Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Sentence #8

TITLE: Flicker
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

There are many versions of how this night might play out—all of them end with me getting arrested against the hood of an unmarked police car.

43 comments:

  1. No

    It's a bit long and unweildy for me to be really hooked.
    I think part of it is the slight future tense in the first half of the sentence "how this night might play out" suggests to me that it might not play out at all, so that kind of contadicts the second part where thet all end the same way

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  2. No, didn't tickle my curiosity, you've already told us how the night will end despite everything... I'd like some dilemma.

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  3. Yes - mostly for the word "unmarked."

    I can see scenarios where someone feels certain they'll be arrested, but why they would be certain it would be an "unmarked" car... well, that opens up different possibilities that I find intriguing.

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  4. YES because of the strong voice of the main character, which feels just perfect for this age. The mystery intrigues me, why so many scenarios might end with an unmarked police car - it opens up a world of possibilities

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  5. Yes.

    Haha I love this. Great voice, great image, and I want to find out what this MC is doing.

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  6. No. Since I don't know anything about the MC yet, I don't feel any sympathy for him/her get arrested. Maybe if I knew he/she was being forced to do something against his/her will? Or maybe if there were higher stakes "There are many...all but one end with me getting arrested, the other ends with me ___ (dead?)" Just a thought.

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  7. Yes, though I have to say I'd like it better if the sentence ended after the word "arrested". I feel like it would have impacted me more that way. But I suspect the "unmarked police car" is an important detail so don't listen to me ;). Either way, I'm hooked.

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  8. No. The tense was inconsistent, and I'm not sure if adding the 'on the hood of an unmarked police car' adds much.

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  9. No. There's something about the construction of the last part of the sentence that sounds like telling instead of showing. Consider something like,...sprawled against the hood of a cop car with my hand shackled behind me.

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  10. Yes, tentatively. The - needs an "and" after it, methinks. Or a "but" or "all of which". And I agree with MollyB. Instead of "getting arrested" keep the reader firmly in the character's head by showing exactly what the character is imagining. The "unmarked" bit is intriguing enough that I'd keep reading, though.

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  11. No, because of the structure. I'd like it better if you replaced the dash with "and" and ended after "arrested."

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  12. Yes. The "unmarked" police car intrigues me. Might say "thrown against" instead of "getting arrested against". Same implication and sounds less awkward.

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  13. No. I think it's the wording that throws me off here. What about: There are many ways this night could play out and all of them end with me splayed against the hood of an unmarked police car.

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  14. No. I really like the foreshading, but I got stuck on the tense and syntax.

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  15. No. I've seen this type of hook used many times before, so it's getting a bit cliche. Also, it feels a little clunky.

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  16. Yes. I like the many scenarios.

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  17. No. Good idea, but it needs to be tighter. It's a bit wordy.

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  18. Yes, BUT I'd like it better if it
    ended after arrested. The end of the sentence adds interest, especially with the "unmarked" detail, but it gets a little long/wordy.

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  19. Yes - It sounds like something's happening and I'd give it at least a bit more time to hook me.

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  20. No. Sorry, but starting with getting arrested isn't enough of a hook for me -- I don't know what the character's done and I don't have any sympathy for them yet.

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  21. No. You've already told me what's going to happen so why should I keep reading? I know the narrator is going to be arrested. I'm done. You've killed the tension/suspense. Sorry.

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  22. No.

    It feels a bit like a logline. I prefer to be dropped into a scene than have the following scene summed up at the beginning. The interest needs to be in what's happening at the moment and not what's being promised for later.

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  23. I had to think about this one for a long time... which I think means No.

    Sorry!

    I guess it comes down to the fact that if this dude is gonna get arrested no matter what, then I already know what's going to happen and there's no suspense. The "why" he's going to get arrested doesn't seem enough to me.

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  24. You're going for snarky and JUST MISS IT. Tighten up the language and I think you'll get a good yes.

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  25. Yes. Although I think you might get more punch out of it by making this two sentences.

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  26. No
    But I think it can be fixed with a little re-wording. The sentence was a runon and if you read it out loud it's actually a bit of a tongue twister.

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  27. I would say this is a yes. I liked it but I almost want you to be more vague. Like
    There are many versions of how this night might play out—none of them end well for me.

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  28. Yes. But it needs some tightening first. It's so close to being amazing. I agree the detail of the unmarked police car is weird- it takes me out of the moment.

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  29. No. It's somewhat intriguing with the hint of knowing the future(s)but the second half needs to be tightened. It also sounds like fantasy, not science fiction (because of knowing the future).

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  30. Almost, just needs to be tightened.

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  31. No, because no matter what happens in the middle, the outcome is going to be the same, so what happens in the middle doesn't matter, and you've already told me the ending. There's no reason at all to read further.

    Instead of starting with a character telling us something, start with your MC doing something. Preferably something exciting, dangerous, intriguing, deadly, scary, mysterious.

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  33. Yes. Right away I'm pulled into the character and want to know what the character is up to. And it's always intriguing when someone might be arrested.

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  34. Yes. I'm intrigued about how things will go down.

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  35. Yes--Like this! It would probably work to replace the dash with a comma, a little less of an intrusive pause. Grammar Police may disagree, but I think a comma is safe.

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  36. Yes! Hooked! I want to know what the character is doing that's so against the law. I've heard that it's good to avoid "ING" verbs, so maybe you could change the second part to "They all end with me arrested against the hood of an unmarked police car," or something like that. :)

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  37. No, too convoluted. Might work if it is more active and simplified.

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  38. No. Too wordy. I also don't see how all versions could end the same way, so it doesn't ring true for me.

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  39. Yes, because I'm a little curious about what the situation is, but I don't believe that every option could end up with the narrator being "arrested against the hood of an unmarked police car" - it just seems too specific to be believable. Why would it always be unmarked? How would it always end up being by the hood? I think you could make this more believable with a "probably all of them" and maybe don't be so specific about the hood & unmarked bits.

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  40. Yes, but I think this could be tightened to be more effective. Maybe change "arrested" to "handcuffed." You don't really get arrested against the hood of the cop car. It threw me off a bit.

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