curious enough about the story, but this opener is confusing. Who found the body -- Mac? His mom?

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  26. (No) Ha! Well, mea culpa. I mixed up the characters. However, I'm still confused :) Amended comment: I think starting with the subordinate clause was the issue for me. I know "him" in the second clause must refer to Coop, but the way this is phrased made me think, for a moment, that Mac's body got to stay home. Sorry if I'm being brickheaded about this. It just didn't flow for me.

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  27. Please be clearer about your 'him'.

    After finding Mac's body on Wednesday, Coop's mom let [Mac] stay home on Thursday.

    You see how that's NOT RIGHT. Yes, I recognize that the rule is that 'him' refers back to the last name stated, but the last person was Coop's MOM, not Coop.

    Just a thought. Otherwise, cool!

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  28. Yes. I love how the dead body is downplayed a bit. Funny and attention-grabbing.

    The grammar is incorrect, though. You've got a dangling modifier.

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  29. No. Maybe. It just feels so detached. Maybe the next sentence could help. If you're trying to show how your MC is coping w/the death.

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  30. Yes
    Although I'd like clarification in this one sentence as to who found the body, Coop or his Mom?
    Should be an easy fix.

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  31. No. I'm not sure why but I think it was too many character's in one short line plus two different days of the week. Consider simply letting Coop find Mac's body on Wednesday.

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  32. Yes, I like it but I also agree with the others, clean it up a tad.

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  33. Yes. I'd definitely read more because I like the author's sense of humor.

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  34. I read it again and I think I'm wrong. So yes, just yes.

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  35. No--As written, Coop's Mom found the body, and I'm guessing it was Coop who found it. And why is she letting him stay home? Was it exhausting work? Is she afraid he might become the next body? Is Coop totally distraught about finding the body?

    And who is Mac? His best friend? His dog?

    You could make this plainer by stating it simply - Cooper found Mac's body on Wednesday. By Thursday, he was in no state to go to school.

    And never start a story or chapter with a prepositional phrase. It weakens what you've written.

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  36. No. After reading through the comments, I see many other readers had issues with figuring out who was doing what—I actually did read it the way you meant it, I think, but I felt it was a little plain, and a little dismissive of Mac's death (I assume it's a death?). And now that I've seen how everyone thought Coop's mom had found Mac, I can't un-see it.

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  37. No. This sentence just doesn't work for me. It's all telling. There's no voice, no character, nothing special to it. Is Mac his dog? His friend? His brother?

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  38. No. I think Leah Peterson nailed it up there. The use of the two names made it confusing. Her suggestion to use "a body" or "his brother/best friend" etc would definitely help.

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  39. No--this feels like the energy has been sapped out, like it's all talking shop about weekdays when a murder occurred. HOWEVER, follow up lines would really help in this case, because maybe that was the intent, to show a detached, procedural type response to a shocking event.Then again, mention of a mom makes me think kidlit or YA. Hmmm...

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  40. (I guess I assumed murder when it just says a body, but finding a dead body seems shocking enough...)

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  41. YES, awesome hook. Short, sweet, and intriguing!

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  42. No. Seems like you're stating the obvious. I'd stay home if I found a dead body too.

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