Jul 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: First Pages

Once there was a girl who revised the opening page of her novel so many times that she lost sight of what worked and what didn't. So because of this she made a vow that on the very day that she sent her first query for her second MS, other than for fixing a misplaced comma here and there, the first page wouldn't be touched. 

That vow only lasted a month.

Since today is Tuesday, teaser Tuesday, I wanted to share the first 150 words of each first page for comparison. I still love the old opening, a lot actually, but I want to give this new one a shot too. Lately, the query gods haven't been on my side. The first page is always the hardest to get right, wouldn't you agree?

Old Version:

*snip*

New Version:

*snip*

Thanks for taking the time to read you guys.

14 comments:

  1. They're both good, but I kinda' like the old one better! :) (That's probably not helpful, sorry.) I love that opening about the story about the princess. :)

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    1. I'm not surprised that you do, Rachel. I'll give the new one a shot, but only time will tell. :D

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  2. Haha. I agree with Rachel. I like the first one better. Though the writing in both is fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Kelley. I kind of knew that you guys would. :)

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  3. I was going to say I liked the revision better, because I love how much the voice shines, but I think you actually say more in the first version. I think the old one works as a better device to set up the story. But I really like the voice in the second one.

    I'm pulling my hair out (practically) over my first pages so I understand your frustration!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Stephsco. Yes, hair pulling is definitely a symptom of first page blues.

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  4. I think they're two very different styles of opening. The first one is more typical of a prologue, looking back, setting up the main premise of the story. But the second one really puts the reader straight into the story and gives you a real sense of voice.

    I don't think the issue here is writing - the writing is good in both pieces - but is actually the decision as to what sort of opening you want to have. Do you want to start with giving the reader an idea of the central conflict, or do you want to start with action? There's no reason you can't do both, but at the moment I'd say you have to choose what you want from the opening before you can say which one you want to go ahead with.

    I can definitely share your pain - openings are so difficult! Especially when looking to publish, seeing as the first couple of paragraphs are really make or break in regards to readers. Keep going, and I hope this helped, Tracey!

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    1. Your comment is definitely food for thought, Fiona. I actually think both openings work well with the rest of the novel. That being said, I do prefer to start with giving the reader an idea of the central conflict.

      Thanks a bunch for stopping by. :)

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  5. The voice of the second version drew me in more so than the first one. And the first line: "I hadn't even wanted to go down to the lake with Daddy the day Tommy Baker kissed me." would definitely make me want to keep reading. Just my opinion. :)

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    1. Thanks! I really appreciate your input. :)

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  6. I think the second one is more accesible. I like the literary device of the mask in the first one but if you're trying to sell this as YA - that might be something you don't weave in immediately. I also find this line a little bulky and it took me out of the flow of the first version: people mistook her reticence for unsightliness, and she was teased relentlessly

    And you know I love the Southern voice on this :0)

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    1. Thanks a bunch, Jaye. I'm definitely going to stick with the second version.

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  7. I love them both it's so hard to decide, I really struggled with the opening to Insane Reno, but I must have done something right as it is now published. The prequel to Insane Reno, Annie, just came to me real easy, here's a sample of Annie's opening for you...


    I remember that night so clearly, like so many other torturous moments in my life it stands out to me as if it had happened only yesterday. The better moments however, the good times, the things I long to remember, are a blur. At best they are seen as if they are a life in fast forward. Flashing incessantly in my mind, only a few scattered images slipping through the veil of forgetfulness, images that for the briefest of moments evoke tender memory’s that I long to hold close for all eternity. A laugh, a smile, my father’s strong safe arms, things that you’d never hope to forget and yet I have forgotten, at times I see them so clearly, that I cannot imagine them to be illusions, yet there is that underlying feeling, that somehow, they are not quite what they seem and then I wonder if I have in fact, imagined them into life. It’s like looking at it all through binoculars, only as hard as you try, no matter how much you fiddle with the focus you can’t make it clear. I make my head hurt trying sometimes, scrunching my eyes tight just desperate to make them come into focus, but I never can.
    That night however, is etched deep into my mind, a constant reminder of how in the blink of an eye, even the happiest life, can be irrevocably changed forever.

    I think ultimately you just have to go with what feels right to you, but good luck deciding.
    love and hugs Joss xxx

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    1. Hello! Thanks for following. Your opening is beautifully written.

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