Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #19

TITLE: The Unicorn Garden
GENRE: Middle Grade

Clara was trying them out - the watch and the blue nail polish - and felt very grown-up for 12 and very Parisian, in an American sort of way.



41 comments:

  1. Yes! I love your descriptions, and feel like I know a good deal about Clara from this sentence alone. Very nice. :)

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  2. No but not because of the details. I like all the details but I think you might have a tad too much going on in the opening sentence. Maybe instead of all the and's consider breaking it up a little bit.

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  3. No. Trying too hard to pack too much in.

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  4. No. Too much packed into one sentence, feels like it should be broken apart or rearranged to give it a smoother flow. I'd also like to be shown how she felt, not told.

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  5. No, too many details too oddly placed, and, at twelve, I'm wondering about the Parisian/American contrast. Unless there's some HUGE aspect of the cultural differences in this story, I'm thinking that sounds too old for the age.

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  6. No. I feel like I've been dropped into the middle of a paragraph. That I should already know about "THE watch and THE blue nail polish." I think if you made it less specific, and broke it into two sentences, I would read on. (ie. "Clara liked how the blue nail polish looked with her new watch. It made her feel...")

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  7. No. I tripped over the choppy commas, and wasn't really interested in a girl trying out fashion accessories.

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  8. No - there's a bit too much going on in this first sentence.

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  9. Yes. I got a clear image of her and what she's doing and I thought it was cute. I'd keep reading to learn more about her.

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  10. No. As much as I like the character and the idea, take your time to show how the blue nail polish makes her feel, instead of telling.

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  11. No. It's too wordy. Clara's watch and blue nail polish made her feel grown-up for twelve and Parisian, in an American sort of way. That's still wordy, but better. Middle graders like you to get to the point. You can't let their minds wander because of extra words.

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  12. No. It could have been a yes, but there was too much packed into one sentence.

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  13. No. Although there's some nice imagery here, as a whole it feels dense, like it's trying to cram in too many concepts into one sentence.

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  14. A reluctant no. There is too much going on. I suggest leaving the blue nail polish and watch for the next sentence, and leading with Clara feeling grown up in her unique, fun way. Great voice!

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  15. No. I like the details, but I don't think a middle-grader would describe herself as feeling grown up.

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  16. No, the voice for this feels much, much younger than twelve. More chapterbook than MG, I guess.

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  17. Yes

    But, i will say it seemed a bit formal and old for MG. But i liked the details

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  18. No. I like the details-- but I agree with those who've said there's a bit too much crammed into one sentence.

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  19. No. Great voice but the sentence is too complex and gets confusing.

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  20. No, too long and detailed for a middle grade.

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  21. No.

    Felt like this could have been broken down into more sentences. Seems like quite a few authors here tried to combine things to fit the "one-line" rule ;)

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  22. No. it doesn't give me enough of a connection with the character or curious enough about her to keep reading. She's wearing a watch and blue nail polish and feeling Parisian. So what? Sorry.

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  23. No. You've crammed too much into this first sentence. The first part would be more effective if you said, "Clara tried them out- the watch and the blue nail polish." Avoid gerunds (ing words) whenever you can. :)

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  24. No. Nail polish and watches isn't enough to draw me in. I don't feel any connection to the MC.

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  25. YES - love the voice!

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  26. No
    Too much detail in the first sentence for me.

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  27. No. I like the idea and the voice but 'was trying them out' feels weak, especially compared to the strong images in the rest of the sentence. If you showed us what she was doing it would be much stronger. BTW how do you try out a watch?

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  28. No. Telling rather than showing. Not much here to be interesting. Why would a kid think a watch is Parisian? Pretty much everyone wears one.

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  29. Yes, I like Clara being very Parisian in an American sort of way.

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  30. No - awkward phrasing, and subject matter doesn't seem compelling.

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  31. No - good voice but felt like a data dump.

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  32. I want so badly to like this—Clara seems like she has a fun-to-read personality, and I like the ideas here. It's a no for me, though, because of the sentence structure and because I'm a little confused about what "very Parisian, in an American sort of way" means. "12" should be spelled out as "twelve." I'm thinking this opening would work better if broken into two sentences: "Clara was trying them out—the watch and the blue nail polish—and felt very grown-up for twelve. Also very Parisian, in an American sort of way."

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  33. No. Too wordy. Also, there's something about it that makes me think she's snotty and that turns me off.

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  34. No--The sentence is clunky. Instead of saying 'them' and then naming them, just name them. Then divide the sentence.

    Clara tried the watch and the blue nail polish. She felt very grown up, and very Parisian, in an American sort of way.

    But then I ask myself what a 12 year old knows about feeling Parisian. And how do you feel Parisian in an American sort of way. It's vague.

    Perhaps start with her applying the nail polish and tell us where it, and the watch, came from?

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  35. Yes. I loved the voice. You may want to chop it in half as has been suggested. But I like this!

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  36. No. ´The language is not middle grade.

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  37. Yes.

    I love the voice in this. It's 3rd person, so I think it's okay that it sounds a little older. Anyway, a 12 year old girl is not *that* young. They're not kids anymore. From someone with a 12 year old sister, I can totally imagine her doing this and thinking this.

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  38. Yes--with some edits; I like the sentiment here, but I think paring this down will help. You could name the watch and polish right away rather than saying "them" and using the em-dashes, and the last bit can maybe be rephrased a bit. Curious on the setting and unicorns etc, sounds cute.

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  39. Almost. I would have stopped at 'very grown-up'. I found the Parisian vs American reference too old for MG.

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