Friday, November 10, 2006

13 Lines - The "OSC Test" of an Opener

Okay, not gonna use this space to make wiseass jokes at the moment. In the spirit of Orson Scott Card and his Hatrack River critiquing methods, here's the first 11 lines - he sez to critique the first 13, but I'm just giving you 11, so it's a harder test.

What do you think? Are you hooked?

If you've been reading the snippets in my Snippet Hole, does this SOUND LIKE the rest of the story? It should (according to the Almighty OSC ;-))) be capable of:

* setting the tone/tenor
* introducing at least one of the MCs
* giving an indication of the genre
* most importantly, HOOKING the reader to continue reading

So? Hooked or not hooked? Got a clue where you are or what's happening? Oh yeah *chuckle* I have to give you the first 11 lines, huh? Here you are - leave remarks on this post's comment thread, please.

+ + +

Autumn, 2000
Somewhere in England


Dead. They're all dead. She's the only one left. Her and the police, of course. They'd see her if she moved right now, but she couldn't move, wasn't even thinking of moving. She lay still in her cocoon of leaves and bugs and cold, worm-ridden soil, just trying to breathe and take it all in. She was safe here, wasn't she? She could still see that tiny hand moving, though. Would that image ever fade from her mind? She had to wonder. Worse, if it did fade over time, what sort of woman did that say Lacey Townsend had become? How could such a thing ever be brushed aside from her thoughts?

2 Comments:

Blogger Yuri said...

Umm...I don't know if you have ever seen the Brit SF comedy Red Dwarf, but the opening 2 sentences flashed me immediately to one of the scenes from that. Probably the wrong mood. I don't have a clue how many other people would think "Their dead, Dave." "Yes, Dave they're all dead." "Dead, Dave."

Do you need commas in front of buts?

I think Pam was right on with her feedback too.

Fri Nov 10, 10:24:00 AM CST  
Blogger -sry said...

Nope, haven't seen it but now you're making ME laugh--and it was SUPPOSED to be a serious scene ;-)

I replied to Pamela in the Tavern. I'm intrigued by her rewording and how completely it changed the slant...subtle change but absolute reversal of my intention. Gonna have to keep mulling this. I have several more paragraphs of this scene written but it's got to "happen" in the first 10-13 or won't be as strong an opener. Openers always have to be stronger than any other section of the book. Except maybe endings ;-)

Pamela always has good inputs - listen closely to Pamela wherever she may go (and she is EVERYWHERE, I tell you, everywhere!! Aaaaagghhh)

-sry

Fri Nov 10, 02:37:00 PM CST  

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