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Thread: Opening hook?

  1. #1
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Opening hook?

    Life is great, unless everyday brings you closer to the end of the world.



  2. #2
    Keith .
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Um, every day does bring us closer to the end of the world.

  3. #3
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Yes, exactly.

  4. #4
    Howard Cole
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Hi Author Pendragin.

    You're asking the wrong question about the wrong thing. Asking for a critique of one line (unless it's for technical questions like, "should I use a comma here or not?") is like asking someone to opine on a car with only seeing the stereo. Yeah, the stereo may be cool (and your stereo, frankly, isn't that cool in this case)but the opinion will be completely worthless to you in regards to the overall car. So you leave me in a predicament: There's really nothing to critique here, and yet I've already opened the post so I may as well write something. So, in response, I'm going to post my own "hooks" for critique right here:

    Beds are great, if you don't have to make them.

    I wiped the blood from my face and flung it at the monkey.

    Girls are great when they're not crazy.

    I really had not expected the entire room to explode the way that it did.

    The man was gasping as he dragged his bloody legs into the backseat.

    He had finally really done it.

    Posts are great, unless they're a waste of time.

    Anyway Author, just having some fun here, please don't take offense. I'd love to read more of your story and give you some feedback, but you need to post more than this.
    Best of Luck!

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    A better line is one like the one used in the movie "American Beauty": "People say 'today is the first day of the rest of my life.' That's all true except for one day--the day you die." That's probably not an exact quote, but it's the same kind of thing as what you have only more effective.

  6. #6
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    [i]I wiped the blood from my face and flung it at the monkey.[i]

    I hope getting hit by your face didn't hurt the monkey, much. (misplaced antecedent)

    Seriously, Howard, I don't agree with your "too little context" comment. I think an opening sentence can be judged as gripping or not on its own strength. That's as far as the reader has read into the work at that point. (Although arguably the title has the same responsibiities the opening sentence does.)

  7. #7
    Howard Cole
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Gary- It's didn't hurt the monkey nearly as badly as the monkey had already hurt me!

    I hear you Gary, and I'll buy it. The first line is important. The problem though, is that I think too many beginning authors give some kind of fetish-like power to first lines and other minor elements. It's what I call "The Mighty Ducks" sydrome. A generation of kids grew up thinking that if they get the uniforms right, then they'll be great at hockey. They think that there's a quick fix, IE: If I get the first line right, I'll have a great novel. When in reality, every line matters. I cannot think of a single book I've ever read in my life that I've put down because I thought that the first line was mishandled. However, I have put down many, many books that have demonstrated terrible writing by page five. Even if he had at least posted the first two paragraphs I would have happily critiqued.

    My point is that a single sentence of a story, no matter where it falls, cannot be judged on it's own, unless it's for technical accuracy. Deep down you know this--that's why you did a technical critique of my Bloody Monkey hook. There was NOTHING else there to critique. Context is EVERYTHING. For all you know, Author's book is about the medieval breeding habits of cats. If that's the case, then this would be a silly opening line. So frankly, you just don't know.

    Just my two cents, Gary. It's really just a request for more substance. And I do appreciate the critique of the bloody monkey. Made me laugh.

  8. #8
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    No, I wanted to know if it was a strong opening hook or how I could make it stronger.

  9. #9
    Yuki
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    I heart Howard Cole. *giggle*

  10. #10
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    I hear you on the importance of the opening sentence, Howard (which is a different matter from being able to critique the "grab" appeal of an opening sentence). I don't obsess over opening sentences myself. I just start and rarely change whatever sentence I started with.

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