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  1. #1
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    Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    An idea flashed through my mind and I couldn't resist writing out the first idea I had for my manuscript entitled: The Time Traveler's Adventures into Mediocrity. I have been trying to study how to write and this is one my first attempts since I hopefully learned something. How does this page stack up? The part in parentheses in the first paragraph is meant to be there as its an inflection by the character.

    Iíll completely understand your utter sense of surprise, disgust, and a strong urge to puke your guts out when I tell what I am going to do when I travel back in time. It isnít anything that you would ever want to do if you had built a time machine, so Iím basically doing it so you donít ever have the insane temptation to follow in my footsteps. But I know it's something you'll still be interested in hearing about, so thusly, here I am writing about it. (I don't think thusly is a word, but it wouldn't be hard to make it one) See, I set the clock on the time machine back to the date of my conception. Your most likely assumption would be correct: Iím going to watch my parents have sex and conceive me.
    Iíve put this next sentence into a different paragraph to let you have a moment to puke, ponder, or push the book away from yourself in disgust. I completely and totally agree with any of the above notions following my announcement of watching myself be made. I couldnít believe my ears when I heard the suggestion; as my friend had put it into the context of a dare. So please mind you this was not my idea at all; I just suck at keeping a ping-pong ball afloat for more than thirty seconds. Who knew such a failure would result in such an immensely horrible idea?
    Obviously, since my friend cannot come along, how is he to know whether or not I actually do what I have been dared to do? I mean, itís not hard to travel through time and fudge the facts about what you did there. Unfortunately, he has the guts of a lion and is willing to ask my parents if someone walked in on them having sex some nine months before I was born. And as a backup, I am taking a picture of the event. See the dare even involved all these back-ups and assurances, which was one hell of a smart idea by Ronís limited brain.
    I posed a counter question to the picture taking assurance: ďWhat if by me taking a photo, it freaks them out and my dadÖwellÖdoesnít finish?Ē
    The perplexed look on Ronís face was almost priceless. If you had just walked in and seen his face as he pondered this legitimate question, you would have assumed he was trying to take a crap but he was plugged up to the point where not even prunes could solve the problem. After he was finished thinking, he smiled, ďDonít be seen and donít use a flash.Ē
    Thus the problem was solved and I suddenly had no way out of seeing my parents get it on like donkey kong. I hope I get sued for using that because it would be a much more enjoyable experience than what I was about to go through.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    You change tenses in the last sentence. Other than that I loved it. Terrific voice. I seem to remember you posting a query once before that I ...um, hated. This voice really works, including the wordiness, but don't get carried away. This is just one guy's opinion and others may offer legit objections, but I really enjoyed the voice, the pace and verbiage. BTW, when you query keep it professional, but definitely show off your voice. Luck.
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
    - Bob Dylan

  3. #3
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Personally, I believed your first sentence so much that I stopped there and have no idea what the rest of it is like. It may be good, but IMAO, threatening to make your readers sick isn't a good way to get them to keep reading.

  4. #4
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Follow the Golden Rule of Modern Fiction: "Show Don't Tell!"

    Don't assume anything about the reader.
    Don't draw attention to the fact that you are writing/telling. You're in the action so be there, we know already you're the narrator.
    Don't make the time travelling component so blatently obvious. We've all seen time machines like a hundred times before.

    Do something different and original with your time travelling. Have someone who is allergic to water be in a position where, he's gotta drink because he's gotta survive, but every time he drinks, it takes him backwards and forwards through time, depending on how much water he's consumed. But he can't actually time travel outside his natural lifespan so we won't see dinosours or a new super republic some four thousand years into the future.

    It's got a satire/dark comedy feel to it. Though if you go on for the whole chapter talking about sex and a time machine, I think I will throw up.

    I do agree with Keith about your voice, it is quite original, and a good first attempt at the first page of your manuscript.

  5. #5
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Well first off thanks for the compliments, as it doesn't happen to much when it comes to my work lol

    Keith, I'm glad you didn't hate this. But I'm happy you hated the query I had posted before.

    I literally just came up with the idea mere hours ago, so it's still evolving, but in response to Patrick, this is being written like it's an autobiography, but yes I will be trying to show more. This page would be in a later part of the story. What I've come up with for the plot is the main character Henry is currently having his and his time machine's fate and future decided in the court of law and he thought writing a book about his adventures with the machine might win him some sympathy. He built one in response to his girlfriend breaking up with him and wants to use it to stop that from happening (A little like The Time Machine, I know). I have been playing around with the idea on whether it's an actual machine or something along the lines with what you came up with (I really like the sound of that though; it reminds me of the Time Traveler's Wife but it takes the randomness of that traveler's time jumps and gives them a specific cause)

  6. #6
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    As a parent, the thought of my son watching me having sex is repulsive to me so this put me off. I think if if you're going for some shock factor here, it should at least fulfill some meaningful plot- relevant purpose, eg. the MC's mother was raped and he wants to know who his father is- even then, watching your parents having sex isn't really necessary for a story as the one you described above. A dare sounds too juvenile and frivolous an excuse to do something so vile. I agree with Keith about the voice, though. Keep tinkering with it, focusing on the premise of the story.

  7. #7
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Love, love, love it.

    I agree with Keith. The voice is awesome, I read it all with enjoyment. I liked the idea of the time-travel as a teenage dare. I think there is a lot to work with here. I'd love to give you some suggestions on how to fix it, but I really have none. Write the book and edit it, then post more of the beginning. I think you have a good idea and a good style for it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Wow, Mark, it's amazing that you registered at WN [size=x-large]40 years ago[/size] and you're still hanging around!

    *_*

  9. #9
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Maybe Mark's into time travel. He went back 40 years and signed up.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Victoria's Avatar
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    Re: Conceptual First Page, please dissect

    Ahh... the time-travel bug. I'll notify the exterminator.
    Writers.Net Moderator

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