August 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm #2992
I thought it would be fun to post the first few paragraphs of our WIPs to see what everyone is working on and to get a feel for how we’re doing with the opening.
Post up to the entire first page then we can tell you if we’d turn the page and keep reading or put it down.
Be fair and give reasons why you do or don’t want more.August 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm #4527
Sounds like a fun idea 🙂 As immature as this may sound, I am *not* going to be the first person to post 😛 Mostly because I’m still trying to perfect my first page -_- and am kind of self conscious about the other one. Yeah, I know this is a thread to get advice but ehem…not gonna be the first 😛August 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm #4528
Haha! Don’t worry. I’ll go first. I was on my phone when I posted so I couldn’t post anything. I’ll be the sacrificial lamb. 🙂
This is from my last story. I got stuck on the first draft and moved onto the story I’m writing now. So I won’t die if you rip it to shreds!
His hand lingered on the rough surface of the church wall. He took his time running his long fingers against it, raking his nails along the worn grooves while the warm sunlight poured in golds and reds through the stained glass arms of the Virgin Mary. Her dark blue dress blocked out the strongest of the sun’s rays, allowing him to bask in her warmth without being overcome by weakness.
A priest shuffled out onto the floor where the alter rested. He collected the wine and wafers and carried them back into his private room.
Varian had spent hundreds of hours here but he’d never breached the priest’s sanctuary and ventured behind the alter. He went there to find peace and to enjoy the ornate church that
was so different from his own plain place of godless worship.
Varian moved to the front when he was sure the priest was gone. Silently, he lit several candles and fondled the worn rosary in his picket as he knelt. He didn’t pray. The calm of the flickering candles calmed the torrent in his mind and combined with the strong aroma of incense he inhaled every time he forced himself to take a shallow breath, eased his aching soul.
He was so lost in calm that he barely felt the squeeze on his shoulder. His eyelids cracked open and he looked up at the priest.
“Hello Father Daniel.”
The older priest smiled. The creases on his face were more severe than the last time Varian had seen him.
“I’ve seen you four times this month. That’s twice as many times as I normally see you in a year. You’re taking a big risk with your life.”August 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm #4529
@xaenyth I’d keep reading this. Great description in the first paragraph. It pulled me in right away. Nice hook there at the end dialogue. I’d like to know what the priest means. 🙂August 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm #4530
Thanks Allison. 🙂August 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm #4531
I agree with Allison-it’s awesome XD No CC 🙂 And I’d definetily keep reading, too.August 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm #4532
@xaenyth – Overlooking the spelling errors it’s a good start, I wouldn’t say a great start however. A few sentences don’t flow well and I found I had to go back and read a few sentences again making sure I took all of it in. For example:
“The calm of the flickering candles calmed the torrent in his mind and combined with the strong aroma of incense he inhaled every time he forced himself to take a shallow breath, eased his aching soul.”
We know the candles calmed him as you addressed that point with using calm at the start. Cut one of those ‘calms’ out. The next bit is a tad jumbled so maybe break it down like so:
“The candles were calming. The incense settled something within him, and even though his breathing was shallow he found himself relaxing deeply.”
Then you could lead in with the next section, where the priest is introduced. Keeping it in the same paragraph. Many things are just sentence order and bringing together the scene without covering ground repeatedly.
It’s not a genre I would read normally so unfortunately it doesn’t capture my interest as it would if it was high fantasy. The idea behind this first part is good but I should be kept reading after the first sentence. The cliffhanger or the point to continue comes a little late for me.August 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm #4533
Thanks for your honesty quinnykins. 🙂August 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm #4534
Is he a vampire? That’s just what I gathered from the page. I liked it and didn’t notice the errors others did, though now that I see them pointed out I can. Guess I’ll post my first page for The Agency: Drake. I’m pretty sure it sucks.
It’s so loud here. Everybody seems to be having a good time. I was invited to party with them, but I’d rather stick around in my dorm and journal.
I lost my other journal, but I don’t think there was really anything interesting in there except a class assignment that never got collected.
I guess the football game is on or something. I heard someone shout that we are winning by 21 points. Yippee!
I don’t even know why I’m here; maybe to avoid working for as long as I can. I’m not lazy. I just don’t know what I want to do with my life just yet. I still haven’t chosen a degree yet, and it’s my second year here. The Coach wants to get me on the track team, but I can’t run in circles that long. It gets boring. And I’m really not that competitive. I just like to run. He saw me run once and realized I can do long distances pretty fast. So I have stamina. Big deal. I can also jump, but I don’t want to run in a circle and jump over hurdles. I have my own personal hurdles to jump.
Hm. We must have won. There’s a lot of shouting going on. And the beckoning for the loner to come out and play, too. How nice.
Eh, what the hell.
Got in trouble—again. Stupid drunk bastard decided to pick a fight. I nailed him just hard enough to send him reeling backwards and then walked away. He came after me, so I did it again. This process repeated for about three times before he was on the floor completely out. The cops came in to investigate, I got arrested, had a hearing, got let go for self defense. I swear I have a self defense record longer than my arm. The dude wasn’t happy with me when I saw him again, but I bet he won’t be coming anywhere near me.
Oh. Forgot to mention he’s twice my size. **shrug**
So the news was interesting this morning. Shifters exist. They weren’t called werewolves, they were called shifters. At least they got that part right. What I don’t get is why this is on the news.
Apparently, too many people have called them with no proof, but then a few people got proof. Human steps turning into paw prints, etc. But the kicker was the human who managed to get a shifter changing on camera. Whoever allowed this to happen probably won’t be living much longer. I do not want to start getting hunted, and I know I’m not the only one.
As of yet, no one has decided to take any action; they just thought it was interesting enough to put on the news.
D.August 18, 2011 at 10:28 pm #4535
Dawn: I’d like to comment on your beginning but first is there a reason why you started with three journal entries?August 19, 2011 at 2:43 am #4536
Dawn – I had trouble getting into it just because of the journal entry style. It’s not what I’d normally read so I’m not sure how to crit it.August 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm #4537
Dawn – the writing is good so as a piece on it’s own it reads well.
However diary structure is very hard to make into a whole novel because you should only ever write what the character is aware of. And in a diary full dialoge is an alarm bell as who really ever remembers the full conversations they had that day?
You’ll find yourself struggling for a decent sized word count and making it meaty if this is the whole style of the story.
As an opening it doesn’t grab either, if it was written as prose you might find that the ideas you have here can be used as phasing and you could flesh this out nicely with one or two chapters of story.
The characters you have in here briefly would be great to develop and the little encounters themselves, the track training, the football match on TV, and so on.
In short try approaching your content here in a different manner. Go for prose straight up in a manageable tense. You could find what here is only a few hundred words become a couple of thousand easily.August 19, 2011 at 11:51 pm #4538
Yeah I wanted to do something different and the full dialogue thing I understand. That actually comes in later on when he poses as a researcher/surveyor. I figured he would have the journal with him in that position. I realized how much this sucked after I posted it and reread it. The only reason I thought the diary would be a great approach with this story is because of what goes on, but I’m thinking of just scratching the whole thing and starting completely over *sigh* thus is the life of a writer, I suppose. I guess it won’t be so limited in a way if I scratch the idea. I guess only REALLY good writers could write in this style, and I’m just not there yet.
Thanks for the input!August 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm #4539August 20, 2011 at 12:37 am #4540
@Dawn – Yeah, I think a series of journal entries would be really tough to pull off, even for a very experienced writer. It’s just tough to connect to a character when you’re stuck in their head, with no real outside interaction, for an entire novel. Not to say there must be other people. Certainly entire novels have been written where there’s only one character, but in those, we still see how that character interacts with the world around them in ‘real time’, rather than just a summary of events after the fact.
Just one thing I wanted to mention, though it may resolve itself if you do a re-write….I couldn’t tell if your MC was male or female. I sort of assumed female, because the narrative seemed to read a bit feminine (I think it was the ‘Yippee!’ Don’t know many guys that would use that word), but then the fight thing made me think twice. But even once I was finished, I really could’ve gone either way. It’s one of those struggles exclusive to first person, but I’d suggest you find a way to work it in as early as possible so you don’t leave your reader floundering and trying to form a picture of your MC.
Anyway, hope that helps and good luck!
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