Saturday, September 22, 2007

possible story opening

The great struggles of our age are just a question for a 10th grader to get wrong on a history test a hundred years from now.



I'm not sure where it goes after that. Feel free to offer advice, tighten, or go "huh?"

Is this better?

A hundred years from now, the great struggles of our age will be a question for a tenth grader to get wrong on a history test.

5 comments:

bunnygirl said...

There's a lot of truth in that. Definitely a "perspective" statement.

Church Lady said...

Hi Paca,
I like the sentiment behind this.

I'm not a grammarian, but I wasn't sure if 'struggles' and 'question' both needed to be either singular or plural. That's a minor nit.

With something that has a more reflective tone, such as this, I like to play with metaphors. Hmm...

Example to play with:

Like a weathered old man spitting his last tooth onto the sidewalk, the history of my life will leave but a fragment for remembrance.

I don't know. I just need to go brush my teeth because I ate halibut for dinner. And my knee hurts, so I'm feeling old.

Seriously, to me, your sentiment is a great opening. What I say is just my (unpublished author) opinion.

Good luck!

ril said...

I think maybe it depends on where you are going with the story and what mood you are trying for. As it stands, the "for a 10th grader to get wrong" bit pulls it dangerously close to bathos. Fine if you're writing a comedy, but perhaps not so good if you're going after something a little more "deep".

Myself, I might leave the 10th grade out of this altogether and go for something like:

A hundred years from now, the great struggles of our age will be no more than questions on a history test.

I think that still captures the contrast you're going for. I've also assumed the great struggles will result in more than one test question.

pacatrue said...

Thanks all. Slight comedy was actually okay for this, which is why the 10th grader component. I'm going more for pseudo-wise cynicism. Is that anything? It's not intended to be terribly profound.

As for where I'm going with this on a larger scale, as in what story is this a part of, I had thought about using it for a 1st POV romance I have lying around that needs a better hook at the moment. It's a slow building story and I need to get people to hang around to let it build. However, the protagonist is supposed to start of jaded, but good-hearted and naive. The sentiment in this line seems a little too... well-traveled.

You are both right about the struggles and question issue. I guess it should be:

The great struggles of our ages are just questions for a tenth grader to get wrong on a history test a hundred years from now.

I love your "weathered old man" line, church lady.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'd give it an SF twist: Unless, of course, you're me, the time-travelling Terrier! Amazing what the wrong dog in the right place can do to right the wrongs of the past. My human helps, too, of course. She translates my commands.