Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #6

TITLE: Love and Other Firsts
GENRE: Realistic YA

Mom was as passionate about the upkeep of her daughters' hair as she was about her backyard; whenever she ran out of weeds to whack, out came the shears.

46 comments:

  1. Yes. I like that the author's voice comes through right off the bat.

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  2. Yes... hahaha...I love the voice!

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  3. Yes, but who is talking? A different daughter? If it's *the* daughter, I'd say "my hair."

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  4. No

    I was confused about who was speaking and i had to read the sentence more than once to understand it. If it's the speaker getting her/his hair cut, why are they referring to themselves or their sibling as "her daughter"?

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  5. No. Is she talking about herself in 3rd person when the story is in 1st?

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  6. Yes! I love the immediate visual.

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  7. unfortunately, no. While I love the voice, I'm confused as to who is speaking here.

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  8. Yes, but I think you could replace "her daughters'" with "our." I like the voice and the visual.

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  9. No, mainly because I didn't connect with the hair/yard comparison. Just didn't work for me. But if you decide to keep that comparison, you should divide it into two sentences, changing the semi-colon to a period.

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  10. Yes. It made me chuckle. But I do agree that changing "her daughters" to "our" would improve it.

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  11. No. I tripped up over the syntax, and I'm confused about who's speaking here, since both the close 'Mom' and the distant 'her daughters' are used.

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  12. No. It feels too much like telling, like someone standing behind a window talking about a scene in front of them.

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  13. No, sorry, I'm confused about who is speaking. And not grabbing enough.

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  14. Yes, but guarded. There's some confusion about who's speaking, but I like the idea.

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  15. Not quite. I like the idea, I was confused about who was speaking too. I also might change the shears to scissors, as shears makes me think of bushes and I think I'm supposed to be thinking hair.

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  16. No. While I did appreciate the humour, the sentence itself felt heavy for a first line. I had to go back several times to make sure I'd made the right connections.

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  17. Yes. Good voice, and I love the humor.

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  18. Yes. Snappy, funny, and full of voice.

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  19. No. Great voice, but the confusion about who was speaking makes it a no.

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  20. Yes. Love the humor and the analogy

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  21. Yes. I like the voice in this, and the humour. I'd like to see more about the main character soon, though, rather than this continuing to focus on her mother.

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  22. No--I'm not that into hair and it doesn't really tell me anything about the main character. I learn about the mom, but not enough about the narrator (other than mom likes to cut her hair).

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  23. Ha! I mean, yes! Know those OCD types all too well!

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  24. No.

    The sentence is a little unwieldy and created some POV issues for me in the first half (felt like an abrupt shift from first to omni). The second half confused me because I was thinking gardening shears instead of hair-cutting ones. I think it will work better if it's cleaned up a bit.

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  25. No, this doesn't work for me. Sorry. Maybe you'd tell us more later, but are the sheers for the hair or for the bushes? She turned to hair when the yard left her with nothing to do? I'm sorry. I just don't get it.

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  26. No (sorry). I'm just a little confused.

    Is the MC the daughter? If so, wouldn't it be "my hair"?

    Also, if Mom is as passionate about the yard as the hair, why would she turn to cutting hair only if there weren't any weeds? It seems like hair is second best.

    I do like how it starts simply with "Mom" though. This was a "yes" until I finished reading and confusion set in.

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  27. YES!!! I totally love this opening sentence: it is witty, clever, funny, and makes me want to go on reading. I am totally confused by all those who said “No” because they were confused about who was talking. So I’ll try to break it down for you: the beginning, “Mom was as passionate about the upkeep of her daughters' hair...” clearly identifies the speaker as either a daughter or son of Mom saying that she (Mom) was passionate about the upkeep of her daughters’ (more than one daughter) hair. Also, if, as some of you suggested, the author changed her daughters’ to our daughters, you would be changing the speaker to Mom, who clearly is not the narrator.

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  28. Yes! I totally agree with Billy! Love this.The voice rocks. I already have a feel of the character's personality.

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  29. Yes. It sounds fun but I do agree that there is a question around who is speaking. Is it one of the daughters?

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  30. Yes - love the yard/hair analogy.

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  31. Yes. I like the quirky voice and would be interested to learn more about the MC and mother..

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  32. Yes
    I'm immediately getting a glimpse into the Mother/Daughter relationship and in a cool indirect way.
    I like it!

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  33. No. Shears for hair or garden shears? It was too unclear for me.

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  34. YES. Oh, the mom who is a control freak leads to sooooo many options. Well done with the visual!

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  35. No. There's no clear POV. Is this Mom's story - in which case she'd be whatever her name is instead of Mom. Or is it the daughter's story, in which case 'her daughter' would be 'my.' And if it's another daughter (implied by 'Mom')'her daughter's' would be 'my sister's.'

    We also don't know who we're supposed to identify with.

    And putting the pov issue aside, this tells us about someone. Showing someone (your MC usually) doing something, is almost always a stronger start.

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  36. You're so close, I have to say yes. Nice voice and visuals.

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  37. Yes! This is my favorite among all the entries. It's brilliant and original. And I also agree with Billy. Don't know what the confusion is about the POV, unless you're overanalyzing. It's obvious to me that the narrator is one of the daughters. The author could've written "my sisters and my hair" instead of "her daughter's hair," but the former would've been clunky. I also don't see a problem with the word "shears." Hair salons use shears to cut hair. Would definitely like to find out more about the daughter's relationship with her mother, as well as what the title promises.

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  38. Yes - but I have to agree with the others it is a little confusing. But I will still read on to try to clarify the situation

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  39. No--I like the title, but I think a first line grounded in the MC would benefit the story--at least showing how the MC interprets what she sees rather than distant, looking-in narration. That looking-in can work, but I think with YA it needs to show something about the character. The MC comparing her/himself to Mom and the sibling for example, or when mom acts this way, what does it mean for the MC? I think of first lines almost like a thesis statement; I wouldn't waste it on describing other characters.

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  40. Yes, because I'm curious about the Mom here, but I think it's a bit confusing at the moment - "Mom" makes it sound like the mother of the narrator, but then saying "her daughter" makes it sound like it's someone separate, not related to the mum. I think if it is her daughter, it should be "our hair" and if it's not, then use whatever the mum's real name is, eg "Grace was as passionate ...".

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  41. Just. I didn't see the connection between the daughter's hair and the backyard. The weeds to whack and the shears are what would keep me reading on.

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  42. Yes, but barely. It's a bit of an odd comparison, but I'm willing to see where you're going with it. I love the title, but genre isn't really a genre. Do you mean Contemporary YA?

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