The first paragraph is a pretty good introduction. It makes the reader think about their own feelings on immortality; is it the same? Is it different? How so? I read it and I go "Yeah, I can relate to this." If the reader can relate somewhat to the story, it'll hook them better.
The second paragraph intrigues me. I'm curious as to what happens next. I'm sure others would feel the same way.
As others might have said, first paragraph is meh, but the last part is pretty interesting. I would take out the first part, or if you really want it, put it as some sort of intro or summary or something but shorter and more to the point.
I have to agree with `saintartaud. What's the story? I'd drop us into that, first. If the first paragraph is coming from a narrator we've invested in and care about, it wouldn't feel so much like an essay. But at the beginning, we don't even know who the narrator is.
I'm guilty of writing little "lectures" like these myself. As I've had pointed out to me, they often don't add much to the story. Sometimes, they can even insult or offend your reader. (See ^neurotype's comment). I'm not saying this one doesn't add anything. It's hard to tell without having the full story. But, working this deeper into the story might be something to consider.
Thanks! I'm actually considering typing up two or three different opening "pages" in different styles to see what flows and sets the theme best. Maybe I'll post those and see what people think then! I'll see if I can chop this "lecture" off and save it for later then.
I think the best feedback you're going to get will come from someone who has read the entire manuscript. At the very least, provide the entire first chapter. It's difficult to give proper feedback on just an opening with no other context.
Part of a good opening is how well it leads into what follows.
Hmm, I never thought of that being a possible response. Maybe I should change it to "I think all of us...", then more stating the character's own opinion versus trying to pass it off as a fact. Thanks!
I think it would be meant for older teens and young adults, a lot of whom are on dA. Thought it would be a logical place to post!
*Also, I don't think you should add 'I think' if you move this passage as that loses the forcefulness. The issue with opening with it is you're basically saying 'this is for readers to whom this applies (and who also enjoy these types of introductions).'
Good to know! That's why I posted it here. I have a terrible time figuring out where to start a story along my timeline of events, so I wanted to get some input on starting here. I think this one's a no.
Hah! Though this is supposed to lead up to some action (not be a prologue), I appreciate your input! I actually usually like the periodic prologue that pops up in books, so it's interesting to hear another opinion.
Just so you know, it is hard to get a feeling of what a book is about from a paragraph and that little snippet here, you can't really get anything from. If that was a blurb on the back of a book, I wouldn't be interested. That isn't telling me a thing about your story. If this is something to open a novel, uh I can't say it is enticing for the fact there is very little given here.
Anyway, from what I've gathered below, you haven't even started yet. Don't worry about this sort of stuff until after you finish the story. If you want to write it, go ahead and write the story. Don't be nervous about writing your story. Don't be worried about failure. You do realize that no one starts out writing perfect and no story is written perfectly the first time. I mean doing what you're doing is putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Just write the story. You don't need to go seeking approval from others.
I am realizing I should have added more info with this... I do know I am a bit obsessive about gaining others' opinions, so I've been trying to keep my mouth shut about this IRL, at least until I got a good chunk of it on paper. Unfortunately, that means it has leaked onto the internet! (I don't even care if the opinion is negative honestly, because it lets me exercise my ability to stand behind what I've written. If I can't defend it, then maybe something needs to change.) But- I will try to get to writing more of this out.
Oh come on, we both know people tend to read that first page and judge! I do! Would it help is I said it was a modern fantasy steered toward young adults? (Don't worry, know vampires, werewolves, etc.)
But seriously, if you read before judging, I take my hat off to you!
Cut first paragraph, start with the shiny blue Ford.
Reasoning? I can think of only a few books that successfully begin with the kind of intro you've written in first paragraph. While it may introduce the themes you'll be working with in the story, this is not an essay, and in most cases it's not very interesting. Better to start with something happening, establishment of setting or characters, that kinda thing.
That said, you're better off finishing your story before asking for opinions. I can understand wanting to have an opening that grabs the reader, but if you haven't got a story for it, what's the point?
Hah, my poetic side likes to take over for my action-y side, periodically at inappropriate times, but I have no doubt that the first paragraph or two will change a dozen times in the process. I am guilty of greedily stockpiling opinions, but I DO have a story behind this. I have a mapped out plot-line, developed characters, the whole nine yards. I am just terrible at getting those first few sentences down, so this was my attempt at breaking the ice with the story.
Everything you've said is such a relief. Lots of people guard their first lines like precious babies and post excerpts in want of a story, so you're two steps ahead of many.
But yeah, my criticism still stands. Start with something happening, a character, establishment of POV, setting, etc. Save the wanky philosophizing for later on, in the dialogue or something. At least, that's always my policy.
Thanks, I will be taking this advice. The whole purpose of this post was to see how this kind of opening would be perceived, and I think I have my answer. I might post a new opening attempt or two later to see if they are better. In my opinion, while the opening is not important to the plot, it is vital to catching readers. I always read the back of the book and the first paragraph or two to determine if I'm interested.
The opening scene is also major because the death that takes place sets her on the physical and emotional plot of the story. Without it, she never would have dealt with either, so it's really important. I'm just not sure where in that scene I should start writing. Should I have a few paragraphs of build up, letting you get to know the narrator and the person who dies? Should I pick up seconds before the crash for immediate action but less character info? Or should I start up shortly after the crash, leaving the reader wanting to know what just happened? (Not asking you to answer necessarily, just giving you an idea of what I was thinking.)
I totally get where you're coming from, although I'd debate your point about openings not being important to plot. The 1-2 pages or chapter of a book are often quite crucial, at the very least serving as exposition. First line in a novel perhaps not so much, but in a short story the 1-2 lines can carry a lot of weight.
And it's good to ask those questions, but often I think you'll find that there's not one "should" for opening a story. It's something I've grappled with as well, but ultimately it just comes down to personal choice and how you'd like to handle the story.
Sorry for the lack of clarity! D: If you opened up a book, read the first page, and this was what it said, what would you think of the book? Would you be interested in reading the rest (or at least a few more pages), or if not, then why?
From what's said here, it sounds more like the blurb on the back of a book rather than an opening page, but assuming that it were... I think it's catching at least (the way you set it up). That being said, once again, the way that it's worded sounds more like a book blurb to get the reader's interest in reading as opposed to a start of a story.
Also, if this is something that you really want to write, don't worry too much about if people are going to approve of the project right now. Write for you.
Thanks for the advice! It does kind of sound like a blurb... Lol. If you want, I could send you a couple paragraphs that come after what I posted, so that it has more context and possibly makes more sense.
I've been tossing around this story for a while now, unable to commit. I recently started attacking and recreating the plot line, characters, and story idea. I still have a few plot issues to work out, but it's almost ready to start writing... I guess I'm nervous about trying to commit to writing a story, especially when I've failed before, and I'm just trying to get a taste of it, to see if I'm really READY to commit. I hope that makes sense.
I think what would help would be more of asking what the story is actually about. While I did say that above sounded like a book blurb, there still really isn't a lot of information given about what the story is about. That's something a few paragraphs isn't going to explain to us.