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Author Topic: First sentence/paragrph  (Read 805 times)
B.W.French
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« on: September 18, 2017, 10:38:59 PM »

I intend to write a mystery novel. Murder in a closed room with a solution which holds together. I also, tend to be verbose, in my attempt to be original. So, there it is. In this endless opening, I'm just trying to say that the hero of the novel goes to open a door.


SORRY!!!!!!!
(Went to the garbage)

I Kool-Aid
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 07:15:40 PM by B.W.French » Logged
Nwton
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 09:14:40 AM »

I think you've already diagnosed the problem with this opening, which is extreme verbosity. My advice is to imagine how a reader would react to phrases like "the quietude of the meditations in which I was immersed." A character who speaks or thinks like this comes across as pompous and unlikable. Unless that's what you're shooting for, then ditch the flowery talk, the parenthetical musings, and get to the point. Also, get rid of unnecessary words, e.g., replace "curt knocks" with "knocks," since all knocks are curt. Basically, you've not found a voice yet for your protagonist that works. If this voice is what flows out naturally and you have trouble changing it, then I'd suggest you put your novel on hold for awhile and work on a short story, which is more easily revised. Good luck.
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jcwrites
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 09:55:07 AM »

If your goal is to have some fun and self-publish, you're on your way.
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B.W.French
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 01:30:15 PM »

You are right, I am going to write a short story. However, I would like to explain why : verbosity. (You didn't think I was going to give up so easily? Did you?)

1. I used to check my writing on a site called : "Paper Rater", and the result always was : "Your sentences are too short. That shows you don't know how to write long sentences."
2. I was too happy to oblige since I, in fact, like long sentences.
3. In the present context, all is intended to be humorous.
4. I must confess that I am very influenced by Conan Doyle and Chesterton.
5. To show you that I am sincere and not pompous, I will rewrite those same lines in short sentences. Here they are! (I added even a bit of what comes next)

It was a stormy afternoon, (typical Parisian day of July.) I was meditating, when three knocks sent me to the door to answer the call.
In front of me, stood the Baron Armand de Valfort. At least, it was the name I read on the calling card that the gentleman handed me


Thank you for your comments. As you said, I just wanted to confirm my fear that "long sentences" don't sell.
 Kool-Aid
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 01:58:15 PM by B.W.French » Logged
samcantcook
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 10:05:09 AM »

The condensed version is better. But I would rethink your first line. "A stormy afternoon" gives us little context of the setting and provides 0 tension to hook a reader.

Quote
on each side of my head, those sensible auditory appendages of mine

We know you mean ears. Use the best word to describe something. Not the most.
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B.W.French
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 08:03:40 PM »

HI! Samcantcook.
First, thank you for the comment. Appreciated. You are right, and I know that the "right word" is the goal of any writer. However, there are 2 exceptions.
1. The case of repetition of the 'right word'. In that case you have to sacrifice a bit of 'right' to avoid the ugliness of repetition.
2. When I want to be funny. In that case I thought that "auditory appendages" was funnier than "ear".
In the text I had already had used ears. Incidentally, did you notice that I wrote "my ears smelled the money". I don't think in that sentence 'ears' is the right word. Perhaps 'nose" would have been better, but... too boring. 
In final analysis : I STINK, and I know it. But I cant help writing...
Love you for dropping a comment!
 Kool-Aid
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