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Thread: Novel openings

  1. #21
    Dreamt and dreamed are used in the same way and in different ways, quite confusing, but dreamed is much more commonly used. Dreamt is pronounced, and sometimes spelled 'drempt', I would go with 'dreamed' if I were you, it won't stop people in the way dreamt stopped me.
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    Dreamt and dreamed are used in the same way and in different ways, quite confusing, but dreamed is much more commonly used. Dreamt is pronounced, and sometimes spelled 'drempt', I would go with 'dreamed' if I were you, it won't stop people in the way dreamt stopped me.
    Thanks, Olly. I've struggled with that myself. I know dreamt is technically correct, but if I were to write it anew I would choose dreamed. My third-person narrator was feeling the need to wax lyrical that day and I should have reined him in.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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  3. #23
    Years ago when I was younger I read the book Watership Down, I enjoyed the book and it is a famous book. It only tells a story through the POV of rabbits. But there always has to be outside POV looking in when writing all stories whether it be animal or human, this is for the reader. So I really enjoyed reading Terry D's opening for his novel about a dog named Chase. He had me the first sentence about a dog dreaming, all animals dream. My dogs dream, I see their legs kicking as if running, I hear their whimpers in their sleep. Terry D then brought into his story the tragedy of a dog being caged instead of with the one's he loves, yearning in his dreams for those he cared most for in his life, now taken away from him. When he introduced Shotgun, I knew that somewhere later in his story, Chase and Shotgun would prove to be loyal friends and possibly together shake the misery of cruelty.

    When we where kids, we had a Collie named Duke that we raised from a puppy. Someone stole Duke, we never found out who. Our parents and us looked for him but never found him. Then a month or so later we where driving down the main highway leading to our house and there was Duke walking home on the side of the road. He was thin, matted, and looked abused. We took him home and he lived with us for the rest of his life.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by gene View Post
    Years ago when I was younger I read the book Watership Down, I enjoyed the book and it is a famous book. It only tells a story through the POV of rabbits. But there always has to be outside POV looking in when writing all stories whether it be animal or human, this is for the reader. So I really enjoyed reading Terry D's opening for his novel about a dog named Chase. He had me the first sentence about a dog dreaming, all animals dream. My dogs dream, I see their legs kicking as if running, I hear their whimpers in their sleep. Terry D then brought into his story the tragedy of a dog being caged instead of with the one's he loves, yearning in his dreams for those he cared most for in his life, now taken away from him. When he introduced Shotgun, I knew that somewhere later in his story, Chase and Shotgun would prove to be loyal friends and possibly together shake the misery of cruelty.

    When we where kids, we had a Collie named Duke that we raised from a puppy. Someone stole Duke, we never found out who. Our parents and us looked for him but never found him. Then a month or so later we where driving down the main highway leading to our house and there was Duke walking home on the side of the road. He was thin, matted, and looked abused. We took him home and he lived with us for the rest of his life.
    That's a terrific memory, gene. I'm glad it worked out for Duke and your family.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

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  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    That's a terrific memory, gene. I'm glad it worked out for Duke and your family.
    Thank you, because of this, I can relate to your story about Chase. Duke escaped then found his way home, which fits right in with your story.

    Who knows, but Duke could have had the chance to escape due to the actions of other dogs like Chase and Shotgun. Duke by far was not a big massive dog like Shotgun, who has what it takes to escape.

    My brother years ago had a Rottie, a big massive dog. It was almost impossible to keep him caged, he could chew through a chain link fence. Another dog he had was a Pitbull, and I watched him break a big chain. Amazing or impossible as it might sound these types of dogs can surprise us in how strong they are.

  6. #26
    Travis Coates approves of this current thread drift.
    Speaking of openings:

    "We called him Old Yeller. The name had a sort of double meaning. One part meant that his short hair was a dingy yellow, a color that we called “yeller” in those days. The other meant that when he opened his head, the sound he let out came closer to being a yell than a bark. I remember like yesterday how he strayed in out of nowhere to our log cabin on Birdsong Creek. He made me so mad at first that I wantedto kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks. That’s how much I’d come to think of the big yeller dog." -- Fred Gipson
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by moderan View Post
    Travis Coates approves of this current thread drift.
    Speaking of openings:

    "We called him Old Yeller. The name had a sort of double meaning. One part meant that his short hair was a dingy yellow, a color that we called “yeller” in those days. The other meant that when he opened his head, the sound he let out came closer to being a yell than a bark. I remember like yesterday how he strayed in out of nowhere to our log cabin on Birdsong Creek. He made me so mad at first that I wantedto kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks. That’s how much I’d come to think of the big yeller dog." -- Fred Gipson
    Jane Austen did something similar, adding a hint of foreshadowing to her opening lines.
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  8. #28
    It seems like you hit a lot of good marketing points:

    Gimmick: told from a dog's perspective
    Taboo: mistreated animals
    Hook: one of the dogs wants to kill their master, but why, and as an audience, we want to see Shogun do it, right?

    I think that I want to like Chase better. By the end of it, he just seems like a sad dog, and I'm more interested in Shogun.

    I think there are two missed opportunities. The dream sequence would be stronger if it were less of a dream (because dreams are hard sells) and more of a memory of a good thing in his past, sparked by a concrete object in his real world, and this memory could simultaneously show us something particular to this dog (his life) and how he is suffering some particular injustice (how he ended up in this cage). Double bonus points if the memory shows us the dog being especially competent or dutiful.

    Finally, there are a lot of dogs there. If Chase friendly with any of them? Can they have a moment, maybe exchange glances, or maybe Chase worries about their welfare when the abuser comes out?

    That's the issue. I want to like Chase more before anything happens.

  9. #29
    I really like the very first line. Chase dreams of sunshine. That gets me wondering, immediately, why he's just dreaming about it and not seeing it.

  10. #30
    This feels like you are trying to show off your rhetorical ability at the expense of the story. I don't like it and I wish you would set everything up more.

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