[FFML] [Ranma] Like Something Out of a Movie

Kris Overstreet redneck at wlpcomics.com
Fri Feb 6 19:39:03 PST 2009

At 05:26 PM 2/6/2009, you wrote:

>It had been like something out of a movie.

And it was a dark and stormy night.

Leaving aside anything else in your short piece, what you used for 
your first sentence should never be the first sentence of ANYTHING. 
The first paragraph in general, and especially the first sentence, is 
your "hook"- the thing that gets the reader started, that draws them 
into the story proper.

As a general rule, you don't use the past participle of the verb "to 
be" to do that- ever.

Any variant of "is" and "was" outside of dialog should be severely 
questioned if not excised on sight. The same goes for participle 
forms- because they're weaker, less visual forms than straight action verbs.

And beyond that technical quibble, "like something out of a movie" is 
a cliche. Again, something to be avoided.

And beyond THAT... the title of the work, repeated in its first 
sentence? They quit doing that in the 1600s, except for Emily Dickinson.

I'm afraid I just couldn't get past that first sentence. For future 
efforts, I strongly suggest:

* don't use cliches for your first sentence, except if you're inverting them;

* after writing your first draft, go through each and every "was", 
"had," "has," and "have" and try your best to rewrite the sentence to 
get rid of them, except dialog; and

* never, ever, ever use your very first line to repeat the title.

Hope that helps,


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