Saturday, October 16, 2010

Posted by Laurel Garver on Saturday, October 16, 2010 24 comments
Today Elle Strauss is hosting the First 250 Words blogfest. Stop on by her blog to sign up and see the other participants.

Here's the opening to the book I'm pitching at a conference today. Because of said conference, I likely won't get a chance to make the rounds to read other posts till Sunday.

For comparison, you can see my earlier draft HERE (a somewhat unfair comparison, since it was 370 words--more like a page and a third).

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EXCERPT REMOVED

Today's rough and tumble independent publishing world made it necessary to remove all snippets and previous versions of my work from the blog. The existence of such a "publishing trail" can be used to file false DMCA notices about my novels.
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24 comments:

  1. That was absolutey superb! I love the way the mom is texting at the table. that makes it very current.

    My only tiny nitpick is "the front desk buzzes in." I had sort of a Harry Potter-like moment with an image of an actual flying desk entering the room.

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  2. I'm really pulled into this because I can relate to it in a small way- I have lost both my parents. this was well done.

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  3. I was sucked in. Great job! I love the blogfest idea so I joined in too!

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  4. Wow, I loved this! Your first line is beautiful and evocative, and I can really feel your main character's pain. I would most definitely keep reading!

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  5. The first line is a great hook! I had to read the next paragraph a couple times to understand it, but when I got it, everything else was golden! Love the memory trigger with the hand sanitizer. A fantastic beginning.

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  6. Great opening line! You raise a lot of questions about the mc's family and situation with the father, that just have to be answered! I'd read on.

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  7. Hi,

    Excellent opening, so many questions to be answered by the MC to the reader. ;)

    best
    F

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  8. Your first sentence is just fantastic! Drew me in right away. Great sensory trigger with the hand sanitizer (I think someone else mentioned that too). So now I'd want to know if it's her imagination that Dad's standing there, or if we're moving into a paranormal event... either way, I'm in. :)

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  9. Nice vivid scene, but I, too, have to ditto the front desk buzzing in.

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  10. This is so amazing. I love the careful way you have with language. The character's voice shines bright through here, and everything you've done to show the parents' deaths -- especially the main character's reactions to them -- without stating it is amazing.

    Love the ending!

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  11. Aw, that is so sad. I'd read on!

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  12. wow - very powerful intro. So well written. Good luck at the conference.

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  13. I agree with everyone about the first line. Very powerful!

    Two nit-picks:

    The spitting out of the piece of food threw me a bit. Wouldn't she spit it into a napkin?

    And the flaking mascara feels a little off POV. Most people would rub their eyes and then see the mascara flakes that came off on their fingers, but this wording seems like she knew it was flaking before she rubbed it. Unless she's looking into a mirror how would she know that?

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  14. Oh, and I hope the conference went well! Face to face pitches are the hardest, at least for me.

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  15. Oh yes; I like this much better! I like getting a sense of Dani's devastation prior to seeing the actual ghost. I know what her father meant to her - "My world's in an urn" - before the shock of seeing him seemingly whole and substantial next to her desk. We see the absolute reality first, and then, things get weird.

    Awesome introduction to the character and the main plot.

    ......dhole

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  16. Beautiful! The first line really pulled me in, and by the end of the page I wanted more. The hand sanitizer was brilliant! I was so there.

    Hope your pitch went well!

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  17. Wow! Completely loved this. I'm wondering where she's going and why Dad is showing up when he's dead. I'd definitely turn the page. Great hook! :D

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  18. Loved the first line, it really drew me in. Would love to find out whether Dad is a ghost or just imagination. The second para threw me a little, it just read rather clunky. I'm not sure about the "jolly-welling" (is this set in Britain)? The front desk buzzing in made me think they're in a hotel, but reference to "our land line" (which you'd usually only say at home) confused me a bit. But other than that, really enjoyed it, and the reference to the hospital and Dad's injuries makes me wonder what (who?) killed him.

    Rach

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  19. BTW, love your leaf header for your blog Laurel. Let us know how you went at the conference.

    Rach

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  20. I like it!!

    My only question is, if she's in her bedroom, why is her dad's shoe in there???

    Hope the conference went well!!!

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  21. Hope you all don't mind my blanket comment. I do want to get over to read and comment on your entries. Welcome, new followers!

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments and helpful suggestions. Good to know the new opening line is a winner. I'll take another look at the spots folks thought were unclear.

    The pitch session was fabulous. The agent wants to see more, once I do a little more work on this opening scene. The emotion & tone aren't quite right on pages 2 and 3--all very fixable. It was wonderful to hear someone in the industry love my premise and say the writing is really good. And having the problem with my pages at last pinpointed--pure gold. One of my CPs had said the same thing, I'd tried to fix it but obviously need to go deeper.

    It's so great to have an action plan! And agent interest!

    And now I'm off to visit you!

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  22. Wow! This is great! I would really love to read more of this to find out how she's seeing her dead father. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I liked both this and your earlier draft but I agree with the commenter that mentioned you are setting her up better emotionally in this version...before she sees her dad. I think the writing is great, the premise is intriguing. I think it is her dad's ghost come back to see her. I had to read the second paragraph twice (which I liked, just not as smooth in places as the rest of the piece.) And congratulations on your request from the agent to see more. That is great!

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  24. I absolutely love that first line- it had me hooked immediately. Vivid imagery too!

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