Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #21

TITLE: Toward the Light
GENRE: suspense

Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man on a breezy late fall afternoon.

44 comments:

  1. Yes - I love the imagery, and I want to read on to find out who Maria intends to kill and why.

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  2. A very reluctant No. Even though I really liked this. The only reason I say no is because there was just one too many adjectives which made the sentence a bit clunky. I suggest snipping the words breezy and late and I think you have a clean, snappy opening.

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  3. Yes. Good combination of place and tone.

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  4. Yes!

    I love this. The juxtaposition between murder and the image of a peaceful afternoon is just great. And I love how simply it's stated. Well done!

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  5. Yes

    I love the full outlining of her name which is formal and counter to the point that she's there to kill a man.

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  6. Yes, though I think it could be tightened a bit to give it more impact. The order of the words puts emphasis on the killing, which, I understand is the point, but it's also commonplace, where the contrast of the spring day gets washed out when it comes after all those details (that's 4 names we had to learn there, though I grant it's for only one person and one place, it's still brand new information for the reader just stepping into the story.)

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  7. No. There were a few unnecessary words that made it not tight enough. Like the middle and last names, and the fact that it was *late* fall. These felt unnecessary.

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  8. No. I fell like the "breezy late fall afternoon" doesn't belong in this sentence. Maybe if it came before "to kill a man." Right now, it reads awkwardly to me, and I wouldn't read on.

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  9. Yes, but I would suggest the following edit to make the sentence flow better:

    "On a breezy late fall afternoon, Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man."

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  10. Yes. While you could tighten the writing just a bit, I like the tone and the contrast between the nice, relaxed day and the premeditated murder.

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  11. No. The "breezy late fall afternoon" killed it. I like her name and the play on words with the title. This one is close. You just need a better description for the day.

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  12. Yes, but...I would take out the breezy afternoon bit. I like it better as just "Maria Luz returned to Guatemala to kill a man." Or if you want to keep the afternoon bit, just re-word the sentence

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  13. No. Mostly though because the "on a breezy late fall afternoon" feels tacked on. With that cut, I think I'd say yes.

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  14. Yes, but open with the breezy afternoon and end with the kill a man.

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  15. Yes, maybe...if edited per Autumn2May's suggestion above. As is, the "on a breezy late fall afternoon" feels tacked on. An absolute yes if the sentence was shortened to "Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man."

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  16. Yes. Love concept, I'm hooked.

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  17. No. As others have said, it would have been a yes if the sentence ended after "man."

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  18. Yes, but almost no. While I find the contrast interesting, I don't like the way it's worded. I immediately edited the sentence in my mind to make it flow better.

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  19. Yes, if you left off the part about the weather or better, if you began the sentence with it. Right now it's clunky and if the rest of the paragraph reads this way, I'd stop.

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  20. Yes, but I agree with Autumn2May:

    "On a breezy late fall afternoon, Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man."

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  21. Yes--if you edit the sentence a bit. I do love the contrast with the breezy afternoon, but "breezy late fall" is a bit too much.

    On a breezy fall afternoon, Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man.

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  22. Yes. In one sentence, a world is evoked and we hit the ground running.

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  23. Yes. Something about the nonchalant tone intrigues me.

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  24. Yes! It's a gripping start and convinces me to read more. I agreed with other commenters that you should either cut one of the words modifying afternoon and/or move the clause to the beginning of the sentence.

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  25. Yes
    I like it, I'd read more!

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  26. Yes. The voice is no nonsense and pulled me right in. I want to know more about what has brought Maria to this point in her life. And, if she will succeed.

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  27. Liked it very much. Made me want to know more. I'd definitely read on.

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  28. Liked it very much. Made me want to know more. I'd definitely read on.

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  29. Yes, but I do like Autumn2May's suggestion.

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  30. Yes - and I'd say do NOT cut any words. This sentence tells me (or at least makes me hope) that the book won't just be blood and gore, but will also have interesting descriptions, more of an art about the writing. I could be wrong, but this would at least draw me in to give it a try.

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  31. No - I think this opening is starting to sound done to death.

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  32. Yes--for the genre I think this works.

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  33. Yes but I would make it snappier Maria Luz Concepcion returned to Guatemala to kill a man. Its a bit too wordy as it stands

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  34. I'm torn. While I like the idea of juxtaposing murder with a pretty day, the sentence itself feels a little clunky at the end ("breezy late fall afternoon")—someone said earlier that that phrase felt a little tacked on, and I agree. I am intrigued, though, so I'd probably read a bit further. (Though I would go in worrying that the rest of the writing might not be tight enough, based on this first sentence.)

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  35. No. I'd flip the clauses and start, "On a breezy fall afternoon, Maria ..." Power word "kill" in near the end--backloaded. We think "just a normal, pleasant day," then "Wham" someone gets killed.

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  36. No. I do like the contrast of her name and her actions and the breezy day, but it feels a bit gimmicky. Sorry.

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  37. Yes--I'm interested in why she wants to kill him, and if she actually will, but I'd suggest rewriting the sentence. Don't tell us she went there. Put her there.

    ANd your sentence, as is, says she plans to kill him on a breezy, late fall afternoon, and I think you mean she went on a breezy, late-fall afternoon. Put the breezy part first, although you could cut an adjective.

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  38. Yes. However, I think either "breezy" or "late" can be snipped to make it a crisper read.

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  39. Yes. Makes me curious and that's all you can ask.

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  40. Yes, just. Too much description of the afternoon. I'd drop either the 'breezy' or the 'late'

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  41. NO.
    This is another case of close, no cigar. The basic concept is really intriguing. But I stopped caring after the killing part. THAT is where your intrigue lies, not in the weather report.

    And, btw, the descriptive
    "...on a breezy late fall afternoon," doesn't work because, the way it is structured, it is uncertain whether Maria is returning on a breezy late fall afternoon or if she is going to kill him on that breezy late fall afternoon.

    It is too ambiguous.

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