Thanks for the participating in the poll!
The results overwhelmingly favored the heroine’s opening 62% versus the hero 38%.
Ai Li’s opening is actually the newest opening; the one I’m currently submitting. I was very torn since Ryam’s opening had some success — it’s the opening that placed in two chapter contests as well as the RWA Golden Heart contest.
Ryam’s opening is the opening I’ve had in my head from the beginning. If there was ever a movie (hee hee) it’s the opening I’d prefer. Stranger in a strange land, mysterious woman catches his eye, he gets harassed by the locals to create some sympathy. I kept on getting feedback from different people to speed up the action to which I was very opposed. I need the slow opening before the action erupts — otherwise who cares about this guy?
Ai Li’s opening caters to the trend of starting with action. It addressed issues that people had with the heroine’s goal not being clear enough at the beginning. It also places you immediately in China with the wedding dress and the sedan. The cons are that it is more confusing – the action starts immediately, there’s strange words like “palanquin”, there’s disorientation before you figure out what’s going on. I’m okay with some disorientation at the beginning, but it’s harder to care about a character when calamity strikes immediately.
Ryam’s scene does still follow the action opening so I definitely don’t lose his POV. Thanks much for all the comments! I have gathered some new ideas for what to add on in the next pass, though I’m holding myself back for now. This was fun to see.
If you’d like to see the excerpts:
Apr 23, 2009 @ 09:57:11
I’m a bit partial to the hero’s POV 😉 It’s really what knocked my socks off, though I’m a bit hero-centric in my tastes.
Apr 23, 2009 @ 16:09:48
I’m glad you liked it! I’m a sucker for the hero as well.
Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:33:34
I read the hero version, and I liked it. There was something that pulled me in. I think that it helped because he’s western and therefore has more Euro-centric thoughts and filters, which I think can help create more easily recognizable tie between him and readers.
I can’t comment on your heroine version since I’ve never read it. But I did like her in your original version (the one you initially wrote) and I found her intriguing.
P.S. People think palanquin = strange? I guess I’m in trouble. 😉
Apr 26, 2009 @ 14:15:33
Thanks Nadia for the comment! I realized I should have included the excerpt links again in case anyone was curious so I added those.
Palanquin is an unusual word, but that can be good. You definitely know you’re not in Kansas anymore.