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  1. #1
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    1st paragraph of my new book.

    135th Berkley Lane, Adel Iowa, had sat virtually untouched for the last decade. Once a proud manor house it now sat lonely and abandoned. The two-story home lay near ruins with broken windows, missing shingles and ivy that crept up in sheets of green and maroon, twisting and turning, covering what was the front window, until it made its way to the roof. The front porch had quite nearly collapsed, and now lay in heaps of wood and leaves that had fallen through. Rumors had been floating around for years about what the houses’ history had been, someone said it was an asylum, someone said a murder took place but in 1942, it was the newly built home of the Mathers.



  2. #2
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    First, it's OK to start with description, but that isn't popular in the current world. So, some would consider this a weak opening. I try not to judge much on this little, though I don't see anything to excite until the fifth sentence. Some would start this with "Rumors floated that the abandoned house at 135 Berkley Lane had once been an asylum; some even said a murder took place there in 1942."

    Second, every word of an opening second is supposed to be pure gold in serving the story. Is it important to know in the fifth and sixth word that the house is in Adel, Iowa? (a comma is missing between "Adel" and "Iowa," by the way.)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Kessler View Post
    Second, every word of an opening sentence is supposed to be pure gold in serving the story. Is it important to know in the fifth and sixth word that the house is in Adel, Iowa? (a comma is missing between "Adel" and "Iowa," by the way.)
    Sorry, correcting typoed word.

  4. #4
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    thank you.

    The book is mainly about the house, and the families that lived in the house and the torment and anguish they suffered in the house so i figured if i lead in with the house, as it is now and segued my way into how it looked with the first family who originally built the home itd be a better opening, the characters, are almost irrelivent as the house will stand long after they are gone.

    Again thanks for the feedback, any help is duley noted and apprieciated.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC_Corran View Post
    The book is mainly about the house, and the families that lived in the house and the torment and anguish they suffered in the house so i figured if i lead in with the house, as it is now and segued my way into how it looked with the first family who originally built the home itd be a better opening, the characters, are almost irrelivent as the house will stand long after they are gone.

    Again thanks for the feedback, any help is duley noted and apprieciated.
    Well, AC, we can only comment on what you give--not on what's not there. (Not that I see your response as negating what I wrote. It's still the first thing your readers see--as long as they are continuing to read.)

  6. #6
    simba major
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    In addition to what Gary said, I find it a bit wordy. The repetition of "sat" early on gave it an unpolished feel.

    I also think that there is too much pure description. The story is not about the house - it can't be. It could be about what happened in the house. If that's the case, hints should be threaded through the description, not tacked on at the end.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Susan B's Avatar
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    I like the opening sentence, but agree with Gary that you should skip the description and go straight to the 'rumour had been...' line. My ears pricked up again there.

  8. #8
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    Thank you.

    Is there any specific reccomendations you could give me, im a little stuck i would really like to show how the house looks now, old and abandoned, and how the house looked then, your also right about the house, i want to document the things that happened inside the house, but i still think the characters are lower on the prority list as far as describing, after this paragraph i go on to describe the first family (Charlie and Ellie Mathers) I also want to make it clear from the begining that the mathers were the one who built the house, its important for the plot of the story that they build the house on this land, its sort of like an amityville story with obviously a different plot line but the house has evil inside it that makes the characters do things.

  9. #9
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    Yep, a specific recommendation. Stop describing and have something going on. Only give a buildup of description/background in bits in pieces as it naturally flows around action actually going on.

  10. #10
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    thanks

    What if i start out with a scene from the book? Kind of like starting out with a scene from the end of the book and double back?

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