To view this notification widget you need to have JavaScript enabled. This notification widget was easily created with NotifySnack.
Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Read What's New Join
Faith
Writers
Forum
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

The HOME for Christian writers!
The Home for Christian Writers!

Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

Moderators: mikeedwards, glorybee

cdafrica
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: #16--A GREAT BEGINNING

Postby cdafrica » Thu May 03, 2012 9:36 pm

Glorybee,

Thank you so much! :D I really appreciate your help!! I need a lot more of it!

~Cara

User avatar
Arpy
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Rolfsburg, Roaldavia; AWOL

Re: #16--A GREAT BEGINNING

Postby Arpy » Wed May 09, 2012 1:58 pm

I have to say, this thread is :coolsign

This is a first line of one of mine, if anyone's interested.

"I don't know if you are the sort of person who likes music—I mean the kind of person who finds it as essential a part of life as food and drink."

And another of my personal favourites;

"This is a story of Men, and of Men's dreams."

That last one is ironic, because the story was inspired by a dream. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Arpy

I write adventures, historical fiction, war stories, fantasies, psychological and spy thrillers.

IN PROGRESS:
Snaga - fan fiction fantasy
Emira - action adventure
Confessions of an Evil Genius - psychological thriller
The Play-Actor - sci-fi, historical, psychological spy thriller
Dreamreader - YA psychological thriller
A fantasy without a title
RECENT DRAFTS:
Royal Opposition - action adventure

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6569
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: #16--A GREAT BEGINNING

Postby glorybee » Wed May 09, 2012 5:36 pm

Arpy, thanks for stopping by.

The strength of your first sentence is its metaphor; you immediately get the reader thinking about whether or not music is necessary for survival. And since you address the reader directly, you draw her into the story immediately.

Here's your version:

"I don't know if you are the sort of person who likes music—I mean the kind of person who finds it as essential a part of life as food and drink."

Here's how I'd edit it:

"I don't know if you are the sort of person who likes music—I mean the sort of person who finds it as essential as food and drink."

I changed kind to sort in the second clause, to give it a more perfect parallelism, and I eliminated a part of life. Those 4 words are redundant, and the sentence is punchier without them.

As for your second sentence:

"This is a story of Men, and of Men's dreams."

...I probably wouldn't change a thing. I'm not sure, because the reason for capitalizing "Men" isn't clear to me. But it's got brevity and punch, and that's great!

User avatar
Arpy
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
Pencil 5 (200-299 Posts)
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Rolfsburg, Roaldavia; AWOL

Re: #16--A GREAT BEGINNING

Postby Arpy » Wed May 09, 2012 8:10 pm

Thank you, glorybee. You are so absolutely brilliant.

In the original, 'men' isn't capitalised. That is because the second line (hopefully) clarifies what kind of men. Not male men--human men. But it didn't look right on it's own, with no capitalisation. I'll change it back.
Arpy

I write adventures, historical fiction, war stories, fantasies, psychological and spy thrillers.

IN PROGRESS:
Snaga - fan fiction fantasy
Emira - action adventure
Confessions of an Evil Genius - psychological thriller
The Play-Actor - sci-fi, historical, psychological spy thriller
Dreamreader - YA psychological thriller
A fantasy without a title
RECENT DRAFTS:
Royal Opposition - action adventure

User avatar
helen1975
Pencil 6 (300-499 Posts)
Pencil 6 (300-499 Posts)
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:46 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: #16--A GREAT BEGINNING

Postby helen1975 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:06 pm

Hi Jan,

Not sure if this is still up and running, but I'd love your thoughts on this opener:


I hate ducks. I always have hated ducks, but after today, they're enemy number 1.

Or version 2

I hate ducks; always have. But after today's humiliation, they're Billie's "public enemy number 1."

Thanks in advance!

Blessings,

Helen

User avatar
JudySauer
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
Pencil 2 (50-99 Posts)
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:18 am
Location: St Louis, MO

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby JudySauer » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:34 pm

Working backwards is what I do. I begin with the end in mind. I literally sketch out on paper the final words I want readers to remember. Then I work my way up to the beginning of the story. If you don't have a clue as to where you are going, it's like driving on a road trip to Maine but ending up in North Dakota. I ofen revise my beginnings after I stand back and review my stories to see if they make sense. My title is the last thing I write because I may have a topic name in mind but as the story develops, a better title surfaces. It's a process.
May you have a blessed day!

Write the vision - Habukkak 2:2

Francie
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:55 pm

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby Francie » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:56 pm

Hi Jan,
Here is the new beginning of a challenge entry I submitted for the topic STIR.
My previous beginning rated pretty low on the Judge Report, so I revised it, but I'm not sure if I made it much better.
Here's my revision. Please let me know your opinion. Thank you for your help.

Ridley pulled the pebbles from his pocket and gently tossed them up to the window above him, and faintly heard them hit the glass. "Lilyanna" he beckoned softly. He gazed up at the full moon casting its glow on the cobblestone street, then pulled more pebbles from his pocket. "Lillyanna," he called louder, tossed again, and then waited.

Moments later the window swung open, and a huge mass of disheveled hair appeared. "Who is it that comes at night and throws rocks at my window?" Lilyanna groggily demanded.

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6569
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby glorybee » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:58 pm

Francie, can you please provide a link to the story, so I can read the whole thing and your revisions?

Francie
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:55 pm

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby Francie » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:53 pm

Hi Jan,
Here's the link to my article. After attempting to revise the beginning and ending, I still sense a fizzle at both ends. I didn't change the beginning much, but hoped I improved it at least a little.
I appreciate any and all comments and suggestions you have.

http://www.faithwriters.com/wc-article-level3-previous.php?id=52102

New version for beginning.

Standing on the cobblestone street under the full moon, Ridley pulled the pebbles from his pocket. Gently, he tossed them up to the window above him, and faintly heard them hit the glass. "Lilyanna" he beckoned softly. He pulled more pebbles from his pocket, and gave another toss. "Lillyanna," he called louder, and then waited.

New version for end.

From a dark window across the street, the meek voice of an elderly woman politely suggested, "You could try writing a letter. You know…a love letter. That would be romantic I think. At least it would be quieter."

"Yes, quieter," Lilyanna shouted. "Listen to the wise woman and stop this." She observed a look of sadness appearing on Ridley's face. "Well, I mean only, stop this for now. But tomorrow, most gladly I will meet with you in the square. You can sing to me then! That is, if you are still willing.

Throwing his arms in the air, Ridley cried, "Oh Lilyanna, I look to tomorrow with a soaring heart and a song on my lips for you my love...my dear Lilyanna.

User avatar
glorybee
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6569
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby glorybee » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:47 pm

Francie, thanks for the link. It helped me to read the whole story.

I think your original was better than your second version, for both the beginning and the conclusion.

I can't speak to the reasons that you got marked down on beginnings or conclusions, but I can offer some thoughts of my own:

1. The situation of trying to summon one's love in the night by tossing pebbles at her window is a bit of a situational cliche, and would have to contain something very special to make it an effective hook. A twist, perhaps, where Ridley hits the wrong house or a passing dog. Or perhaps when he reaches for the pebbles he sticks his hand in something left on the street by a passing horse. Just something that the reader has never seen before.
2. The use of the phrase "beckoned softly" is a bit clunky, as beckoning is a gesture, and wouldn't generally make a sound.

As far as the ending, a few thoughts from me:

1. Your last sentence doesn't really add anything to the story (And in that moment of the night...), but when it's set off as its own paragraph, it makes the reader feel as if it's quite significant. So it's a bit of a thud, because its importance isn't obvious. Yes, Ridley had caused a disturbance in the lane, and now it's quiet. But that's not really very meaningful.

2. Again, since the story is rather light-hearted, it might be fun for the reader to have a misfortune befall poor Ridley, to punctuate his unluckiness in love. Or have the old lady come to her door and say "You could sing for me..." The idea is to leave your readers with a bit of imagery, or a surprise, or something else to take away that they've never read before.

Francie
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
Pencil 1 (1-49 Posts)
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:55 pm

Re: Beginnings (#1)--the 4th judging criterion

Postby Francie » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:28 pm

Thanks Jan,
I appreciate your input. All your ideas have me thinking. This is such great exercise. I'd like to work on this one some more until I can improve it, and send it back by you? if you don't mind.
God Bless
Francie

Previous

Return to Jan's Writing Basics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


© MeasurelessMedia. All rights reservedTerms of Service



Jesus - True for You But not for Me      Website Builder     Build Website     Is Jesus God?    
Does God exist?     Build a writers website     Does truth exist?     Website online in minutes