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Thread: Opinions needed

  1. #1
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    Opinions needed

    Hi Guys.

    I'm beginning my second novel and I have a question. The opening scene is two young boys, both about 9 years old. They are in one of the boys' bedroom. It's Halloween and they're making last minute preparations to go out trick-or-treating. It's a horror novel, and although the story is unlike the movie Halloween, the beginning is similar. I really need to begin this way, but I want opinions as to what people think. Since Halloween is such an iconic movie, should I avoid beginning this way at all cost? I know it's risky.

    Thanks in advance.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    It wouldn't keep me from reading the story.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Lea!!!

  4. #4
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    I'm not familiar with the movie. I guess the question I'd have to ask myself is how would an agent/publisher view it. It's the first thing they're going to read. Sorry to say, but I'll bet a reader would be less concerned about this than an agent/publisher would--and if you want to have an agent/mainstream publisher, you have to go through them first.

    I once suggested an author change the opening, because it read like the "Gone with the Wind" opening to me. The author didn't agree. Months later, he came back to me, saying an agent's rejection letter said it read like the "Gone with the Wind" opening.

  5. #5
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    Gary. Thanks. That's exactly what I'm worried about. But it's the best opening, so the question is do you write the story the way you feel it would be the best? Or write it with an agent publisher in mind?

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    T-man, only you can answer this. If your opening is a one-for-one knock-off, you might have a problem. But if it's sort of reminiscent of Halloween, that's okay. Blurry distinction, yes, but that's my opinion. Since, as you said, you're just beginning, try tweaking the opening scenes to make them less like Halloween in detail even though the structure is similar. (When in doubt, fudge.)

    Interesting problem. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Tin,

    You got good replies above.

    I'll just add this thought. If the writing is stellar (I don't mean good, stellar.) your dream agent won't summarily toss you aside. You might still get rejected, but the Devil's in the writing.

    Cur

  8. #8
    Senior Member Avonne Writer's Avatar
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    Hey, Tinman

    If the only similarity is two boys getting ready, I don't see a problem. There are so many things you can do with a scene like this to make it sooooo much different than Halloween, the movie. Because you could start them battling it out with their starwars swords, running up and down the hall, until Mom yells at them that they have 5 minutes left. Or the kids yelling at Dad that they need their trick-or-treat bags, or well, you get my point. Like Jayce said, fudge it up a little. If it sounds totally different, then, guess what- it's different. Even if they do end up in the bedroom doing exactly what you said, getting prepped.

    Good luck on this. Don't sweat it, by the end of the book you may change this scene altogether. lol

  9. #9
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    Jayce. Thanks. It's only similar in that it's Halloween and it's the opening scene from a young boy's POV. As you say: "the structure is similar". Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    Cur. Thanks. Yes, I'll try to blur any similarities. Doubt my writing is stellar lol, but the question in my mind is do you stay true to the story and write it the way you think it will read best? Or do you write it with an agent looking over your shoulder? Which would you do? Thanks again.
    Last edited by The Tinman; 10-22-2011 at 11:45 AM.

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