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Welcome!!  As part of the fabulous blogfest, here is the first line of my YA Fantasy Adventure called WISE JIM AND THE EXPATRIATES.  I think first lines all by themselves are a hard thing to gauge.  I look forward to your feedback in the comments and look forward to reading yours! I’ve visited about 100 blogs so far and there are some awesome first lines out there!  I think I will continue to check in on the newer arrivals even though the contest is almost over.  I have really enjoyed my feeback, so useful and welcome.

AMENDED – V3 (going back to a very old version of my 1st line):

After working with the tigers all morning and getting into it with my brother, I wasn’t in the mood for the waitress who wrinkled her nose as I wafted into the diner.
The first paragraph +:
After working with the tigers all morning and getting into it with my brother, I wasn’t in the mood for the waitress who wrinkled her nose as I wafted into the diner. I did a quick armpit check. I didn’t think I smelled that bad.
Gypsies. Trailer Trash. 

The waitress’ thought hissed through my mind.

AMENDED – V2:
When the waitress eyeballed me and wrinkled her nose, I did a quick armpit check.
ORIGINAL: V1:
By the time I got to the diner, Charlie and the guys had already ordered. 
About the Author Corinne

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  1. After reading the rest of the paragraph, I think the sentence, “The waitress eyeballed me and wrinkled her nose.” would grab them even more OR the line, “I did a quick armpit check.”

    THAT IS HILARIOUS! There is NOTHING wrong with your first line as is. But after reading the rest, I think you have some zingers that would really draw the readers in right off the bat. But again – you know what your story needs. This is just my opinion!

  2. The first line must hook right away in today’s publishing market. And like the others have said : The other two sentences would do that easily. It’s clear you have talent. Good luck with your publication dreams, Roland

  3. How about this way around:

    When the waitress eyeballed me and wrinkled her nose,I did a quick armpit check. I’d meant to change clothes after working with the tigers but my brother and I got into it. I didn’t think I smelled that bad.

  4. Sets the scene, but has zero conflict. Does not make me want to read on.
    The bit about tigers in the following lines was better, and did pique my curiosity, perhaps you could move that forward a bit?

  5. I like Elaine’s suggestion. After reading the rest of the paragraph it sounds interesting, but that first sentence doesn’t say much or set up any tension.

  6. I love the amended line, but I’m not sure how it works as an opener. I don’t really get anything from it, other than she might smell. Which is really funny. After reading the rest of the paragraph, I still feel like I’ve been left hanging and there is something missing. BUT…I will say it is definitely catchy.

    Good Luck!

  7. I’m actually going to agree with C Scott Morris (and go a bit further) – the sentence about tigers and getting into it with the brother has the seeds of conflict and would make a stronger opening line. It sounds like it might relate more to the plot than the smelly armpits and being eyeballed by a waitress.

    I love the title – anything with expatriates is okay by me.
    Good luck!
    -Vicki

  8. At the risk of sounding awful, I LOVE the version with the quick armpit check! One of my first lines involves underwear. I adore offbeat things that make you smile before you know it.

    I’d totally read on!

  9. What this first line needs is MOAR TIGER. Seriously, if you have tigers in your first paragraph, you’ve got to get them in the first line. It’s a good start as is, but tigers will up the intrigue tenfold.

  10. Hi Corinne
    Thanks for your kind thoughts and suggestions.I was delighted that you popped back – that was greatly appreciated.
    Which is more important in the book?
    – the MC’s relationship with his brother
    – the skill of mind reading and the way it impacts on the MC
    – or tigers
    I’d be more likely to read a book based on a or b than on about the impact of being a tiger tamer ;)

  11. Hi Elaine – thanks for coming back too! The main thing is the mindreading. The carnival is how his family has been hiding the MC’s existence from the bad guys, who find them after they leave the diner. The tigers are a side thing.

  12. I liked the pun of ‘wafted into the diner’, but I agree with the other commenters that some of this information can come in a sentence or two. If the mind reading is the most important thing, I’d suggest moving the waitresses thoughts to the front of the story, along with the armpit check.

  13. I see what you mean about the tigers, but I also love the quicker line about checking the armpits in a YA market. Not sure about a first line starting with an adverbial phrase… You have so much great stuff to work with and it sounds like a great book : )

  14. Hey Corinne- thanks for the feedback- I love your current version. And doing an armpit check is hysterical. I’m wondering if you could try being more specific re “my brother and me got into it.”

    Is there a stronger detail you could replace that with, something smelly? ;)

    Nice to meet you!

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