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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    First paragraph...how much to give away?

    In between writing really bad queries, I can't help but write manuscripts. I'd go crazy if I couldn't get the ideas out of my head even though I still can't write a query to save my freakin' life. So, here's the question I have about this newest addition. Do I give away too much of the plot in the first short paragraph? The whole story is about a woman who single-handedly dismantles a mentally fragile genius under the guise of love. I went back and read the opening paragraph and thought, "Well, that pretty much sums up the 80,000 words following it." Should it? Or should I keep my cards closer to my chest for a lot longer? BTW - this is a WIP, not anywhere near the final product.

    While listening to the world-renowned pianist play his latest composition, Victoria Hesselbeck clenched her fists so hard that she snapped the spine of her newest Spanish-made fan. Secretly, she’d hoped that the reputed genius of the young man would not live up to his celebrity. However, what she heard in that theatre proved his brilliance and tears stung Victoria’s eyes as she no longer wanted to just listen—she wanted to possess the beauty of the music that surrounded her and destroy the man that created it.



  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: First paragraph...how much to give away?

    Hi PennMom,

    From my viewpoint, the first paragraph gives only enough away to want to know a little more.

    I understand it's a work in progress and from that standpoint, I think its a really good start. I would read on, at least the next few paragraphs/pages and then decide if I'd buy the book.....

    Oh and by the way, don't throw away what you wrote above:
    'The whole story is about a woman who single-handedly dismantles a mentally fragile genius under the guise of love'

    I think you might have the start of your future (1st draft) QL there....

    eg:
    'At the tender age of twenty-seven Jemma has already single-handedly destroyed a mentally fragile genius under the guise of love'

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    584

    Re: First paragraph...how much to give away?

    Just because you know what's going to happen doesn't mean that your readers will. This isn't the type of story that interests me, but if it were I'd probably keep reading, at least a little longer because you've raised an interesting question: is she going to succeed or fail? And, for that matter, if I read the entire novel will I be rooting for her or her quarry?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    461

    Re: First paragraph...how much to give away?

    PennMom,

    How far along are you in this story? I never second-guess my beginnings until I'm in the revision process. If this is a first draft, start where you need to start and go forward from there. A lot of times, you find the beginning AFTER you've finished the book. You start revising and suddenly, you see it--There, there is where the story starts, right there at the end of chapter three!

    This beginning is fine for now. Write the whole book, and then re-examine it.

    Just my thoughts...

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    689

    Re: First paragraph...how much to give away?

    Penn,

    Yup, what Jeanne said. Joe too.

    Right now, write. Worry about your opening later.

    Cur

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    37

    Re: First paragraph...how much to give away?

    Thanks for your help.

    This is a completed manuscript, but it's still being edited. The foundation is there, but it's still in its infancy. I will leave it as is for now and just continue to edit and re-write as the case may be. Thanks for giving me much to think about.

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