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Author Topic: 1st two sentences, supernatural/fantasy drama *UPDATED BELOW*  (Read 1348 times)
Vortigern
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« on: May 04, 2018, 09:20:25 PM »

Hey all! What do you think of this beginning? It's the first sentence/paragraph for the first book in a set of four novels in a supernatural fantasy family drama series I've been working on for a while now. So-so? Good? Bad? Horrible?

     The past haunts every descendant of mankind regardless of their origin story for there is one constant among all men and women; there is always an ancestor's legacy that must be overcome...
     This truth is evident no matter when in time we take our first breath, and it does not matter who we are born to, or where we've come from.


What kind of feel do you get from it? Does it make you want to know more? Does it make you yawn or pull you in? And do I have punctuation in order?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 09:04:20 AM by Vortigern » Logged

Inspiring Imagination Between Two Worlds
TigerAsh
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:03:44 PM »

Hey all! What do you think of this beginning? It's the first sentence/paragraph for the first book in a set of four novels in a supernatural fantasy family drama series I've been working on for a while now. So-so? Good? Bad? Horrible?

     The past haunts every descendant of mankind regardless of their origin story for there is one constant among all men and women; there is always an ancestor's legacy that must be overcome...
     This truth is evident no matter when in time we take our first breath, and it does not matter who we are born to, or where we've come from.


What kind of feel do you get from it? Does it make you want to know more? Does it make you yawn or pull you in? And do I have punctuation in order?



In terms of the actual writing, I think it's okay ... but the sentences are a little long. I would try to break them up a bit. Sometimes, short and simple has a stronger impact.

With that said, I personally feel that overall, it sounds too preachy for a "supernatural fantasy family drama series". I don't feel grounded anywhere, I don't feel like I'm starting to build a connection with any character(s), I'm not interested in learning more about the plot beginning to unfold ... from these first sentences, I feel like this story is going to try to teach me something as opposed to pull me in and immerse me in the story. I want to feel more engaged right off the bat.

Sorry my comments aren't more positive. But hopefully they help. Best of luck. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:35:41 AM by TigerAsh » Logged
007 fan
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Eye right store ease.


« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 03:01:06 AM »

Hey all! What do you think of this beginning? It's the first sentence/paragraph for the first book in a set of four novels in a supernatural fantasy family drama series I've been working on for a while now. So-so? Good? Bad? Horrible?

     The past haunts every descendant of mankind regardless of their origin story for there is one constant among all men and women; (if this were my work, I'd do a colon instead) there is always an ancestor's legacy that must be overcome...
     This truth is evident no matter when in time we take our first breath, and it does not matter who we are born to, (I'd remove that comma) or where we've come from.


What kind of feel do you get from it? Does it make you want to know more? Does it make you yawn or pull you in? And do I have punctuation in order?

I wouldn't mind seeing a brief statement like this at the start of a saga. This isn't the start of a long prologue, right? If so, I believe it's generally best not to include it when you send pages while querying. I think a short statement like yours would be fine, offset somehow. Maybe italicizing it would be the thing to do. Both your sentences (paragraphs) say the same thing, so you need to trim those, using your most favorite phrasing from both into one w/o repeating an idea.

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jcwrites
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 09:42:52 AM »

I doubt if you could concoct a more boring opening if you tried. You'd be better off opening in media res--show us a character, a situation, a place, something to engage the reader's curiosity and set up a story question. Introduce this stuff later--if at all.
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Vortigern
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2018, 03:01:09 PM »

LOL, okay, all comments are duly noted.

In hindsight, after re-reading again I can see how my excerpt might seem long and repetitive. I shall work on shortening it.

It also occurred to me without the rest of the 1-1/2 page prologue (1st person prologue) I've left it totally open for interpretation and to be taken out of context. I should have added a portion of the next paragraph. I'll re-work and post just a bit more to see if I can make it sound less boring.  Thumbs Up Grin

Thanks for all the comments. Even the negative are appreciated. It helps me re-think things and improve.  Smiley

In a sense it is part of a saga as it is a series that branches off from another one of mine. I draw characters from that one into this one.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 06:49:37 PM by Vortigern » Logged

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Vortigern
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2018, 09:28:30 PM »

How does this sound? I added a bit for context...  Without it what I'm trying to do doesn't make sense.

The past haunts mankind regardless of their origin.
The constant among us? An inherent need to overcome our legacy...

How's that for a beginning?
     By no means am I a writer but when I read that in the first novel I'd ever agreed to proofread for an author, I was intrigued.
     The name's Karisma Kayos, and yes, it is pronounced the same as the word chaos, meaning complete disorder or confusion. As you can imagine, this makes for an extremely unfortunate name. But it's real, and it's mine, so I've learned to own it over the years. Once people get to know me they usually find I'm aptly named for my last name but not so much for my first. I have absolutely no charisma whatsoever and no matter what I do, or where I go, I always seem to find myself smack dab in the middle of a muddled mess. Much like the one I found myself in a week later when I began proofreading a different novel I was given by another author on The Derelict Writers Forum.
     I became instantly bewildered.
     Both writers had used the very same first few sentences to start their manuscripts. Initially, I thought I'd pulled up the wrong document until I began comparing the stories side by side. The question was, who was plagiarizing who? It couldn't possibly be a coincidence.
     Or was it?
 
As you can see, I need for that very first part to be profound and catchy or something, or it won't make sense why the character Karisma is intrigued.


UPDATE 5/11/2018: I have changed a lot of this since last posted. I'm no longer using it for first sentence/paragraph. I began to feel jcwrites was correct, that it was way to boring to start with, though I could see it as a start of a saga as 007 fan stated. Which is funny, cause this is part of a saga. Here's my concern though. I flipped what I was originally going to start with into the middle of my 2-1/2 to 3 page Prologue. I'm not sure it was a good idea, however, cause the first sentence/paragraph I came up with I think might be worse. And you know how that goes, 'if it doesn't feel right then it probably isn't.' LOL The prologue is currently under 'First Five Pages' titled as A Legacy Unleashed. but here's what I have now for the first sentence/paragraph.

The name's Karysma Kayos. I'm not actually a writer. I'm a game tester, by trade. But after telling off my boss and co-workers about eight months ago, I got it in my head that I was going to be a novelist. So I quit my job.

After about six months worth of diligent writing I'd finished what I personally felt at the time was a piece of literature worthy of an award. Wanting to get the opinion of my fellow authors, I began searching online for a writing forum that wouldn't kick me out. (I had the habit of being a little too harsh with my viewpoints on other peoples works.)


« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 09:03:46 AM by Vortigern » Logged

Inspiring Imagination Between Two Worlds
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