Share your first sentence

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Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:11 am

The NaNoWriMo Facebook page shared a message asking participants to share the first sentences of their work. And I thought it might be fun to do this here as well. So please share your first sentences. The first of your book or the first of your progress in camp nano, whatever you think is best Smile
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:22 am

I'll start Very Happy (In dutch as well as in English so you all can read it. And perhaps even learn some dutch Wink )


Heliarde en Rainulf waren klaar met hun training. "Mǽrwynn, het is nu jouw beurt." Zei Rainulf. “Nee, dankje.” Antwoorde Mǽrwynn kortaf. “Ik weet dat je niet van vechten houd, maar je moet jezelf kunnen verdedigen. Laat in ieder geval zien dat je het nog kunt. Het is lang geleden dat we samen getraind hebben.”

Heliarde and Rainulf finished their training. "Mǽrwynn, its your turn now." said Rainulf. "No, thanks." answered Mǽrwynn curtly. "I know you don't like fighting, but you have to be able to defend yourself. At least show me you still can do it. It has been a long time since we trained together."
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Sieglinde on Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:00 am

I skipped the actual intor for now to get the plot moving, so the starter is:


„I have heard you’re looking for a job.”
Idun looked up. The speaker was a tall man, tall even among humans, with black hair and a short beard. His face was dark and weather-beaten, but his eyes had a warm and friendly look that countered his slightly threatening appearance.
„We are” she said. „A good adventure, and some coin.”
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Sophie on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:32 am

I really like both of those starters! "I hear you're looking for a job" is really great though. Immediately gets everything going. And your's is great too Astrid, since I'm suddenly introduced to everyone (and thanks for the lesson in Dutch haha). The actual introduction of my novel is kind of weird as only a few sentences and not so fantasy so I'll post when the story first starts.

'No, no, no. What is this, Mr. Lloyd? Bigger! We need it much bigger than this! Why, We could hardly get Our royal big toe in the front door, much less anything else!'

King Remraz Yeth Hound Khor the Third slammed a great fist down on the table, making it teeter precariously on its four legs. He bent forward, staring distastefully at a quaint wooden model of some overly elaborate construction that had been placed before him. A very nervous-looking man cringed behind the table, sweating profusely, a clammy fist clutching a dark blue scroll.
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:55 am

Elowen-Astrid wrote:Heliarde and Rainulf finished their training. "Mǽrwynn, its your turn now." said Rainulf. "No, thanks." answered Mǽrwynn curtly. "I know you don't like fighting, but you have to be able to defend yourself. At least show me you still can do it. It has been a long time since we trained together."

I like this intro. It introduces Rainulf as the protector, the one who is trying to keep some sort of danger at bay. It also introduces some vague danger that these characters need to be wary of. Mǽrwynn is introduced as someone who is more of a pacifist, who can possibly fight, but unwilling to.

Sieglinde wrote:„I have heard you’re looking for a job.”
Idun looked up. The speaker was a tall man, tall even among humans, with black hair and a short beard. His face was dark and weather-beaten, but his eyes had a warm and friendly look that countered his slightly threatening appearance.
„We are” she said. „A good adventure, and some coin.”

I like this intro too. I agree with what Sophie said, it really sets the story in motion. We find out that Idun is keen for adventure and money. It also hints that there are races other than humans. I also like the description of the man talking. It implies that the man has had an interesting life and possibly offering a job just as interesting.

Sophie wrote:'No, no, no. What is this, Mr. Lloyd? Bigger! We need it much bigger than this! Why, We could hardly get Our royal big toe in the front door, much less anything else!'

King Remraz Yeth Hound Khor the Third slammed a great fist down on the table, making it teeter precariously on its four legs. He bent forward, staring distastefully at a quaint wooden model of some overly elaborate construction that had been placed before him. A very nervous-looking man cringed behind the table, sweating profusely, a clammy fist clutching a dark blue scroll.

I'm already a fan of this king (and everyone else's characters on the IC boards). This introduces King Remraz as the unreasonable and quite possibly thick sort, that's quick to anger and everyone around him has to tread carefully when dealing with him. I also like your descriptions of how the objects and people around him are affected by him and he just doesn't care/notice.
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:59 am

I guess I'll share mine. I'm not certain of this intro, though.

Lumina had never particularly paid attention to her body guards, thinking them nuisances that were assigned by her father to keep an eye on her. She regularly slipped their careful attention, intent on searching for those who would assist her in overthrowing her father. She knew there was a rebel force brewing within the Land of the Phoenix, but had no idea how to contact them, or how to go about convincing them that the Phoenix Princess was on their side.
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:13 pm

For those of you thinking the sentences I posted were the introduction of my story. They are not. And maybe I should have said so earlier. But, they are from a scene I expect is going to be between a quarter and half way in the book. But they were the first words I wrote during this project. If you want to read the introduction to my book go over to my project info on the camp page. It also provides another opportunity to learn some Dutch Wink 

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Lumina had never particularly paid attention to her body guards, thinking them nuisances that were assigned by her father to keep an eye on her. She regularly slipped their careful attention, intent on searching for those who would assist her in overthrowing her father. She knew there was a rebel force brewing within the Land of the Phoenix, but had no idea how to contact them, or how to go about convincing them that the Phoenix Princess was on their side.

I like the intro. Lumina is introduced as the princess and you learn that she tries to overthrow her father so something is definitely going on.  You want to learn why she wants to do this and what is going on in the Land of the Phoenix. You also learn she is clever, for being able to slip from the attention of her bodyguards. 

I hope this helped. I like the other intros as well but I am not going to comment on them. I have nothing to add to Jessies feedback that is worth wile.
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Call Me Nefret on Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:39 am

I used it in the main character thread, but I'll post it here again.

"Funerals are always a dismal thing. If the person was well loved, as the dowager queen had been, then the attendants must be miserable and bereft. If the attendants were jolly, then it left a horrible reminder how cruel mankind could be to itself.

But Theodora Redfield, monarch of the kingdom of sweeping fields and blazing skies, first in the late king’s heart and adored by her three children (one of whom had gone to the grave before her) was very much loved. "
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:32 pm

Elowen-Astrid wrote:I like the intro. Lumina is introduced as the princess and you learn that she tries to overthrow her father so something is definitely going on.  You want to learn why she wants to do this and what is going on in the Land of the Phoenix. You also learn she is clever, for being able to slip from the attention of her bodyguards. 

Thanks for the feedback, Astrid XD It's really encouraging and helpful
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Sophie on Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:18 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:I guess I'll share mine. I'm not certain of this intro, though.

Lumina had never particularly paid attention to her body guards, thinking them nuisances that were assigned by her father to keep an eye on her. She regularly slipped their careful attention, intent on searching for those who would assist her in overthrowing her father. She knew there was a rebel force brewing within the Land of the Phoenix, but had no idea how to contact them, or how to go about convincing them that the Phoenix Princess was on their side.

I like the opening line a lot but if I could critique it in any way I would suggest to draw out the rest of the introduction a little more. I'm a big fan of show don't tell. I'm so interested in what you've got going on in your story but maybe you could have her actually slipping away from her bodyguards. And maybe she's got rebel propaganda or a flyer burning a hole in her pocket and she's nervously thinking about what her father would do if he found it.

These are just suggestions though! You don't have to take my advice.
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:00 pm

Sophie wrote:I like the opening line a lot but if I could critique it in any way I would suggest to draw out the rest of the introduction a little more. I'm a big fan of show don't tell. I'm so interested in what you've got going on in your story but maybe you could have her actually slipping away from her bodyguards. And maybe she's got rebel propaganda or a flyer burning a hole in her pocket and she's nervously thinking about what her father would do if he found it.

These are just suggestions though! You don't have to take my advice.

I really struggle with showing not telling (It's a very different style to writing up notes at work. There, I have to be concise and state everything, especially emotions, clearly). In my more recent books, I'm better at this showing not telling... kinda...

Anyway, I like the idea of showing how she escapes her bodyguards but that means I need to figure out how she does it Razz I'm not sure if the rebels would have propaganda but I'll definitely include something about how she's nervously thinking about what her father would do if he found her consorting with rebels.

I spent the afternoon researching ways to show and not tell. I'm always happy for suggestions on improving my work Smile Thanks for the critique Very Happy
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:45 pm

Okay, so I'm writing how Lumina escapes her guards when she's 14 and she seems overpowered. She's relying on her instincts way too much... and the idea that a 14 yr old can escape a unit of guards so easily just seems... unbelievable...
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:01 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Okay, so I'm writing how Lumina escapes her guards when she's 14 and she seems overpowered. She's relying on her instincts way too much... and the idea that a 14 yr old can escape a unit of guards so easily just seems... unbelievable.

I have some questions that can maybe help you think. 

How do her guards feel about guarding her, what is their general purpose? Do they guard her to keep people away from her or is their purpose to keep track of her? Do they like her? Maybe they think she is just a 14 yo brad, and even though she is the princess they are not really excited about guarding her. Is this the first time she escaped her guards? Did she plan out the escape up front and she already had some tricks up her sleeve or was it just a stroke of luck that she got away from the guards? What was the location where she escaped? Where there several routes for her to take or just one? How many guards were watching her? How well do the princess and the guards know the area where she escaped?

I think there is a lot that comes into play when someone is trying to escape their guards. Perhaps you can can make her rely on her instincts a little less, make the escape more difficult and add perhaps a bit more luck and a realisation that she was lucky to have gotten away? These are just some suggestions. Good luck!
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:40 pm

Thanks, Astrid! You really helped me XD

I've gone back and rearranged a few things and I'm much happier with it now. I actually answer most of your questions in the first few paragraphs. The guards are more baffled and frustrated by her, and worried about being lectured by the king.

She's apparently been escaping her guards for 8 years by this point, so she should be able to do it with ease by now (I think). She's got a few tricks up her sleeve to help her. I think I'll have to do more research and watch how others escape situations (distractions and taking advantage of inattention mostly from what I understand).

And I actually show how she thinks her guards are more nuisances that report to the king than tell the reader she thinks this Very Happy
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:20 am

I am glad I could help. I would love to read it when it's finished Smile
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Sophie on Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:49 am

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Thanks, Astrid! You really helped me XD

I've gone back and rearranged a few things and I'm much happier with it now. I actually answer most of your questions in the first few paragraphs. The guards are more baffled and frustrated by her, and worried about being lectured by the king.

She's apparently been escaping her guards for 8 years by this point, so she should be able to do it with ease by now (I think). She's got a few tricks up her sleeve to help her. I think I'll have to do more research and watch how others escape situations (distractions and taking advantage of inattention mostly from what I understand).

And I actually show how she thinks her guards are more nuisances that report to the king than tell the reader she thinks this Very Happy

That sounds awesome! I too want to read it when you're finished. And I hope by doing this showing and not telling you feel like your intro has become more exciting and really draws the reader in!
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:46 pm

An instinct informed Lumina that now was the time. Her guards were distracted by a passing courtier. Lumina moved to a nearby marble statue of her mother, Queen Eos, and ducked under the five and a half meter wingspan of her mother's phoenix form. Crouching low, she disguised herself in the red flowers and thick foliage of the bushes behind the statue.

“She’s gone!” shouted one of her guards.

Lumina blinked, her guards only spoke when she went missing.

“Again?! I take my eye off her for three seconds and she disappears!” growled another guard, Pacaus. She knew his voice as he was the captain of her guard unit and usually informed her of areas which were out of bounds to her.

“How are we supposed to keep her safe if she doesn’t let us do our jobs?” asked a different guard.

Sorry that it's a bit longer than two paragraphs, but I was having a hard time figuring out where to cut it. Anyway, that's some of the reworked intro. Let me know what you think Smile


Last edited by Poetic-Jessie on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:06 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Sorry that it's a bit longer than two paragraphs, but I was having a hard time figuring out where to cut it. Anyway, that's some of the reworked intro. Let me know what you think 

I am not very good/experienced with giving feedback to actual writing. I like it but I do have a point you might want to look at. You are free to do whatever you want with this feedback Wink I hope you find it helpful. 

One thing that actually bothers me a bit, especially since you didn't want her to rely on her instincts to much is that you used the word instinct three times in this short piece. Personally I would replace the second instinct

Poetic-Jessie wrote:An instinct told her to stay very still.

with something like: She knew she had to stay very still if she didn't want to be discovered.
She is experienced in escaping her guards. The guards told us about it and I think it is logical she does have some guard escaping knowledge by now so she actually doesn't have to rely on her instincts all the time. 

Aside from this, I really do like your intro. It shows us who she is. You know she is a princess right from the start. You also see the relationship between her and the guards and indirectly trough her guards with her father. And you did answer a lot of my questions Smile
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Re: Share your first sentence

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:22 pm

Elowen-Astrid wrote:with something like: She knew she had to stay very still if she didn't want to be discovered.
She is experienced in escaping her guards. The guards told us about it and I think it is logical she does have some guard escaping knowledge by now so she actually doesn't have to rely on her instincts all the time. 

Aside from this, I really do like your intro. It shows us who she is. You know she is a princess right from the start. You also see the relationship between her and the guards and indirectly trough her guards with her father. And you did answer a lot of my questions Smile

Thanks, Astrid, I appreciate the feedback Very Happy You're right, she should have some knowledge on how to slip her guards by now. I changed it and I'm much happier with it XD

I'm not too confident on critiquing writing (I think I'm better at character and plot), but I'll try to give some feedback when things settle down Smile (they're a bit hectic at the moment).
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