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Queries and Agents => Opening Sentence/Paragraph => Topic started by: skmwrites on August 15, 2019, 03:36:14 PM

Title: Opening of "Seventeen Days," a nonfiction biographical narrative
Post by: skmwrites on August 15, 2019, 03:36:14 PM
Te amo mama.

It did not matter how many times Emilia Trejo heard those words. With their every utterance her heart swelled with a joy she'd never felt before, the emotional culmination of decades spent praying and wondering: What happened to my daughter? Finally, she had an answer.
Title: Re: Opening of "Seventeen Days," a nonfiction biographical narrative
Post by: HolyMac007 on August 29, 2019, 01:49:20 PM
Te amo mama.

It did not matter how many times Emilia Trejo heard those words. With their every utterance her heart swelled with a joy she'd never felt before, the emotional culmination of decades spent praying and wondering: What happened to my daughter? Finally, she had an answer.

“Te amo mama.” Emilia Trejo’s heart swelled with joy at the sound of those spoken words. After the horrible heartache of decades spent praying and searching, of frantically worrying about her daughter’s fate... finally, Emilia had an answer.

As you can see, I rearranged some sentences... with the bits that seemed important... and I made some assumptions because I had too many questions. I made the assumption that the words that fill Emilia with joy, have been spoken out loud to her (but it’s not clear in your version)... so I put them in quotes - and because the words seem to hold so much emotional weight, I emphasized them with italics. I don’t know of course what has (or had) happened to Emilia’s daughter - so I also assumed that prior to whatever had separated them, the mother daughter relationship had been a loving one, and thus, while the two had been separated, Emilia searched for her daughter. I guess my point is that your current opening paragraph leaves me with too many assumptions to make. Even if the answers are forthcoming, I’m not yet pulled into the story or into the life of the character because too many emotionally relatable details are missing.

I had the same problem with my first paragraph. I’ve been making changes. Even if we don’t want to give away too much too soon... we still have to connect with the reader in a meaningful way.

I hope my critique helps in some way. Cheers.