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Which Introduction?

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Which one sounds better for an introduction?

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Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:09 am
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MeganWeaver says...



Okay, so I've been planning a novel for a while now and I feel like I have got enough information to start. Grabbing the bull by the horns isn't all it's cracked up to be. I think I'm being too critical of myself so I thought I'd ask for everyones advice. My boyfriend told me, since he too is a writer, that the first one seems a bit too heavy, yet the second one is too "kitchen sink" aswell. Despite this I feel I need extra opinions. I will write them here and number them then please vote either one or two on the poll. Thanks.

1)The parchment of which he held in his hand, manifested his hatred of war through the words on the page yet again. He ran his other hand through his white hair and sighed. His skin had become limp through the stress he had undergone recently, and the bags under his eyes drooped prominantly. They were an abnormality to his usual bright features and and were a distraction from his aged beauty.

2)Gregory stared at the piece of parchment in his hand. He sighed as he cast his gaze over the solemn words. The pools of his eyes were filled with grief, yet aspiration flickered through them.


Please vote, comment and give contructive critisim as all is welcome. Apologies for any gramatical and spelling errors I wrote this quite briefly and it's not fantastic as you probably know by now. Thanks a lot this will really help me out.

Okay so I now have a new one :D Please include this one when considering the quality of them and leave your opinion as to which is better please :]

3)The letter explaining the death of his master laid on the table beside him. Gregory had read it a hundred times already but he still couldn’t come to terms with what it had to say.
He took hold the piece of parchment and read it yet again, it was as if the words were written in blood because he looked so solemn. Taking his hand and running it through his hair, he sighed. He was anxious but at the same time he couldn’t shake the underlying feeling of grief. He knew he had to get over that if he was to succeed. The chair he had been sat in for about a week was now making him ache. As slow as a snail he stood. His joints creaked and his muscles shook as they were being put to use after so long. He held onto the chair as he stabilised himself and braced himself to walk. One foot in front of the other he seemed to find it quite easy. He regained some strength walked to the door.
Last edited by MeganWeaver on Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:08 am
Rosey Unicorn says...



Both have problems.

The first has a downright archaic sentence structure that's the main source of the heaviness. Read the first sentence out loud. It's hard to stumble through and makes me not want to read. Just by cleaning it up to something like....

The parchment he held manifested his hatred of war.

Split up the "again" bit that was at the end into its own sentence, so we get more impact on how repetitive this is. Whatever that thing may be. Then you hit us strong, hard, and clearly. The clarity is key here. If the opening isn't clear, then readers aren't going to put the effort into it.

That's really your problem with the first option. The descriptions are loaded with purple prose and words you'd need a dictionary to get through— and context doesn't give us an idea of what the words mean, because we have zero context.

I'd take the richer description of the first paragraph and merge it with the clarity of the second. Certain terms in the second are better than the first (like, the emotions going through his eyes) but other segments (like the very first sentence) are better in the first option.

Hope this helped.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:33 am
MeganWeaver says...



Thank you :] I will deffinately take this into consideration. I tend to go a bit over the top with big words and I know I don't need to so I will deffinately scale them back to a minimum. :] I agree with you that the sentence structure on the first one is too much and I will rethink it. I often struggle knowing how to make my writing flow artistically and I never know how to change my structure. If you have any ideas there will be very appreciated. Thanks again for your help x
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Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:20 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Look at how you write when speaking to somebody through IM or replying to posts like this. That's as complicated a sentence structure you need. :P

Mind, some people are different and take a purposely-crafted sentence structure for writing. However, having such a structure requires a lot of trial and error, plus knowledge of grammar rules so you can still write coherently even with a sentence structure we're not used to reading or speaking.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:27 pm
MeganWeaver says...



Hmm, that sounds like a good idea :] Thanks again. You're really helpful :D Perhaps I will try writing it as if I was telling the story then add in all the punctuation, paragraphs and stronger adjectives. This might just work. :D x
Keep your face to the sun,
That way you never see the shadows. :]