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First Paragraph Feedback

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Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:58 am
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Emerson says...



Following Jenna's lead about titles, I'm starting a thread to get feedback on your first paragraph. Isn't that also something really important? It can make/break someones impression of the book. Some people say try to catch your reader within the first three paragraphs.

So, post your first pararaph (Hopefully not too long?) and get feedback!

Signs from God are rare. They are even rarer when carved into the rock you tripped over while running away from the hospital; I mean, how do you know this is really a sign from God and not a prank by the local neighborhood kids signed with the name "GOD". But this one had to be a real sign, right? It read: GET OVER YOUR HUSBAND. And how would the neighborhood kids know I had killed my own husband? Of course God would, but better yet, why would he tell me to get over it?
“It's necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo




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Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:20 am
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McMourning says...



Hello!
It's very interesting paragraph, that definitely caught my attention. I had not expected her to have killed her husband, but that makes the reader want to read more.

Mine's not as catchy seeming to me, but here it is...

Cassandra yawned, “Huh?”

“Sorry. Bad dream,” Niala mumbled.
“Niala’s not your real name?”

“What?”

“You yelled something about Niala not being on your birth certificate,” Cassandra shook her head, trying to clear it of sleep-fog.

“Oh. That,” Niala continued by recounting her thirteenth birthday. At the time, she had a terrible stutter, and when she said her name, people often heard Niala. It just kind of caught on after a while, until everyone was calling her it.

Niala was cut off, though, as Doctor Shatner entered the girls’ dorm room.

“Pardon me, but I need to talk to you both…now. Throw some clothes on, and meet me in the Lounge.”
"One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices, " Captain Kathryn Janeway




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Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:08 am
Caligula's Launderette says...



Odd, but kinda catchy. I would read on.

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually it wasn’t quite at dark and stormy, more of a dark gray and windy night. But, Michael did not like that any better. He stalked along the Rue des Saints Pères, all the while grumbling about finder’s fees and how he wasn’t somebody’s bloody nursemaid. When he really should have cursed the old men for sending him on this errand like a dumb runner; he had ceased being somebody’s pageboy hundreds of years ago, or so he thought. The grip on his claymore was slick and frigid, and the hairs on the back of Michael’s neck were raised. A telltale sign magic was afoot.
Fraser: Stop stealing the blanket.
[Diefenbaker whines]
Fraser: You're an Arctic Wolf, for God's sake.
(Due South)

Hatter: Do I need a reason to help a pretty girl in a very wet dress? (Alice)

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Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:46 pm
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Poor Imp says...



Anyone brazen enough to begin with a cliche has got to have something interesting to follow it, or redefine it. I got a keen impression of the place right-off; invariably keeps me interested.

--


Franz was the theatre-boy, with tears in laughing eyes and ageless cheeks limned by stage-light heat. Skelta found him behind the playhouse, in Earnest's posh get-up, smoking cloves and fading bright eyes.

"You played Algie?" she asked, eyes on smoke lacing his fingers. "I lost my ticket but Bob let me in all the same."



I suppose, technically, that's two paragraphs - but such are the rules of dialogue.
ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem




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Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:00 pm
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Emerson says...



The way it jumped right in with the description of Franz (Which makes me think of Kafka...) was really...catching, and I liked it that way. It completely grabbed me by the shoulders and said "READ!"

I tried to stay calm. "Wer're just going to have to hide for a few days, maybe a few weeks. No big deal, right?"

"Why are we hiding?" She glared at me, burning past the lying and trying to dig up the truth.

"I killed someone."


Yes, dialog seems to prevent one paragraph...
“It's necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo




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Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:34 am
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Cassandra says...



Nice hook, Clau. I'd obviously keep reading.

He's trying to take my pants off.
My eyelids are heavy, slippery beasts that only want to close right back up again, rather like clam shells.
And he's f*****g trying to take my pants off.
I start when the thought finally penetrates, resonates, makes sense, all in that order. My eyes open a shock wider and I curl my knees up to my chest.
"Don't," I say, my voice childish and small.


Erm...the thread isn't rated R, so I'll behave. ;)
"All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."
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Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:21 am
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xtenx says...



The first line definitely grabs my attention right away. It's a great way to start.

If nothing else I would keep reading at least the first chapter to see what the story seems to be about. Several questions arise in my mind about the two, and I would definitely read to get those questions answered. Whether or not I'd read the entire book, I don't know based on such a small portion.
---

This is the first paragraph to a story I've started working on- it's fantasy-

Silence was abundant in the Kingdom of Jaden. In its capital, not a sound was to be heard save a slight creak on the wooden floor of the palace. The trespasser froze, traumatized by the sound. After a sharp intake of breath, he pressed on cautiously. Without so much as a glance back, he exited the palace. Suddenly his cautious steps turned into a quick sprint. His mission was complete.
-Kristen

So I just try, fail and try, and try again- and someday I swear I'm gonna get it. 'Cause I'm convinced, giving in is the worst thing there is.--Straylight Run




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Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:28 am
Caligula's Launderette says...



Oooh, nice. I'd read just to find out why he was in the palace gallivanting around like a thief.


Robert Wilson scowled as he entered the room. It was a gauche room and in the typical style of modern American architecture. He was supposed to meet his new client, an eccentric naturalist who had an interesting in African mammals, especially big game African mammals. But, this Mr. Stride would meet with Wilson only under Mr. Stride’s own specifications, and only in America. He did not relish being at sea again, he liked it when the ground did not move ostentatiously under his boots.
Fraser: Stop stealing the blanket.
[Diefenbaker whines]
Fraser: You're an Arctic Wolf, for God's sake.
(Due South)

Hatter: Do I need a reason to help a pretty girl in a very wet dress? (Alice)

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Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:51 pm
Meep says...



Hm. I think it's a little too much info-dump for my taste. I think I might continue reading if it were a short story, in which case info-dumpness is a little more acceptable, but I doubt I'd be interested if it were a novel. Also, not really my favorite subject matter, it doesn't catch me.

“No!” She cried, “wait! Don’t! Stop that! What are you doing?!” She looked around frantically, shook her head, stomped her feet, clenched her fists. She yelped in horror at seeing she was rapidly losing substance - she could see the floorboards through her worn leather boots. “Stop this right now. Stop it, please.” Her voice cracked and she fell to her knees.
✖ I'm sick, you're tired. Let's dance.




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Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:11 pm
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HeadInTheClouds says...



Hmmm, I like it. I'd definatley want to read more to see what happens to this person, or at least find out what the heck was happening to her. The curiosity alone would keep me reading.

The insane were cursed in the land of Nenyn. Possesed by demons or dark spirits, it was said, as pennance from the Gods for having sinned in a past life. It had been spreading lately, like a plague, claiming more victims every year. They were not pitied, these poor souls, but feared and hated. They were left alone, if their family was religious enough to believe that they as well would be cursed for sheltering a demon child. Left to be captured and thrown into an asylum or prison, or die wandering the cold, sunless forests, said to be inhabited by dark dietes. Some were worse then others, capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, unless they were caught. If anyone was discovered speaking to an unseen presence or preforming a strange ritual, that was the end of it. But some could hide it; pretend to be normal. That was Trevin's case. He could act as though he didn't see dancing orbs of light or ghostly specters gliding just above the ground, or hear the dark whisperings of distant evils. He had become quite good at it in fact. Until he was discovered. Until every glimmer of hope in his future was destroyed.
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

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Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:16 pm
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Emerson says...



Its very....jumpy. One thing after another, and I have no idea what is going on. I almost think it is jumbled too. She shouts a lot, there is a lot of action, but none of it really makes sense, and isn't set up in the best way possible. I'd certainly put the book away.

The waiting room smelled like dead flowers and wet paint. The woman at the reception desk looked asexual; what was she? He? No, he (or is it she?) couldn't be either. Miriam sat in the stiff plastic chair, as far as possible from the asexual receptionist that she could be. The receptionist disturbed her almost as much as what she was waiting for. "It's the law," they had said, "They're going to choose your perfect mate. You have to accept it. You are one of the chosen, beautiful ones. Be happy; your beautiful children will people the world with more beauty."

That was a horrible paragraph on my part xD
“It's necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo




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Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:23 pm
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McMourning says...



Hmm...it sounds like something from the Uglies, because the towns were so obsessed with beauty. So, maybe they went as far as to pick people's perfect mate, so the children could be Pretties without undergoing heavy surgery. (That's probably not what you were going for, sorry.)

It’s amazing how fast the world changes around us. One day, you’re sitting on the grass, stretching, and the next, you’re in the hospital with a broken ankle. It’s shattered, they say.
But, that’s the past I suppose. What’s happened has happened for a reason, and I can’t change it now. I’ll just have to move on, and live with this leg, right? Don’t answer me; it was a rhetorical question. And, yes, I do understand rhetorical questions, unlike some people think. But, again, that’s just something I need to learn to move on about. I can’t spend my whole life dwelling on idiots. Can I? No.
"One voice can be stronger than a thousand voices, " Captain Kathryn Janeway




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Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:56 pm
Shafter says...



Love it, McMourning! :D The writing voice is strong and unique, the story is set up. I would definitely keep reading on.
Uhm... trying to give helpful advice here. The second paragraph is a bit rambling. I know it's supposed to be, but just a little tightening might be nice.

***

The thump of footsteps on the cold ground made Émon’s head snap up. Despite the frosty weather, sweat slid from his forehead down his face like tears. But the sound came from a fellow laborer, limping by, bent under a load of bricks. Émon watched him. His almond-brown eyes fixed on the man with his usual intensity; he always looked at people. Really looked, never glanced.
Their gazes met, Émon smiled. The man’s face hardened as he turned away.


***
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Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:21 pm
Emerson says...



It's nice. Brings you into the story, suddenly but gently. It works.

Sometimes I took the five finger discount on weight loss drugs from Walgreen's, and pretended to be the anorexic girl that lived in the ally. But really I was the bulimic; my rotting teeth gave it away. The pills never worked, either. I just ended up chucking them with everything else I had ate.
“It's necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo




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Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:12 am
Sumi H. Inkblot says...



It's well written, but I wouldn't continue to read. I hate those kinds of stories.

One thing was sure, and that was that it had all begun with a math test. Question forty-two to be exact: Name the first eight decimal places of pi. The worst subject of all: pi. As he would distastefully tell himself, 'it's as bad as Aunt Myrtle’s medley pie.’ Which was saying a lot. Of course, he’d hated pie as long as he could remember; mathematical, medley or banana cream. So it wasn’t any big surprise that he had failed anything that had to do with the disregarded confection- including pie graphs and pie fractions. (From: The Long Tailed Monkey, Scene Revamp)
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