A. Mason Carpenter's picture
A. Mason Carpenter from USA is reading The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell October 19, 2011 - 11:35pm

Thought you guys deserved a first look...

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun October 25, 2011 - 6:16am

Man, that was an easy read. Kudos!

enough's picture
enough from Indiana is reading Warmed and Bound October 25, 2011 - 8:09am

Nice work.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. October 25, 2011 - 8:55am

As far as a first sentence, I'm not sure it really grabs me.  

First, the narrator is kind a wishy-washy and loses authority with the first word being "Thought".  I realize that you're submerging the "I" by not including the implied "I" in "I thought", but using 'thought' in a first sentence also hits on "Thought" verb essay.  If the narrator is thinking it, then we know it by just the fact that he's expressign it.  Removing the "I thought", you still have "You guys deserve a first look."  That seems stronger to me.  It's more immediate and further sumberges the "I".

Second, the 'you' is the specific you, instead of the generalized "you" because you follow it up with "guys".  This show that you had a certain audience in mind.  While this might work later on in the story, for a first line, it makes me feel isolated, because I don't feel like one of those 'guys'.  This also may throw off some female readers who take 'guys' to be a gender specific term.

Next we have your action verb - deserved.  Good verb.  Strong.  It implies a history without forcing us through some boring flashback, but it also brings along with it some baggage.  What makes 'you guys' deserve it?  Is it deserve as a reward or as a threat?  It's a question raising verb, and I like that in a first sentence.

Finally, 'a first look'.  This needs to be unpacked.  What is a first look?  What makes it first?  And what is a look?  What are we looking at?  Since 'we' deserve it, what is it about a first look that is such a reward or such a threat.  I'm sure this will be filled out further on in the story, but if I'm going by just this sentence, I'm left hanging (but not in anticipation).  A first look is too cliche for me to feel like I should keep reading.  

I think you have a great start in the action verb, but I'd look at the other aspects of the sentence and try to decide what you're going for in it.  Where do you want the reader to be at the end of that sentence?  Threatened or rewarded or waiting in anticipation for 'first look'?  Once you know that, I think you'll know where to go with the next part.  Knowing that, you'll be able to end with more than just the ellipsis (which I dread seeing on the first page, let alone the first sentence).

I look forward to reading more of your work in the workshop.  Thanks for posting that sentence.

-howie

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 25, 2011 - 8:33am

HAHHAHAHAA  that was hilarious.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 25, 2011 - 8:40am

I liked the twist ending.  

A. Mason Carpenter's picture
A. Mason Carpenter from USA is reading The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell November 4, 2011 - 12:03pm

Wow, I took down the excerpt, due to lack of interest. Looks as if there is always interest in attempted wit. Thank you for your support. Useful feedback, from what I hear, is a great tool for writers

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs November 4, 2011 - 12:48pm

You probably would need to actually link to the excerpt in your initial post to get people to read the excerpt (although the post didn't exactly "sell" the excerpt to the potential reader and there's tons of stuff in the workshop section that they are likely to read instead).

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 4, 2011 - 1:51pm

Well then what the hell did I critique?  

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs November 4, 2011 - 6:58pm

But is omitting the "I" in a sentence that would ordinarily begin with it truly "submerging the I"  since it's pretty much still there, although "invisible?" It just seems more like a stylistic choice that you would see in a noir-y book or a shortcut on a message board.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 4, 2011 - 9:46pm

That's right on the nose.  It's a stylistic choice.  It's a ballsy move for a first sentence, to address the reader in such a familiar tone.  It creates an approachable narrator, but at the risk of creating an unreliable narrator.  Anyone that takes us into his (or her) confidence so quickly might also be trying to establish false authority so that the reader can be exposed to a plot twist or susceptible to belief in hyperbole or outright lies. 

The "I" isn't entirely submerged, but instead is lurking in the shadows of the sentence.