Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First Line Grabber Round 2 #5

TITLE: Sherwood Revisited
GENRE: Commercial Fiction

It is a mistake to think that sleepy towns house sleepy people content to nap through life. This was the first mistake Ryan Huntington made since his return from Afghanistan. Restless, he watched the town of Nott, Montana creak and groan before it settled back into the protective crook of Sherwood Forest.


  1. I don't understand what's happening here. Where is Ryan? Is he staring at the town through his car window? Looking down from a scenic overlook or out the window of the only motel in town? What does it mean for a town to creak and groan? Settling back into the protective crook of the forest implies that the town left that spot, which doesn't seem possible. Overall, I'm just too confused to want to read on.

    It might help to go back and describe exactly what's happening in the simplest way possible. Then you can punch it up with interesting word choices and literary touches.

  2. I'm still not sold on the first line, but I like the rest. It reads like fantasy, commercial fiction is so broad that I hope that it is indeed fantasy.

  3. Interesting start, but a few missteps make this one confusing.

    The genre says Commercial Fiction, but as is, it could be Fantasy or time travel. To solve this problem, you could clarify that Sherwood Forest is/is not the fictional version.

    Mention the town before you say Ryan returned to it.

    Give a concrete reason to support your first sentence.

    With tweaking, this could work!

  4. I do like the first line, but not the repeat of the word "mistake" in the second. And although I like the aural imagery, how can you watch a sound? What made the town creak and groan?

    "Settled back into the protective crook of Sherwood Forest" sounds like the last glimpse of the town as Ryan passes through, but the first line implies he's going to stay for a while and find out his initial impression is wrong.

  5. hmm. I kind of feel like these sentences are throwing me every which way without being clearly connected.

    The rhythm between the first and second sentences is very different, and tacking "since his return from Afghanistan" onto the end feels like throwing info at us out of nowhere.

    Then the third sentence mentions both Montana and Sherwood forest (and the latter seems to belong with the English-country feel of the first sentence, whereas I think of sleepy towns as having a milder climate than Montana), so I'm just really confused about the setting and what-all is going on.