QueryTracker Community
November 21, 2017, 03:11:39 PM *
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: Opening of my new story: Any thoughts? (hint: it's supposed to be humorous.)  (Read 620 times)
Nwton
Newbie
*

Karma: 1
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« on: September 19, 2017, 01:11:34 PM »

        It was stormy and dark the night Jim was born. The wind howled out of the west, and tree branches flailed like enraged birds against the windows of the small country hospital.
        "My God," his father said, when the nurse carried his infant son out to him for the first time. His voice was tinged with apprehension. In the next room, Jim's mother sobbed softly, her body convulsed with pain. "Do you suppose that baby's normal?"
Logged
Drachen
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 38
Offline Offline

Posts: 164



« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 12:07:03 AM »

        It was stormy and dark the night This is so cliche even the 'comedy' angle on it is cliche Jim was born. The wind howled out of the west, and tree branches flailed like enraged birds against the windows of the small country hospital.
        "My God," his father said, when the nurse carried his infant son out to him for the first time. His voice was tinged with apprehension. Why apprehension? Shouldn't that come before he sees? In the next room, Jim's mother sobbed softly, her body convulsed with pain. "Do you suppose that baby's normal?"

This isn't funny.

It seems kind of horrible. Like not in a badly written way (except for the dark and stormy night, seriously ditch that bit), but in I expect this to be Rosemary's Baby or something way.
Logged
007 fan
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 649
Offline Offline

Posts: 1584


Eye right store ease.


« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 05:06:15 PM »

        It was stormy and dark the night Jim was born. The wind howled out of the west, and tree branches flailed like enraged birds against the windows of the small country hospital.
        "My God," his father said, when the nurse carried his infant son out to him for the first time. His voice was tinged with apprehension. In the next room, Jim's mother sobbed softly, her body convulsed with pain. "Do you suppose that baby's normal?"

For all we know, your query might prep a reader for how this opens (the cliche) and reveal the humor within your story (there is none visible in the opening unless you mean the very first line to be humorous because it's so cliche). Most agents will read a query first, but some check out the first page first, so really think about opening with mostly weather, particularly the line I didn't think I'd ever see someone use, a variation of 'it was a dark and stormy night'...doesn't mean someone can't successfully pull that off!  Smiley

Quote
tree branches flailed like enraged birds against the windows of the small country hospital.
I really like this bit, super nice, though I'd likely place it so that it paired with one of the dialogue lines, to accentuate it.

Quote
His voice was tinged with apprehension.
This is too far removed from your dialogue. Instead of moving it somewhere else, I suggest dropping it and using a way to show the reader how apprehensive Jim's father is.

It would be helpful to see your query, so we can have a better sense of your story. Know that it doesn't have to be up long if you don't want it to be. You can remove your query/its thread at any time w/o the need for a moderator to do it.



Logged

writer                                                                          Computer Basher
B.W.French
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 10
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 11:10:11 PM »

HI.
I don't think anybody will be hooked, in the first sentence, by " It was stormy and dark the night Jim was born". In addition to be a cliché used over and over, it is obvious that it has no relevance to the story and it smells like the author doesn't know how to open the chapter, so he has to use the weather.
The following sentence deserve the same comment.
The next sentence. ""My God," his father said, when the nurse carried his infant son out to him for the first time."
Why a comma after "My God" since that's all the father say.
Next sentence. " In the next room, Jim's mother sobbed softly, her body convulsed with pain. "Do you suppose that baby's normal?"
If I were convulsed with pain. I wouldn't be softly crying. I'd be yelling convulsively.
Also.  "Suppose" not the best choice of word. Instinctively, one says in a tragedy like this : "Do you think?" "Suppose" is kept for more sophisticated dialogue and less tragic, certainly not in the mouth of somebody that has not even be presented to the reader.
P.S. I haven't detected any humor in this opening. Sorry!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 11:12:34 PM by B.W.French » Logged
Munley
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 30
Offline Offline

Posts: 130


Atlantic Canada


« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 03:26:39 AM »

HI.
I don't think anybody will be hooked, in the first sentence, by " It was stormy and dark the night Jim was born". In addition to be a cliché used over and over, it is obvious that it has no relevance to the story and it smells like the author doesn't know how to open the chapter, so he has to use the weather.

Okay, maybe this didn't come off as funny as the author might have intended. But rather than regarding this being a sign of an author who just doesn't have a clue about what he/she's doing -- "so he has to use the weather"-- as if its some sort of cheap and handy crutch, I see this opening as a brave and deliberate attempt for the writer to use a well-known cliche for a certain effect.

I'd rather see more authors take chances like this than slavishly follow "rules" about never opening with the weather. That great line about the tree branches flailing against the window of the small country hospital couldn't work without mentioning the weather.

I actually did find some things funny, so maybe it's all a matter of personal taste.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 08:55:00 AM by Munley » Logged
alislove
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 04:28:06 PM »


        The night Jim was born, the wind howled out of the west, and tree branches flailed like enraged birds against the windows of the small country hospital.
     

This is what I would like for a first line. The vivid image it creates nullifies any need to mention the storm. That said I agree with Munley that if you opened with the cliche for a purpose you will certainly lose that staging.

Also didn't feel these lines communicated humor but if what follows immediately does then perhaps it could work. Thumbs Up
Logged
MichelleG
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 140
Offline Offline

Posts: 925



WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 09:34:50 PM »

I didn't find this humorous.  If you want it to be, then I would say rewrite it.
Logged

"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
drose
Full Member
***

Karma: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 64



« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 08:10:54 AM »

I think "humorous" might not be the right description of what you're going for. Do you mean parody? This opening reminds me of the movie Young Frankenstein, or something Monty Python. If so, you can do a lot with this. I'm interested to know what's up with Jim.
Logged
Falthor
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 241
Offline Offline

Posts: 4329


Picture of Me and one of the Twins (Chloe)


« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 09:42:56 AM »

gonna support the majority here, it's not humorous in its current state.   I also get the feeling that it is going for parody, like a Young Frankenstein or something similar, but if that is the case you really need to ramp up the ham, and hit that thing over the head repeatedly.

Logged

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
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!