QueryTracker Community
November 18, 2017, 02:04:13 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: First paragraph of The Last Jewish Princess  (Read 2136 times)
dragoness
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 29
Offline Offline

Posts: 216



« on: November 13, 2016, 01:44:36 AM »

What do you say?


The striking of legionaries' axes awakens Bernice with a start.

"On behalf of the governor, Pontius Pilate, open up! Now!" thunders the voice of the centurion.

They have come to take Father! Bernice dashes toward her parents' room to warn her father that their fears have come true and the Romans have arrived. They have been dreading this moment for months, since the family escaped Rome and reached the remote fort near the Dead Sea her father had inherited. For months her parents worriedly talked in Latin so the children would not understand, but four-year-old Bernice and five-year-old Junior understood every word. The noisy games in Rome bore stolen fruits.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 12:52:12 AM by dragoness » Logged
mgmystery
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 130
Offline Offline

Posts: 627


« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 07:44:33 AM »

I think you could gain a closer perspective by starting with a description of the unknown sound that wakes Bernice. Maybe she could realize what it is when she hears the shout of the centurion? Does she grab a robe or something as she leaps from bed?

Also you might avoid passive voice if you replace "They have been dreading..." with something like "In the months since the family escaped...they've dreaded this moment." And maybe flip the sentence that follows to avoid repeating months--Four year old Bernice and her five year old brother, Junior, spent much of their time hiding in the shadows listening to the worried whispers between their parents. Secrets, spoken in Latin, not meant for the children to understand...

Just a few ideas I hope will be helpful. Obviously, they might need some serious rewording  Smiley One big thing that stands out--Bernice is four? If this is a book for young readers, I think the language is too complex. FWIW, I would've kept reading to see what happens next!  Smiley
Logged
dragoness
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 29
Offline Offline

Posts: 216



« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 03:20:11 AM »

Thank you!

Here is the new verse:

32 A.D.

The striking of legionaries' axes awakens Bernice with a start. "On behalf of the governor, Pontius Pilate, open the gate! Now!" thunders the centurion.

They're here to take Father! Bernice dashes toward her parents' room to warn Agrippa that the Romans caught up with them. Her parents dreaded this moment ever since the family escaped Rome to their fort near the Dead Sea. They talked in Latin so the children won't understand, but the kids' games with their Roman friends bore stolen fruits, as they understood every anxious word.


The novel is an adult fiction following Bernice's true life since her adventurous childhood (when she prevented her father suicide, witnessed Jesus's speech and failed to prevent his crucifixion, become a princess, got engaged, etc.) and on to her adulthood.
Logged
KissofTreachery
Newbie
*

Karma: 2
Offline Offline

Posts: 5


« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2016, 12:57:14 PM »

After speaking and reading a lot about what agents love/hate in an opening paragraph, they generally say two things:
-Never open your story with a line of dialogue.
-Stories that begin with a character waking up makes them roll their eyes.

I think the best thing to do in your opening lines is to:
-Tell us who the character is
-Tell us where the character is
-Tell us what the character is doing

We have a lot of 'background' about Bernice, but we don't know who SHE is. I think you do a good job at showing us the action, but the reader needs a little more context about the world you've dropped them into.
Logged
BarryW54
Full Member
***

Karma: 4
Offline Offline

Posts: 69


« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 09:13:24 PM »

Thank you!

Here is the new verse:

32 A.D.

The striking of legionaries' axes awakens Bernice with a start. "On behalf of the governor, Pontius Pilate, open the gate! Now!" thunders the centurion.

They're here to take Father! Bernice dashes toward her parents' room to warn Agrippa that the Romans caught up with them. Her parents dreaded this moment ever since the family escaped Rome to their fort near the Dead Sea. They talked in Latin so the children won't understand, but the kids' games with their Roman friends bore stolen fruits, as they understood every anxious word.


The novel is an adult fiction following Bernice's true life since her adventurous childhood (when she prevented her father suicide, witnessed Jesus's speech and failed to prevent his crucifixion, become a princess, got engaged, etc.) and on to her adulthood.



Sounds like the start of an exciting historical drama. Maybe if you started with the family hurriedly leaving Rome and the reasons why, then you could build up to this climax, ending the first paragraph. Hope it helps.
Logged
dragoness
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 29
Offline Offline

Posts: 216



« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 02:00:01 AM »

Thank you very much!  Thumbs Up

I decided to start with what was the second scene, as I think it's better. What do you say about this beginning?


Vespasian considers the woman he's supposed to marry - ugly, stupid, unkind and indigent. Nothing like the girl he used to court until the day when everything changed…

"Are you going out again?" His mother waylaid him when he tried to sneak out to the fields. "You're seventeen already, Vespasian Flavius! You can't roam out like some idler all day long, even if you go after your father's simple family! Why can't you be like your brother and join the army? It's time for you to start going up the Roman Course of Offices, as my family does!"
Logged
tiff880515
Full Member
***

Karma: 6
Offline Offline

Posts: 57


« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 11:09:26 PM »

I actually like the beginning with Bernice. Vespasian seems like a horrible fellow and it's hard to read on if the protagonist (it would seem he's the MC from this opening) is unlikeable.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!