Six Sentence Sunday – 1/8/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP. I currently have this out to Beta readers for feedback and hope to be in a position to query for agents in the new year. Here’s my working query hook for it: Isabelle Rochon has met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.  (You can see the other entries here.)

This week I’m going to take a deep breath and share my new opening. I haven’t been happy with my previous one as I think it started with too much action at the sacrifice of character development. So I scrapped it and came up with several new starts. I’ve settled on one and I’ve been revising and revising it all week. I thought I’d post it here to get your honest feedback/critique on it as an opening. Does it hook you?

A reenactment ball was the perfect setting for romance. Or not.

Isabelle fidgeted in her oddly-shaped, but oh-so-accurate dress surrounded by women who’d sacrificed accuracy for sex appeal. It was as if she were a dorky kid again, showing up to dress-up day at school when everyone else had magically decided it was lame.

At least her co-worker Anna had also taken it seriously; like Isabelle, her dress was circa 1834. Better yet, this being the first time they’d hung out, Isabelle discovered they shared a mutual obsession with guys in period clothes — specifically men in tight-fitting breeches — which had helped propel her through the early stages of the party.

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here. Another poster today doing time-travel, check her out: Ginger Simpson

Have a great Sunday!

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61 Comments

  1. Hah! This made me smile. I was always the kid who took things too seriously. After all, if you’re going to do something, do it 100%, right? I don’t think I’ve read the other openings, but I like this one. Sets a great tone.

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  2. Ruthie

     /  January 8, 2012

    I like it! I think I might drop the first sentence, or move it down. I’d rather meet her and find out she’s in a weirdly shaped dress before discovering she’s at a reenactment ball, especially since the word “reenactment” is a bit much to encounter in line one. Just my two cents, though.

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  3. LOL Well as least she has one person to keep her company in a period-correct dress. :)

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    • I know. I almost had her be the only one, but it was a way to work in what era they were dressing for and since she also works at the museum, it made sense she’d be accurate too… Thanks!

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  4. Oh, well done. Love ther “dorky” description of herself. Been there done that. :)

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  5. I really like this! It definitely pulls me in and gives me an immediate sense of Isabelle’s character. I agree with Ruthie about possibly dropping the reenactment information a little lower. Great opening!

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  6. I would drop the “or not” sentence. Let the reader get it for themselves. Other than that, it’s good stuff! I would definitely keep reading! And yeah, the first paragraph is sooooo hard to get right. In my opinion you’ve got it though.

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  7. Great opening, Angela. I liked how the tight breeches kept her interested through the first part of the party. Can’t wait to see when everything goes “pear-shaped”, as the English are wont to say. :)

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    • Haven’t heard that expression! Other than to describe someone’s body shape. Just looked it up, and yep, it’s going to get pear-shaped soon :)

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  8. I like the part about sacrificing accuracy for sex appeal. It is an interesting party she’s at, and an interesting opener to the story.

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  9. I liked how you said “or not” but I thought the wording would have been more “balanced” if it had been, “Or maybe it wasn’t.” Beyond that tiny nitpick, I love this opening. Great characterization and great mood-setting. I know exactly how she feels. Good job, Angela. I think you picked the winner!

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  10. Yep, I agree that it’s a winner. It drew me in, made me smile (dork who dressed up-been there!), made me cringe in sympathy (other women wearing sexier outfits), made me want to read more.

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  11. Great way to show her character!

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  12. Good start, though I’d reconsider “showing up to.” Maybe use “school” as a adjective in that sentence: “showing up at school dress-up day?”

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  13. Oh, I would so show up in full period costume! Love this.

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  14. Tight-fitting breeches! I think that would help me pass the time too! Nice 6! Well done!
    Amy Durham

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  15. I like it. I’m with the others. I think it should start with ‘Isabelle fidgeted.’ I do want to know it’s a reenactment ball pretty quickly though.

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  16. A nice intro to her character. I like the opening sentence, but I would consider moving it later and opening with her fidgeting. Finding the right opening is tough work. *hugs*

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  17. It’s so true-to-life, along with the awkwardness of having taken the assignment seriously, as opposed to those who make it a pretext for grandstanding, and then of course admiring the scenery… which is always a nice distraction. A lot to pack into six sentences, and you got me interested in seeing how it’s all going to play out.

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  18. I was soooo that dorky kid! lol
    I enjoyed the intro and totally get why she’s obsessed with men in tight breeches.

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  19. Great characterization in this six :)

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  20. It got my attention! Also thanks for the http://menofthestacks.com/ link. I just had to spread that around my little corner of the net!

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    • Glad you liked it and also for spreading the word about the calendar. I think my Hunks who read posts have directed a lot of business their way judging by the clickthroughs I see :)

      Reply
  21. Great opening! I really liked the description used (dorky appearance). :) I totally sympathize with her! I am definitely looking forward to hearing more. Wonderful snippet!

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  22. Oh, definitely hooks me. I love the characterization in this. I definitely want to keep reading!

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  23. Great six, feel like I know her already. And bring on those men in tight-fitting breeches – pleeease!

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  24. Nice sense of character here. Openings are so hard to get perfect, I agree. I’m never satisfied with mine, and have a tendency to over-tweak the life right out of them.

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  25. I like your description Angela, and the light tone giving way to some tension, if I’m reading it right. ;) I agree with Ruthie about the first sentence. I think you have a great opening without it. I like your MC already and like time travel romances, too! Very nice Six!

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  26. victanguera

     /  January 8, 2012

    Haven’t read they other openings, but this is rather interesting. I’d agree about dropping the first two lines, though.

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  27. Love that she doesn’t take herself too seriously, as shown with the dorky. Nice job!

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  28. Love the description. And the insight into your character, great six!

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  29. Good characterization. I like it.

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  30. That’s such a nice little scene! I’m one of those with the elaborate costumes so I instinctively identify with your MC. Nice job setting the atmosphere of the party.

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  31. Sounds REALLY uncomfortable! Not only the dress, but the fact she and only one other dressed up.

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  32. Good stuff. It seems I need to dig out my tight-fitting breeches! =D

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  33. I love this! It’s the exact reverse of how I feel when I go to my friend’s SCA events. I’m the one who sacrifices accuracy for oxygen intake.

    And I completely agree about the breeches.

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  34. Seems like a pretty good start to me! Great six.

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  35. Great six, Angela! Love the set-up. Like Babette, I’m thinking you may want to re-think the first line and begin with the fidgeting. Nice job!

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  36. I’d definitely keep reading! Only thing I really noticed was repeated use of versions of “accurate” at the beginning, which may have been intentional. I love the camaraderie between the women, and the descriptive tone is wonderful.

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  37. I like the voice in this, especially the “when everyone else had magically decided it was lame” line, wow, I instantly related to Isabelle. I do like the opener starting with her fidgeting, that’s a nice piece of tension that made me want to read on to find out more. :)

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  38. Doesn’t everybody have a fetish for guys in tight breeches? Like this!

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  39. Sounds like a great premise. I’m not the one to ask for advice on openings, though. I’m constantly rewriting mine. Good luck with the story and the agent search.

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  40. Love this opening, but you had me at the part where you mention the other women had dropped accuracy for sex appeal – I’d love to see this story start around here, with this thought. :) But on the whole, loved it! :) And yes, what’s there not to be fascinated by guys in period clothing?

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  41. Nice set up! We already know that she likes guys in period clothes. lol. That will be useful. I agree with the others that the first sentence doesn’t seem quite right, but that first paragraph is nice.

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  42. I’m seconding Zee here, I loved the fact that the other women dropped accuracy for sex appeal. I’d be the dork dressed for the time period too, so I can totally relate.

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  43. I like the opening. I can just imagine poor Isabelle fidgeting in her dress. I agree that maybe the first line should be recycled, perhaps beneath the second paragraph (depending on what the third paragraph is), so it’d read something like:

    “Isabelle fidgeted in her oddly-shaped, but oh-so-accurate dress surrounded by women who’d sacrificed accuracy for sex appeal. It was as if she were a dorky kid again, showing up to dress-up day at school when everyone else had magically decided it was lame.

    At least her co-worker Anna had also taken it seriously; like Isabelle, her dress was circa 1834. Better yet, this being the first time they’d hung out, Isabelle discovered they shared a mutual obsession with guys in period clothes — specifically men in tight-fitting breeches — which had helped propel her through the early stages of the party.

    Oh yes. A reenactment ball was supposed to be the perfect setting for romance. Or maybe it wasn’t…”

    Except, you know, like Isabelle would say it/think it.

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  44. I like the six, especially the comparison to the dorky girl in school. Nice job!

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  45. All sounds a very unsettling experience!

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  46. Love this opening, and I really enjoyed the character work here. Great six!!

    Reply
  1. What’s your most dorktastic moment? I’ll tell ya some of mine! « Angela Quarles
  2. Six Sentence Sunday – 2/12/12 « Angela Quarles

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