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Author Topic: First lines of my novel
mrmarthius
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On rainy days, Brin Ophenheimer could not hear them coming, and many times they would catch him off guard. On rainy days, Brin Openheimer was terrified.
They would run at the fortified house, ramming themselves without regard for their own body. The noise would come out of nowhere and the impact rattled the inside. When they ran out of vigor, they would simply claw at the fortification until their fingers wore to nubs.

Five times a day, Brin walked the small perimeter checking every nook and cranny for a weakness, making sure that there was no way inside. His attention to detail and borderline obsessive compulsiveness were great traits for a person to have since the day everything changed. He checked again…everything

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited August 12, 2011).]


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karriezai
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Hi there! I like your start so far. The first couple of lines in particular work well for me. Only a couple of nitpicks.

If this is zombies (as I suspect, and I'm a huge fan of zombies in fiction), I wouldn't tiptoe around it. It's all fine, to my mind, except "since the day it all changed." That's where I feel authorial dodginess, and that annoys me as a reader.

Actually, that whole sentence kind of bugs me: "His attention to detail and borderline obsessive compulsiveness were great traits for a person to have since the day everything changed." You might be able to make it more natural with something like this: "These days his borderline obsessive compulsiveness went to good use."

As far as peeks in the mirror go, I thought yours was fairly natural.

The last thing that got me was this: "Brin was always mistaken for a specimen with coordination and physical prowess, but he had neither." Up until this point I got the impression he was holed up in some survival place on his own. But even if he's not, this seems like a weird way to look at it. At the simplest, I'd rephrase it to "People always mistook Brin for a man with coordination and physical prowess, but he had neither." It might be even better to use it to give indication to his circumstance, like "People around the compound always..." or something of that nature. (And if he is stuck there on his own, who exactly mistakes him for a perfect physical specimen? Did they make that mistake back when he had a nice layer of belly pudge?)

Anyway, at this point I'd read on, but I'd want the conflict heightened very quickly, particularly if he's there alone.


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A Yeatts
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I like your writing style very much. If you told me who "they" were, I'd be much more engaged though. I have a feeling you're going to tell us pretty quickly who "they" are. Might as well get it out there in the first sentence instead of stringing the reader along.
Very promising... sounds intriguing!
Anna

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Crane
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For me the catch is Ophenheimer. I think of J. Robert Oppenheimer right away and I wonder if Brin is related. Even though I hate zombies (I don't use that word lightly, they terrify me and not in a good 'lets go see a horror movie' kind of way; I'm cold sweat, HP Lovecraft, I'd rather die than face them terrified).. I just might read on to see what the Oppenheimer connection is.
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J
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The writing is strong. A couple of nits--"ramming themselves without regard for their own bodies" reads strange. It also begs the question ramming against what? The answer to that might make redundant the "without regard" clause. "For a person to have" in the last line is also a little superlative.

This opening looks a whole lot like I Am Legend. Which reminds me, I need to read that again, because it's an excellent novella.

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Architectus
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It reminds me of the opening to I Am Legend. Good stuff.

However, with the second paragraph, I would start writing a scene. Have him check the house, showing us his obsessive behavior. Share some of his thoughts as he goes about his actions, how he does this five times a day, etc.

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