Novel openings - Page 9

Read our latest author interview on Flashes >>HERE<< .

Page 9 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789
Results 81 to 85 of 85

Thread: Novel openings

  1. #81

    The missing paragraph

    All good points. As far as the slats on the bed I was trying to show the rough way she was put to death would cause the slats to drop out. The whole paragraph is in retrospect. I think the first paragraph would tell more. I hope I don't violate any rules by posting it.

    Standing on the gangplank in Haiti, I reflected on how much my life had changed, since I left the farm. I was named Elizabeth, but I was called Beth. My father was Welch, and had traveled across Europe as an Able seaman. He decided to settle down when he inherited his parent’s farm, a rundown place west of Hennebont. So he returned to the farm, with my mother from Italy. They had married in the church back in Naples, and traveled around the Tyrrhenian Sea together. They had a freedom that few enjoyed at that time.

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by LCLee View Post
    All good points. As far as the slats on the bed I was trying to show the rough way she was put to death would cause the slats to drop out. The whole paragraph is in retrospect. I think the first paragraph would tell more. I hope I don't violate any rules by posting it.

    Standing on the gangplank in Haiti, I reflected on how much my life had changed, since I left the farm. I was named Elizabeth, but I was called Beth. My father was Welch, and had traveled across Europe as an Able seaman. He decided to settle down when he inherited his parent’s farm, a rundown place west of Hennebont. So he returned to the farm, with my mother from Italy. They had married in the church back in Naples, and traveled around the Tyrrhenian Sea together. They had a freedom that few enjoyed at that time.
    In retrospect it works better--sound much more like a "looking back on things" kinda paragraph.

    Not sure if Welch is what you're looking for. It's a variant of "Welsh". Maybe UK people could weigh in more.
    Don't need a comma after "changed", "Welch", or "Naples" necessarily. "Able seaman" doesn't need to be capitalized because it's not a proper noun.

    As quick as this part went past, the murder could possibly stand to be shortened, too.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by LCLee View Post
    My dark skin and black hair were an inheritance from my mother’s Roman background. I was only 15 when my father killed her for adultery. Late at night while I was sleeping, she cried out, when he put a pillow over her face. Her muffled screams rang out throughout the house. I jumped out of bed and ran in to stop him. When I grabbed his arms to free her, he knocked me away. Then I hit my head on the armoire and fell to the floor. I laid unconscious for a moment, and I struggled to stand up. When my head cleared, I could see my father still holding her down as she went silent. The blankets were strewn across the bed. She had kicked the slats out from under the mattress and it had folded in over her. I screamed at my father to stop, hoping my brothers would hear me.
    Too short. Reads like a synopsis or a summary.

    Ask yourself if this is how a human being would actually talk about their mother being murdered by their father.

    I'm not saying you have to go all weepy with it or anything. Some people do talk about terrible things in a weirdly matter-of-fact way. But nonetheless, there needs to be an edge. You need to have a sense of an emotional heart to the story. Other than the first line this sort of lacks any emotional connection to anything. Maybe if the character is autistic. But other than that, it doesn't do it for me...and I like a good murder.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by LCLee View Post
    My dark skin and black hair were an inheritance from my mother’s Roman background. I was only 15 when my father killed her for adultery. Late at night while I was sleeping, she cried out, when he put a pillow over her face. Her muffled screams rang out throughout the house. I jumped out of bed and ran in to stop him. When I grabbed his arms to free her, he knocked me away. Then I hit my head on the armoire and fell to the floor. I laid unconscious for a moment, and I struggled to stand up. When my head cleared, I could see my father still holding her down as she went silent. The blankets were strewn across the bed. She had kicked the slats out from under the mattress and it had folded in over her. I screamed at my father to stop, hoping my brothers would hear me.
    Too much is happening too quickly. Remember, you are opening a novel here, you have room to let things develop, to really pull in the reader. The first sentence seems disconnected from the rest of the paragraph. What does the narrator's appearance have to do with his mother's murder? Save that for later. Then you could take every other sentence in this paragraph and use it as a topic sentence for a paragraph of its own. Seriously. You could explore each act to describe her murder in greater detail and with more sensory input. Make the reader feel the child's terror, don't just tell us he was scared. Moving too quickly through this sort of action is common with new writers
    Last edited by Terry D; July 18th, 2019 at 03:30 PM.
    “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

    Hidden Content






  5. #85
    Thanks all. I have been encouraged by others to not pile it all in one paragraph.
    Although this is released, I will use the comments for my WIP.

    ETA I looked at the latest copy of my released work and it has a ton of SPAG errors.
    I put it through prowritingaid and found stuff in every paragraph. Just when you thought you were done.
    I’m now in the process of going through all 90,000 words to correct and maybe a better opening paragraph.

    ETA Oh thank God I had an older version. I looked at the released copy and it has addressed the SPAG issues.
    Last edited by LCLee; July 18th, 2019 at 06:07 PM.

Page 9 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.