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  1. #1
    Misty Mann
    Guest

    Changes to first paragraphs :)




    It had been the usual sultry summer that Saturday in a southeast neighborhood in Memphis, where seven-year-old Tessa was jumping on a trampoline with Brutus, a boy her age who rarely asked her to play. The hot, thick air and scarce breeze combined with the continuous bounds toward the cloudless sky took its toll on the children. They were red-cheeked and huffing as they climbed down from the trampoline.


    “I’m thirsty. I’m going inside to get some water,” Brutus said, exiting his backyard toward the house. On his way in, he waved to his parents, who were mowing the grass and trimming bushes, to ask permission before Tessa could follow. She was a guest, and as the Gayland house was often in disarray, Brutus’s mother told him to always ask before inviting in the neighborhood children. She nodded.


    “Yeah, can I have some too?” Tessa asked, trailing him. Although she was thirsty and wanted to escape the heat, she was more curious to see inside her next door neighbor’s house. They entered the kitchen where she saw an island. “Your house is different from mine,” she said in a sort of awe. Her kitchen at home was more like a small, enclosing corridor with cabinets than a kitchen, not wide and inviting like in Brutus’s house.


    “I can show you around.” Brutus made good on his offer, ending the tour in his bedroom. It smelled like Tessa assumed a boy’s room would smell, the room of a boy who played sports, and it was a bit dusky. The sheer curtains just above the bed could use some opening, she thought, reaching her fingers toward the break in the middle. She could plainly see the side of her house. Her mother and father, had they been in the side yard, could have observed her pale, round face somewhat glowing in between the red curtains, curtains that matched the spider-man bedspread on which she was kneeling. From that window the rest of the day melted hazily into the back of Tessa’s mind, and she would not remember it for eighteen years.



  2. #2
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    Did you really need to put 37 words in your opening sentence? It's a good way to turn people off because they'll think that the rest of the story is going to be written in the same convoluted way. Long sentences like that can be good, once your readers are involved, but that's way too soon for that.

  3. #3
    cara k
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    I'm sorry to say this, but I liked the last post better. This one seems more distant to me. And I'm confused about the POV now. My impression from the last post was that you were writing from Tessa's POV, and that made sense, given your closing sentence. But that isn't the case here.
    It still needs work, but keep at it, Misty Mann.

    --Cara K

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    Is it necessary to work her age into the first sentence? Obviously "spider-man" should be capitalized, but at least you put the hyphen in there, which I'm sure far more people would forget. Overall though I don't see where you're going with this. She's in her neighbor's house and maybe gets some water. So what?

  5. #5
    Nan Hammond
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    It seems to me you want criticism on how you are writing, not what you are writing, because I couldn't care less about a thirsty girl on a trampoline. The story so far is mundane if at best quaint.

    I agree with Joe about the opening sentence. Whenever I see opening paragraphs with sentences over 10 words I cringe. Break it up. Its o.k.

    EG

    "It had been the usual sultry summer that Saturday in a southeast neighborhood in Memphis..."

    It was a sultry summer in Memphis. (Not that I would start a book this way. I think the first sentence should be...interesting.)

    ... where seven-year-old Tessa was jumping on a trampoline with Brutus, a boy her age who rarely asked her to play. The hot, thick air and scarce breeze combined with the continuous bounds toward the cloudless sky took its toll on the children. They were red-cheeked and huffing as they climbed down from the trampoline.


    Tessa clibed off the trampoline, cheeks red with sun. "I'm thristy" she told Brutus, her reluctant playmate.

    or something...

    It makes it easier to read if you shorten it. But thats just MO.

    Hope it helps

    Good luck

    -Nan

  6. #6
    Phat Chanse
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    I didn't get the chance to read the first post but my question is, what's the story about? Get into the meat of it, then describe the weather, surroundings and irrelevant actions. Get me interested in what's going on, because quite frankly I lost interest right away, no matter the word count of your first sentence or paragraph.

    By the way, Brutus didn't say he was going to get a drink, he stated it. Use the right terminology, it'll help a lot in conveying the right image.


    Hope this helps, but above all don't get discouraged.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    By the way, Brutus didn't say he was going to get a drink, he stated it. Use the right terminology, it'll help a lot in conveying the right image.

    Said is the traditionally accepted dialog tag, not stated. Maybe it's you who needs to brush up on some things.

  8. #8
    Phat Chanse
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    Maybe yes and maybe no. Traditional is so boring, besides, "I'm going to get a drink" is a statement. But if you like to repeat yourself throughout your story with nothing but he or she said, have at it.

  9. #9
    nancy drew
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    "Um, sorry Phat," she interjected. "Gotta back Rogue up on this one," she stated.

    "If you need to whip up interest in your story through a variety of dialogue tags, you need a better story," she concluded.

    "Or a better whip," she mused.

  10. #10
    Phat Chanse
    Guest

    Re: Changes to first paragraphs :)

    Lol! My stories are fine. I just find repetition a bit boring. I like what you used, you didn't repeat yourself. "But hey," he continued, "you go ahead and use said."

    We all write in our own way, and we all have suggestions. Nobody is required to do what others say.

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