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Would This Opening Graph Make You Read On?

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Scribe4264

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Writing a bio on a major league baseball player in the early half of the 20th Century. Here's the first paragraph:

[FONT=&quot]It was the Golden Age of baseball. When gods walked the Earth clad in wool flannels of white and gray, holding court in pastoral palaces of green grass and brown soil, each filled with adoring followers. And Mt. Olympus lay within the five boroughs of New York City. [/FONT]

Would that make you read on, or hurl your lunch into the nearest handy receptacle?
 

alleycat

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Just a quick opinion . . . it read a bit over the top to me.

What if you toned down the analogies a little; say, using "heroes" in place of gods. Want to see a "what if?" example?

Just an idea.
 

Scribe4264

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Sure. Being a little too over the top was my concern and why I posted it here for comment.

I want to hook an agent and publisher, not scare them off.
 

sense

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Writing a bio on a major league baseball player in the early half of the 20th Century. Here's the first paragraph:

[FONT=&quot]It was the Golden Age of baseball. When gods walked the Earth clad in wool flannels of white and gray, holding court in pastoral palaces of green grass and brown soil, each filled with adoring followers. And Mt. Olympus lay within the five boroughs of New York City. [/FONT]

Would that make you read on, or hurl your lunch into the nearest handy receptacle?

I wouldnt read on because I hate baseball. but I think it's nicely written, actually. although I'm a little confused by the mt. olympus part.
 

Scribe4264

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I wouldnt read on because I hate baseball. but I think it's nicely written, actually. although I'm a little confused by the mt. olympus part.

Back up a few words to "when gods walked the earth". I was shooting for the players of that era being god-like (i.e. Apollo, Zues, etc.) in the way fans looked up to them. At least that was what I was going for.
 

Lyv

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After I wrote the following, I remembered you only asked if we'd read on or not (I'd read on, but what directly follows needs to be strong). Feel free to ignore these specific notes:

I think you can get away with a little over-the-top, with a few tweaks. You could try to push it further. There's some lovely language but "green grass and brown soil" is weak. You could play with more royal language--maybe call it "emerald grass," or something. Grass tends to be green, soil tends to be brown, so you could go with adjectives that aren't colors. It stood out to me that there were five color references in three sentences. That may not be a problem, but I noticed it.

I also felt there could be another sentence before the Mt. Olympus reference. Up to there, it's fairly generic and not particularly fresh. It's an intro, so I know you don't want to go too deep, but I'd throw in one reference that might be less well-known, to add interest and begin to establish your credibility.

I like the Mt. Olympus reference, especially as the Greek gods had so many human vices. If your subject shares any characteristics with the randier gods, it could be a nice bit of foreshadowing.

Disclaimer: I spent some of the happiest moments of my childhood in Fenway Park and my first crush was on a Boston Red Sox player. I don't follow baseball now, but I have a tremendous nostalgia for it.

Good luck!
 

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I love baseball so I'd be inclined to read on, but here are a couple of observations:

-First line is a bit cliche. I've heard the "golden age" of baseball referred to as the 1920s, the 1950s, the 1970s, and even the 2000s (to the pro-steroid stat-pumping lovers)!
-It is pretty solid writing, but if you slack off I'd lose interest pretty quickly. You are promising an almost poetically (is that a word?) written book about a basic topic, so you would kind of have to stick with it. If you transition to a more meat-and-potatoes approach that most sports writers use, then your opening would seem odd and out of place.

Best of luck to you!
 

Scribe4264

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Good points so far. Thanks to everyone who posted above and any late-comers please feel free to chime in.
 

Scribe4264

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I like the Mt. Olympus reference, especially as the Greek gods had so many human vices. If your subject shares any characteristics with the randier gods, it could be a nice bit of foreshadowing.

Good luck!

He was known to have a pretty bad temper in his younger days, it almost ended his career before it got started so I think I have some foreshadowing there. He was involved in several significant moments in baseball's history so I feel pretty good about the opening living up to the rest of the book.

Thanks for the comments. My dad is a life-long Yankees fan but I won't hold your Red Sox affiliation against you. :)
 

Literateparakeet

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Richard, I'm not a baseball fan, but I enjoyed your writing. i agree with the comment about the Golden age. i liked the God line. i love the idea of comparing to the greek gods weaknesses and doing a little foreshadowing here.
 

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I agree with above comments. There has to be a more unique way to phrase what you mean than Golden Age. I agree it felt a bit over the top, but I wouldn't get rid of the Gods reference because I like where you are going with Mt. Olympus. Also, in answer to your main question, I'm not into baseball, but I like your voice, and I would read on to see where you were going with this simply because of the passion I can sense.
 

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