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My opening lines (would return the favor)


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#1 Dahlia Baker

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:46 AM




Hello, everyone! This are my opening lines, any sort of feedback would be terribly appreciated. Thanks




*********


I’ve always wondered about anniversaries.

Birthdays, weddings, death anniversaries. But birthdays, most especially. Maybe that's because I never celebrated one, or because it took a very, very long time before I even knew what a birthday was. Either way, I wasn’t terribly awed with the idea of commemorating something that had happened years back every year for the rest of my life. Nothing could be that special.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Now, I have my own special day. Just that instead of the blaring music and the jollof rice and drinks that accompanied celebrating these anniversaries, I'll probably acknowledge mine by locking myself in a very dark room, crying my eyes out. Wishing I'd never been born, or wishing I had the decency to die or bury myself or ... or that sort of thing.

October eight. It was the day I officially graduated from the prestigious Seals Tailoring Institute at Victoria Island, and earned my freedom. It was also the day I lost my virginity. Make no mistake, both events are totally unrelated. Some people might think because I earned the certificate to cut and sew clothes, I got ecstatic and decided to celebrate by ripping my clothes off and doing ‘the deed’ with my boyfriend. I actually have friends who had planned to do that, (we'll get to them later) and considering my present situation I probably wouldn’t have minded if that was what happened.

You know, leave the venue of our reception and head on to a pre-arranged hotel with my unbelievably good-looking muscular boyfriend. The room, dolled up in red drapes and scented candles and beautiful congratulatory cards would have a wide, wide bed laid with velvet bedspread, a bunch of those exotic flowers sprinkled over it. Soft music in the background, and… then he’ll hold up both arms, reaching out for me. I’ll be shy of course, I’ll smile coyly and look at the floor. This tells him what he already knows, I’m a virgin, and –

And I’m getting carried away. I’m bound to do that a lot. Kindly pull me back any time you feel I’m veering out of point in future.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, wishing I’d lost my virginity to my boyfriend.

But as I have no boyfriend, at least not in Lagos State, so that didn’t happen to me. At the risk of sounding like ‘Miss goody shoes', I’ll like to mention that I was actually a good girl. A very good girl. An exceedingly good-mannered girl – the type that never bats her eyes invitingly at men, the type that did all her chores without complaining, the type that never wore tight or revealing clothes, the type that held on to her virginity like it was a life line. I was never impressed with the huge cars or the expensive looking men that always offered to ‘take me out’. And considering the fact that I had a face that was quite pleasing to the eyes, I got eons of this offers. But I never took them, I knew where taking me out would lead to. At least ninety-five percent of the time. So I avoided all of them like the plague. I had someone waiting for me back home. Attahiru, my betrothed.

My virginity was taken forcefully, and by someone I’d least expected. Mr Bamidele Cole, my boss’s husband.

#2 Pen

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:31 AM

How soon was this character raped? If it was recent. That should be the thing first on her mind. Perhaps have her self asking why such a thing would happen, have her questioning herself, then later on have her thinking about what she wanted her first time to be like.

 

Feel free to ignore.



#3 Dahlia Baker

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:58 PM

Thank you so much for your response. Do you mean the first thing she thinks of should be something directly relating to rape?



#4 Pen

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:01 PM

Yes and no. If the rape recently happened (for example a few hours ago) that should be first and foremost on her mind. If it was something that happened last year then certain things can trigger that horrible event that she tries to bury. As a matter of fact, that is something that may happen for the rest of her life. But the more time goes on, the easier it will be to deal with that, depending on how strong she is.



#5 JoQwerty

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:34 AM

The story's premise is a bit shaky for western audiences. Looking at the boyfriend's name, Attahiru, I take it the story is set in a different culture or a different (fantasy) world. If not, there are number of problems.

 

In Western society,  rape is not considered a sex act, it is an act of violence. And in that sense, a women's "first time" cannot be through rape. In Western culture it is common for rape victims to say they were "raped as a virgin" rather than they "lost their virginity through rape". In other words, for the reader in a Western society, the story's premise is lacking.

 

If the story is set in a non-western culture, which I assume it is, you need to let us know fast or the feminist will be building the bonfires before they turn the page.

 

One minor point, the colloquial phrase you are looking for is "little goody two-shoes" not "Miss goody shoes".

 



#6 kdall

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 04:47 PM

One minor point, the colloquial phrase you are looking for is "little goody two-shoes" not "Miss goody shoes".

 

 

 

I had a hard time figuring out why that struck me wrong. Thanks, JoQwerty.

 

There is something pleasant about how sing-songy the narrator sounds. She speaks in a slightly peculiar way that makes me want to know just how screwed up she is... No Birthdays?!?! Come on!?!

 

But you did lose me in some of the graduation stuff. I would like to see you condense the 3-5th paragraphs, and get to the meat.



#7 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 02:05 PM

I’ve always wondered about anniversaries. 

Birthdays, weddings, death anniversaries... But birthdays, most especially. Maybe that's because I never have celebrated one before, or because it took a very, very long time before I even knew what a birthday was. Is she a JW? Either way, I wasn’t terribly awed with the idea of commemorating  celebrating something that had happened years before every year for the rest of my life. Nothing could be that special. I see her point.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Now, I have my own special day. Just that instead of the blaring music and the jollof rice and drinks that accompanied celebrating these anniversaries, I'll probably acknowledge mine by locking myself in a very dark room, crying my eyes out. Wishing I'd never been born, or wishing I had the decency to die or bury myself or ... or that sort of thing. That's terrible. What the crap happened to her???

October eight. It was the day I officially graduated from the prestigious Seals Tailoring Institute at Victoria Island, and earned my freedom. It was also the day I lost my virginity. Make no mistake, both events are totally unrelated. Some people might think because I earned the certificate to cut and sew clothes, I got ecstatic and decided to celebrate by ripping my clothes off and doing ‘the deed’ with my boyfriend. I actually have friends who had planned to do that, (we'll get to them later) and considering my present situation I probably wouldn’t have minded if that was what happened. I love the voice you have in your writing. It sounds like I can actually hear her.

You know, leave the venue of our reception and head on to a pre-arranged hotel with my unbelievably good-looking muscular boyfriend. The room, dolled up in red drapes and scented candles and beautiful congratulatory cards would have a wide, wide bed laid with velvet bedspread, a bunch of those exotic flowers sprinkled over it. Soft music in the background, and… then he’ll hold up both arms, reaching out for me. I’ll be shy of course, I’ll smile coyly and look at the floor. This tells him what he already knows, I’m a virgin, and – 

And I’m getting carried away. I’m bound to do that a lot. Kindly pull me back any time you feel I’m veering out of point in future. This voice is so appealing.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, wishing I’d lost my virginity to my boyfriend.

But as I have no boyfriend, at least not in Lagos State, so that didn’t happen to me. At the risk of sounding like ‘Miss goody shoes', I’ll like to mention that I was actually a good girl. A very good girl. (My one big eehhhh is the fact you use the word "very" a lot. Try to not use that word often or at all. It's not that good at describing things.) An exceedingly good-mannered girl – the type that never bats her eyes invitingly at men, the type that did all her chores without complaining, the type that never wore tight or revealing clothes, the type that held on to her virginity like it was a life line. I was never impressed with the huge cars or the expensive looking men that always offered to ‘take me out’. And considering the fact that I had a face that was quite pleasing to the eyes, I got eons of this offers. But I never took them, I knew where taking me out would lead to. At least ninety-five percent of the time. So I avoided all of them like the plague. I had someone waiting for me back home. Attahiru, my betrothed. (I took those sentences out because I think the paragraph works without them.)

My virginity was taken forcefully, and by someone I’d least expected. Mr Bamidele Cole, my boss’s husband. Holy crap.

 

So I am debating. I usually, almost always, 99.999% of the time suggest to open a story with action, because action is great at grabbing the audience's attention. But this short section works without the action. 

Now, I do suggest putting action somewhere soon or you will lose the audience's attention.

Perhaps you can put all of this into the first scene of your book. I'd start it with what happened after she got rapped and have her tell herself how she is a good girl and that it wasn't her fault, but feel as if it was still. 

You have a great voice when you write. Use it to your advantage.

If you have any questions or anything, let me know! I'll be happy to help.



#8 Aightball

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 07:18 PM

Hello, everyone! This are my opening lines, any sort of feedback would be terribly appreciated. Thanks




*********


I’ve always wondered about anniversaries.

Birthdays, weddings, death anniversaries. But birthdays, most especially. Maybe that's because I never celebrated one, or because it took a very, very long time before I even knew what a birthday was. Either way, I wasn’t terribly awed with the idea of commemorating something that had happened years back every year for the rest of my life. Nothing could be that special.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Now, I have my own special day. Just that But instead of the blaring music and the jollof rice and drinks that accompanied celebrating these anniversaries, I'll probably acknowledge mine by locking myself in a very dark room, crying my eyes out. Wishing I'd never been born, or wishing I had the decency to die or bury myself or ... or that sort of thing.

October eight. It was the day I officially graduated from the prestigious Seals Tailoring Institute at Victoria Island, and earned my freedom. It was also the day I lost my virginity. Make no mistake, both events are totally unrelated. Some people might think because I earned the certificate to cut and sew clothes, I got ecstatic and decided to celebrate by ripping my clothes off and doing ‘the deed’ with my boyfriend. I actually have friends who had planned to do that, (we'll get to them later) and considering my present situation I probably wouldn’t have minded if that was what happened.

You know, leave the venue of our reception and head on to a pre-arranged hotel with my unbelievably good-looking muscular boyfriend. The room, dolled up in red drapes and scented candles and beautiful congratulatory cards would have a wide, wide bed laid with velvet bedspread, a bunch of those exotic flowers sprinkled over it. Soft music in the background, and… then he’ll hold up both arms, reaching out for me. I’ll be shy of course, I’ll smile coyly and look at the floor. This tells him what he already knows, I’m a virgin, and –

And I’m getting carried away. I’m bound to do that a lot. Kindly pull me back any time you feel I’m veering out of point in future.


Now, where was I? Oh yes, wishing I’d lost my virginity to my boyfriend.

But as I have no boyfriend, at least not in Lagos State, so that didn’t happen to me. At the risk of sounding like ‘Miss goody two shoes', I’d like to mention that I was actually a good girl. A very good girl. An exceedingly good-mannered girl – the type that never bats her eyes invitingly at men, the type that did all her chores without complaining, the type that never wore tight or revealing clothes, the type that held on to her virginity like it was a life line. I was never impressed with the huge cars or the expensive looking men that always offered to ‘take me out’. And considering the fact that I had a face that was quite pleasing to the eyes, I got eons of this offers. But I never took them, I knew where taking me out would lead to. At least ninety-five percent of the time. So I avoided all of them like the plague. I had someone waiting for me back home. Attahiru, my betrothed.

My virginity was taken forcefully, and by someone I’d least expected. Mr Bamidele Cole, my boss’s husband.

 

If she was raped, that needs to be first and foremost in her mind. You can definitely trim this up and I made some suggested cuts.  As it is right now, it's good set up but it rambles a little and I lost attention several times whilst reading.  I think if you put put the rape up front and then try and liven things up from what they are now, you'll have a good opening.


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