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January 31, 2013
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Does this entice you? (Tell me what you think!)

:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All of us are born with an unspoken belief in immortality. We cannot comprehend the idea that life can end. So we live life blissfully unaware and reckless. Not matter the warnings of our parents to look both ways before crossing the street, to wear a helmet when riding a bike, and to never, ever talk to strangers, we can only laugh and wonder: What could possibly happen? And so we live until death reaches an unforgiving hand into our world and makes it very clear just how fragile we are.

My life was not an exception. This was made clear one evening when death came knocking at the passenger door of a shiny blue Ford, and someone had to answer...
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:iconslimoracle:
slimoracle Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
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.
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:iconhurricaneclaw:
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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.
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:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The first paragraph came off like a droll prologue, giving the theme of the story away at the get go. When you mentioned death knocking on the door of a blue Ford; that's where it hooked me.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good to know, thanks. I'm glad at least the last part got you!
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:iconlupina24:
Lupina24 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I would think the last part would be the best place to begin your story.
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:iconvglory:
vglory Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
All you have told me that that a young (?) person has an encounter with something (?) while in a car. So: no.
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist
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.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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. :meow:
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist
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.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm far from finishing the entire manuscript, but I think I'll take your 1st chapter advice. Maybe I'll post the first chapter and a plot preview (like on the backs of books) to give better context. :meow:
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:iconmerrak:
merrak Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist
Cool deal :thumbsup:
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   Digital Artist
Since we're discussing openings. No. :B This type of opening is high on my list of least favourite opening types. I prefer straight-talking openings personally.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Noted!
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   Digital Artist
Then again, for all the books in the shop that open like this which I close again and put back on the shelf, somebody has published them, and somebody is buying them.
:iconwoooplz:
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lol
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
It makes me resentful. I don't like being told what my innate beliefs should be.

Who exactly is your audience? You should be asking this question to the people whom you want to read the book.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
*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).'
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
As people have mentioned, though, it's not really the best opening. If you have it come in at a point where it's obvious this is what the character's thinking, it's like 'oh okay then.'

[link] :B It sounds like you mean YA.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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. :p

And, yep, exactly what I meant!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
In media res is a wonderful thing.

You should read more of the YA out there and see where books with a similar tone normally begin.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Nope. It's a prologue of sorts, and prologues do not entice. They delay.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Most of what you posted was prologue. That first paragraph is a statement of theme. It has nothing to do with the plot.
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:iconladyander:
LadyAnder Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
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.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am realizing I should have added more info with this... :stupidme: 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. ;)
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'd rather read the story first before judging.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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! :)
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I never judge a book by its first page. Rather, I open to a random spot in the middle. If I find something stupid, I put it down and never come back.

Because of this habit, I have yet to read any works by Weis & Hickman or R. A. Salvatore.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
I read the first page, then flip into the middle if I liked the opening.

Haha, frankly Weis & Hickman aren't great writers. The world-building was fun and I liked their sense of humor, but I had to read the original trilogy with my brain off.
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:icontheblackbullets:
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I go to the end of the book and read, like the last sentence or page. If I like how it ends, I'll read it.
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:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   Digital Artist
Really? :lol: Raspil said she does the middle too. I always go by blurb and judge by skimming the first few pages. That's where I usually find the stupid stuff that gets to me.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I don't trust blurbs. At times they're wildly inaccurate. The worst I ever saw was a cover blurb, "A charming fantasy of druidic England." It was actually historical fiction about medieval Brittany.

Raspil is a wise and sensible creature.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013   Writer
omg all the feels!
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You are indeed occasionally invoked in terms of awe and admiration.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013   Writer
invocation works. i wonder if i would sense it if someone called me a butthole...
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:iconlovely-words:
Lovely-Words Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aren't you supposed to be taking a year long hiatus from this forum? :evileye:
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013   Writer
i'm still reading them. when someone says something nice about me and i come across it, i can't ignore it. got a problem with that?
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(1 Reply)
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   Digital Artist
Silly Lyt. The past is fantasy. It has castles, it must be.

It's mainly the tone I'm looking for, in the blurb and the first few pages.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
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?
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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. :)
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
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.  :D

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.  ;)
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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.)
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
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.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional Writer
I'm not sure what you're looking for...

Are you asking what we think of it as a plot/plot device?
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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?
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional Writer
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.
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:iconlydiamay:
Lydiamay Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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.
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:icondorianharper:
DorianHarper Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Professional Writer
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.
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