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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Multiples first lines.

   
Author Topic: Multiples first lines.
Carl F
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How can I improve this?

She watched him materialize. This was nothing new to her since she could do it too, but.....he was male! Very obviously male; since he was wearing nothing more than she was, in other words, nothing, and completely human! It offended her sense of order. ‘Males can’t do this! Only L-girls’. She quickly corrected herself, (‘only L-young ladies; as Mamas Lori and Laz would insist.)
The very cold floor quickly sent him toward her hiding place and a way to insulate those poor feet from the frosty deck plates. As soon as he had climbed onto a crate, he reached inside his mouth and pulled out a plastic bag containing parts to something he quickly assembled. Working his thumb along a scar in his thigh, a hidden pouch divested something that looked like a

[ April 12, 2013, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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History
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I'll have to think about it. I was having too much fun reading it.

The verb "watched" could be potentially a problem, unless she was was expecting someone to materialize--just not him. But I think this is too small a quibble.

There are lots of juicy hooks in here:
--Who and what are L-girls?
--Why did she believe only "girls" could teleport?
--What kind of culture is she from that teaches modesty (is prudish) and then have their "young ladies" suffer teleporting nude (shades of Termninator transport)?
--Who is the enemy? Why are they the enemy? --Why send "girls" to fight or spy? How are they trained?
--Who is he? How can he transport? What is he doing there?
--Who is Liam?
--What is going to happen when he discovers her?
--Will they ever get more clothing than "foot protectors"?

Oh, yes. I'd read on.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Grumpy old guy
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Laz and Lori? Hmmm, shades of Robert Heinlein.

Phil.

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innesjen
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I'm not sure what feedback you prefer but I've included my reactions and a possible rewrite:

My initial reactions:
She watched him materialize. [I feel like this first sentence is bland.] This was nothing new to her since she could do it too, but.....he was male! [This sentence contradicts itself and an ellipsis is only three dots (…)] Very obviously male; since he was wearing nothing more than she was, in other words, nothing, and completely human! [if he’s human, what is she?] It offended her sense of order. ‘Males can’t do this! Only L-girls’. She quickly corrected herself, (‘only L-young ladies; as Mamas Lori and Laz would insist.)
The very cold floor quickly sent him toward her hiding place and a way to insulate those poor feet from the frosty deck plates. As soon as he had climbed onto a crate, he reached inside his mouth and pulled out a plastic bag containing parts to something he quickly assembled. Working his thumb along a scar in his thigh, a hidden pouch divested something that looked like a

If I were to rewrite this I would include sensory information that would give an easy flow to visual information such as:
She felt a prickle across her naked skin as a second entity materialized nearby. The mere act of teleportation did not astound her but the she was not prepared for what appeared before her…a human male. She caught herself staring at this creature who was very obviously male; since he was wearing nothing more than she was wearing. She felt her wonderment turn to anger as this act of defiance offended her sense of order. ‘Males can’t do this! Only L-girls,’ her own voice rang sharply inside her head. She quickly corrected herself remembering that Mamas Lori and Laz would insist that only L-young ladies could teleport.
The chilled tile that which comprised the deck upon which this man stood proved to be too cold for him to endure for long. She cringed as he crept towards her hiding place, as he searched for a more comfortable place to stand. He climbed onto a crate near her, but did not see her in the shadows. She watched as he reached inside his mouth and pulled out a plastic bag containing parts to something that he quickly assembled. Working his thumb along a scar on his thigh, a hidden pouch divested something that looked like a

*A final note: I assumed the materialization happening here was due to teleportation, if not then you might want to make it clear how people are materializing.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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innesjen, please read this topic:

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbwriters/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=000008;p=0&r=nfx

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innesjen
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Thanks Kathleen for the heads up on that. I was looking for some direction on how to critique but must have missed this.

Sorry Carl, if my response/critique was overbearing. :/

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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innesjen, I don't think your feedback was overbearing. Carl may have found it quite helpful, but I just wanted you to know about the concern regarding rewriting as opposed to critiquing.

We have a whole section (if you scroll down a little) called Ways to Critique, and there are topics in the Please Read Here First on the subject (beside the one I referred you to).

The way the forum software is set up, however, a topic that doesn't have any posts in it will "disappear" after a while, and in order to see all of the topics in a particular area (such as the Ways to Critique area), you have to use the "show topics" pull-down menu to select all topics and to see what is actually available on the subject.

I hope this helps, and I hope you don't stop giving feedback.

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Carl F
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innesjen,
Your possible re-write was great! It helped me a lot. I tend to 'tell' not 'show'.
Phil,
You are right. Who better to emulate? I wanted him to write a sequel to his book as soon as I read it. This isn't it. I've perhaps borrowed too many names, but I'll rub out the serial numbers by having a very different context. I even borrowed 'Grey Men', which is probably too much. Give me some alternatives. 'Shadow Blokes'? 'Grey Ghosts?' 'Colorless Coolies'?
FYI. They wear grey combat armour made of carbon fiber, appear man-like in general shape and behave viciously.
Carl

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Carl F
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innesjen, how about this?

Chills ran down her spine as she watched him materialize. It wasn’t because she was alone and naked in the freezing hold of an enemy ship. It wasn’t’ fear of discovery or failure, in fact she was outraged! He was male, very obviously a human male and as naked as she was. His very existence offended her sense of order. Boys can’t teleport, only L-girls can! She quickly corrected her thought to ‘L-young ladies’ as Mamas Lor and Laz would insist.
The freezing floor quickly sent him scampering toward her hiding place and a way to insulate those poor feet from the frosty deck plates. Climbing onto a crate, he reached inside his mouth and pulled out a plastic bag containing parts to something he quickly assembled. Working his thumb along a scar in his thigh, a hidden fleshy pouch divested something that looked like a multi-tool.

[ April 24, 2013, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Please limit your first line excerpts to 13 lines.

If you are unclear about the 13 line rule, please read the topics in the Please Read Here First area:

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbwriters/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=6;hardset=0;start_point=0;DaysPrune=0&r=nfx

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