Authors, would the opening lines of my book compel you to read further?

Wagagagaga 03/10/2018. 17 answers
Arts & Humanities Books & Authors

"I mounted that one." Yuivan boasted with a vile grin, motioning towards the body of a women slain not a few meters away. She had been with child. Her head was pillowed in a pool of blood, and her belly was slashed open, the unborn flesh exposed and drooping lifelessly.

17 Answers


Gracie 03/11/2018.

It makes me think of the Nanjing massacre in China when Japanese soldiers did those very things to Chinese women. I would think you were talking about that because its such an accurate description of the atrocities that took place.


Donnie Doom 03/11/2018.

I'm a writer, and I will honestly admit to being a bit curious.

What makes me curious is if the Yuivan is the protagonist.

I'm a bit different from normal readers in the sense that I don't want to read about a hero. I want to read about an evil sicko who slowly changes into a hero. Those books are extremely hard to find, and they are by far the best books going.

I would probably read your entire book in a few days if Yuivan was your main character.


Voelven 03/11/2018.

I'm with Changing and Banana. It's too abrupt. Set the scene first. Just a short paragraph or two will do it.


Cara 03/11/2018.

No; they would compel me not to.


Anonymous 03/11/2018.

No. I disliked it intensely.


Banana 03/10/2018.

I mean, I feel like it could be compelling if you say the scene a little bit more first. Try talking about the scene they're in first.

The field was a bloody mess and the weather was fair etc.


Elaine M 03/10/2018.

No, why?

Graphic stuff for the sake of shock doesn't appeal to most people at all.


bluebellbkk 03/11/2018.

Why say 'with a vile grin'? Don't you think that just possibly your readers will have grasped already that what he had done was 'vile'? You really shouldn't have to rub it in.


Dr 03/11/2018.

yes, i do want to read more...


Amber 03/11/2018.

No, the writing skills are poor. You don't really tell us what's going on so we can understand it. If you can each sentence should pull as much weight as possible and try to evoke plot, character, setting and theme. It's hard and you can't always. But this lacks style and ability.

Learn your craft. Open some books that are considered good and read their first few lines. You need to hook the reader and while you can do that with good story telling, if your writing is messy and lacks knowledge of the English language it's still not going to get you very far.

This may just be a hobby for you but if you're looking to go anywhere with writing you have a LONG way to go before you even start letting beta readers look at this stuff. Your work has to be of a certain standard before you start giving it to people to read, which means you need to do some learning and practicing on your own.

We all have to start somewhere.


MsBittner 03/11/2018.

As soon as I saw the punctuation mistake in dialogue, I knew it would not get better.

It didn't. A misplaced modifier came before the sentence was over.

Here's a hard truth: literary agents (and plenty of readers) would never have seen the misplaced modifier, because that dialogue goof tells them all they need to know about your skills.


They Pelted Us With Rocks And Garbage 03/11/2018.

Can a head really be pillowed by a pool?

You've gone to all this trouble of painting a graphic image and that one phrase trips me up every time I read through it as it isn't just meaningless, but contradicted by nature.


Tina 03/11/2018.

No. The word 'mount' sounds silly in this context (surely Yulvan would be more down to earth) and 'slain' strikes a wrong note too.


Dr. Keno 03/10/2018.

No. Not even if you illustrated it.


Andrew 03/10/2018.

No, primarily because it's risible, but also because you don't seem to know that we don't pair indefinite articles with plural nouns in English. We wouldn't say "a women", we would say "a woman." You couldn't pay me to slog through this muck.


Madi-chan 03/10/2018.

No.... but I'm not into those types of stories. The sentence rhythm is good and I like the name Yuivan, though! It definitely depends on what kind of overall feel for the book you're aiming for how severe the tone/language needs to be looked at. This is a pretty short snippet to know whether or not I'd continue reading, but good so far!


Changing 03/10/2018.

No, it's too "abrupt" so to speak. Just rape and death and gore....too much for a first line of a story for me.

Maybe if it was somewhere in the middle and I got to know the characters a bit more...maybe.

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