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Which of these works best? (1 Viewer)

FrancisD

Senior Member
This is about a short paragraph. The first version was this.

1) Danny and Megan dispose of the bodies and are now complicit in murder. As they watch the them slip below the surface of the ocean, with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, they realise they may well join them, if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph.

But I felt this had too many theys and thems, and just did not read well. So I changed it to this.

2) Watching the trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, it dawns on Danny that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and that if Ralph is not ‘dealt’ with soon, they could face a similar fate.

I was then told that this was too passive and it was suggested I do this.

3) The trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph. Danny and Megan are now complicit in murder. Danny must deal with Ralph soon, or he and Megan could face a similar fate.

Which I find to be clumsy and without flow, Yes it gets the info across but that is about all it does.

I could use a couple of views on this. As it stands I much prefer 2, even if it is passive voice.
 

Ajoy

Senior Member
I'm sure you want to hear from some other voices at this point, but I also like 2 the best. :) You could try something like "As the trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, Danny realizes he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and if Ralph is not 'dealt' with soon, they could face a similar fate." to shift if a bit more toward active voice.
 

KeganThompson

Staff member
Board Moderator
I think 2 is best. I agree with Ajoy, it sounds more active. saying "are now complicate in murder" sounds too passive. " it dawns on Danny that he and Megan are now complicit in murder" is way better and feels less static :)
 

FrancisD

Senior Member
This is where I have got to with this.

Watching the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, Danny is acutely aware that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they face a similar fate.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
This is about a short paragraph. The first version was this.

1) Danny and Megan dispose of the bodies and are now complicit in murder. As they watch the them slip below the surface of the ocean, with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, they realise they may well join them, if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph.

But I felt this had too many theys and thems, and just did not read well. So I changed it to this.

2) Watching the trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, it dawns on Danny that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and that if Ralph is not ‘dealt’ with soon, they could face a similar fate.

I was then told that this was too passive and it was suggested I do this.

3) The trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph. Danny and Megan are now complicit in murder. Danny must deal with Ralph soon, or he and Megan could face a similar fate.

Which I find to be clumsy and without flow, Yes it gets the info across but that is about all it does.

I could use a couple of views on this. As it stands I much prefer 2, even if it is passive voice.
Number 3 is horrible. Number 1 is weak. 2 is worth working with. It's difficult to not see all three as a summary rather than an actual event taking place, but 2 is closer to something actually happening. What POV is this?

I'll change it to third person just so I can rewrite it with action and movement:

Danny Watched the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph. He was acutely aware that he and Megan were now complicit in murder, and if they didn'’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they'd face a similar fate.
 
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FrancisD

Senior Member
Number 3 is horrible. Number 1 is weak. 2 is worth working with. It's difficult to not see all three as a summary rather than an actual event taking place, but 2 is closer to something actually happening. What POV is this?

I'll change it to third person just so I can rewrite it with action and movement:

Danny Watched the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph. He was acutely aware that he and Megan were now complicit in murder, and if they didn'’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they'd face a similar fate.
This is an extract from a query letter, so POV not such an issue. I like your version. The previous para started with Danny, so maybe start it with, He
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
This is for a query letter, right? If so, #3 works better for me. The updated version is a little too wordy.
 

FrancisD

Senior Member
Can you post the full query letter?
Dear..

In line with your interest in crime fiction, I am seeking representation for MOONBEAM, a crime thriller with series potential, complete at 78,800 words.

The problem with hiding from the Tellers is they never stop hunting you.

Danny feels safe tucked away in a little Welsh seaside town. He’s content to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. When he meets and falls for the captivating Megan, a Facebook post she makes inadvertently drags him back out into the open.

Danny is torn. The ruthless gangster Ralph Teller blames him for the death of one of his brothers, and now Megan is in danger. He could leave her and run, or go to London to face Ralph. However, two of Teller’s henchmen show up, and in a violent confrontation with SAS trained Danny, they both die.

Watching the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, Danny is acutely aware that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they face a similar fate.

MOONBEAM follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks as they look for a way to get at Ralph, while contending with the machinations of a greedy, bent cop. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of survival.

Moonbeam will appeal to fans of Robert Galbraith’s Strike series, and the TV series, Gangs of London, created by Gareth Evans.

Originally from London, I lived on the periphery of the underworld and drug scene. In recovery, I became an addiction therapist. I live in Devon now and focus on my writing.

Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Dear..

In line with your interest in crime fiction, I am seeking representation for MOONBEAM, a crime thriller with series potential, complete at 78,800 words.

The problem with hiding from the Tellers is they never stop hunting you.

Danny feels safe tucked away in a little Welsh seaside town. He’s content to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. When he meets and falls for the captivating Megan, a Facebook post she makes inadvertently drags him back out into the open.

Danny is torn. The ruthless gangster Ralph Teller blames him for the death of one of his brothers, and now Megan is in danger. He could leave her and run, or go to London to face Ralph. However, two of Teller’s henchmen show up, and in a violent confrontation with SAS trained Danny, they both die.

Watching the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, Danny is acutely aware that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they face a similar fate.

MOONBEAM follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks as they look for a way to get at Ralph, while contending with the machinations of a greedy, bent cop. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of survival.

Moonbeam will appeal to fans of Robert Galbraith’s Strike series, and the TV series, Gangs of London, created by Gareth Evans.

Originally from London, I lived on the periphery of the underworld and drug scene. In recovery, I became an addiction therapist. I live in Devon now and focus on my writing.

Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar
Ok, this changes my view. First thing I'd say is remove anything that is 'trimmings' and would normally be found in the actually story itself. It's actually 'a few bubbles for an epitaph' that threw me and made me think this was from the actual story. I'd lose that. Apart from that, I find it pretty good.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Dear..

In line with your interest in crime fiction, I am seeking representation for MOONBEAM, a crime thriller with series potential, complete at 78,800 words.

The problem with hiding from the Tellers is they never stop hunting you.
Excellent opener.
Danny feels safe tucked away in a little Welsh seaside town. He’s content to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. When he meets and falls for the captivating Megan, a Facebook post she makes inadvertently drags him back out into the open.
Still the same criticism as before. When you describe your protagonist you want to make them sound interesting. Describing him in a cliche is not ideal. Plus the cliche you use IMO is the lowest common denominator. You are trying to attract people who read. When I see an author use the term "get laid", it's a red flag. It would be different if you use this term in dialogue. That would be used as a character's language, but an author needs to be a bit more clever with words IMO.

Also, when you say "fish", in this context, it comes across as a hobby, like some guy by the river with his fishing rod and a can of beer. Not someone who has a commercial fishing business, so it's not an accurate image in that sense.
Danny is torn. The ruthless gangster Ralph Teller blames him for the death of one of his brothers, and now Megan is in danger. He could leave her and run, or go to London to face Ralph. However, two of Teller’s henchmen show up, and in a violent confrontation with SAS trained Danny, they both die.

Watching the bodies they’d trussed slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, Danny is acutely aware that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph soon, they face a similar fate.

MOONBEAM follows Danny and Megan for an intense two weeks as they look for a way to get at Ralph, while contending with the machinations of a greedy, bent cop. They have two guns, a little cash, and almost no chance of survival.

Moonbeam will appeal to fans of Robert Galbraith’s Strike series, and the TV series, Gangs of London, created by Gareth Evans.

Originally from London, I lived on the periphery of the underworld and drug scene. In recovery, I became an addiction therapist. I live in Devon now and focus on my writing.
Nice ending!
Thank you for your consideration.

Francis de Aguilar

I'll get back to finishing the whole novel, but so far your writing skills are very strong and I have been enjoying it.
 

FrancisD

Senior Member
Excellent opener.

Still the same criticism as before. When you describe your protagonist you want to make them sound interesting. Describing him in a cliche is not ideal. Plus the cliche you use IMO is the lowest common denominator. You are trying to attract people who read. When I see an author use the term "get laid", it's a red flag. It would be different if you use this term in dialogue. That would be used as a character's language, but an author needs to be a bit more clever with words IMO.

Also, when you say "fish", in this context, it comes across as a hobby, like some guy by the river with his fishing rod and a can of beer. Not someone who has a commercial fishing business, so it's not an accurate image in that sense.

Nice ending!


I'll get back to finishing the whole novel, but so far your writing skills are very strong and I have been enjoying it.
What would you, as someone familiar with the story, suggest as an opening?
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
This is about a short paragraph. The first version was this.

1) Danny and Megan dispose of the bodies and are now complicit in murder. As they watch the them slip below the surface of the ocean, with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, they realise they may well join them, if they don’t ‘deal’ with Ralph.

But I felt this had too many theys and thems, and just did not read well. So I changed it to this.

2) Watching the trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph, it dawns on Danny that he and Megan are now complicit in murder, and that if Ralph is not ‘dealt’ with soon, they could face a similar fate.

I was then told that this was too passive and it was suggested I do this.

3) The trussed bodies slip into the sea with only a few bubbles for an epitaph. Danny and Megan are now complicit in murder. Danny must deal with Ralph soon, or he and Megan could face a similar fate.

Which I find to be clumsy and without flow, Yes it gets the info across but that is about all it does.

I could use a couple of views on this. As it stands I much prefer 2, even if it is passive voice.


I would have to go with #2....but only the second half of the sentence.
You know how when you watch a bad actor act...how you can actually see them acting...?
Well, those 3 samples....I can see that you are writing.
Drop the $5 words, quit trying to say so much in one sentence, and find your hook. These three are kinda clumsy.

It would help if we could see the rest of the blurb. Hard to judge when you take two lines out of context. This is for the jacket cover...no?
 

FrancisD

Senior Member
I would have to go with #2....but only the second half of the sentence.
You know how when you watch a bad actor act...how you can actually see them acting...?
Well, those 3 samples....I can see that you are writing.
Drop the $5 words, quit trying to say so much in one sentence, and find your hook. These three are kinda clumsy.

It would help if we could see the rest of the blurb. Hard to judge when you take two lines out of context. This is for the jacket cover...no?
It is for a query letter actually. If you scroll up, the whole thing is in this thread.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Sure. I guess the opening line is to show the status quo, the next is the inciting incident that changes everything.
As I noted earlier, I think your opening is very strong. The only thing I would change is to make it specific to each agent, although you likely were planning on doing this, i.e. "in line with your interest in representation with of XXXX." (an author they represent)

The only sentence that troubles me is the one I mentioned. Here's a suggested edit:

Danny feels safe tucked away in a little Welsh seaside town. Finding solace, sailing his commercial fishing boat, he need not risk much time on land, other than to surreptitiously satisfy primal needs. He’s content to fish, drink the odd beer, and maybe get laid now and then. When he meets and falls for the captivating Megan, he lets his guard down. A Facebook post she makes inadvertently drags him back out into the open.

I'll PM you about the book itself.
 
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