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Thread: Opening hook?

  1. #11
    Patrick Edwards
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Actually, I agree with Howard on this. I think why we need a bit more background is, like, we never pick up a book and just flip open to the first page and read that first line--we always (mostly, right?) read the back (or front inside flap of hardcover) and, THEN, open the book. And even when i open the book, I rarely open to the first page--I tend to open up somewhere in the first section jsut to make sure the writer has some writing ability (at least enough to warrant me shelling out cold, hard cash).

    Now, that said, on the opening line's own, it doesn't do it for me. (But, again, if I'd read something about the book and knew what would be up, then, perhaps, it would snatch me into your world.)



  2. #12
    Author Pendragin
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    The story is set in 1980 during the cold war. It opens to a scene with two guys talking. I am trying to find a hook because this is how my story starts.

    1980.* ‬Life would have been great for Scott Fisher,* except for the fact that everyday brought him closer to the imminent end of the world.* ‬Scott Fisher sat in Mcdonalds, tapping his fingers on the table, ‬watching images of Russian soldiers marching across red square in the victory parade.

    Now, I have changed some things but basically that's the start of the story. I read what one author said about "patriot games" I agree with the practice that it's best to catch the readers attention.

  3. #13
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Actually, I agree with Howard on this. I think why we need a bit more background is, like, we never pick up a book and just flip open to the first page and read that first line--we always (mostly, right?) read the back (or front inside flap of hardcover) and, THEN, open the book. And even when i open the book, I rarely open to the first page--I tend to open up somewhere in the first section jsut to make sure the writer has some writing ability (at least enough to warrant me shelling out cold, hard cash).

    Well, then, you're not really saying that an opening sentence can't be assessed by itself as a "grab" line, Patrick (which was the point of the OP), are you? You're saying you personally don't look at first lines before deciding whether to buy. Neither do I, but that's not really relevant to the OP.

  4. #14
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    If you’re going to start with two guys talking about women:

    “Women are like pianos; when they’re horizontal, they’re grand.”

  5. #15
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Author:

    Given what you say the book is about, it seems this would be a better opening sentence:

    Life is great, unless you know that every day brings you even closer to the end of the world than those around you realize.

    The point on your original sentence not being the best is that the world moving toward the end is pretty much an axiom. The souffle implodes in the oven--it's not really a good opening no matter what the book's about.

  6. #16
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    A fun start for World War Three:

    Each day is a gift. People say that. But you don’t really mean it. Not until you know that you and everybody you love is about to die.

    The soldiers marched proudly through Red Square, a full colonel leading. One man stood among the cheering crowd, face sullen, but a wintry smile broke his stare whenever someone looked his way.

    And here are the Spetsnaz, James thought. (As in Games Bond, 007.) Look at the buggers. He smiled as they went by, waving as if he were cheering British SAS. He looked down the square. Oh, it’s the Razvedchik. Badasses all. But HALO drop them into a Southeast Asian jungle (if they got through the canopy alive), and put them up against a triad of lurp RTs, and they would learn fast that the world is full of badasses. His eyes grew distant. Will the Yanks ever see the likes of the 101st Airborne Long Range Recon Patrol again? Or SOG? Their kill ratio was 150 to 1. Finest jungle fighters Yanks ever produced. Well, that was a different generation, past tense, and forgotten by all but old-timers like me – relics of the Cold War. All wars are the same. And all wars are different. But this one, it will be different. Do today’s Brits and Yanks have the spine? Well, we will see.

  7. #17
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    I think this is better:

    Not until you know you and everyone you love is about to die.

  8. #18
    Derek Wayne
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Scott's life was great until he realized, while sitting in a booth at McDonalds, that the world was about to end.

  9. #19
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Please. No one complain about the repetition of “you.” Sometimes it’s necessary, and even ties the meaning of the sentence together.

    Three “yous” puts the full weight of the thought of you and everyone you love dying in the reader’s mind, personalizing it.

  10. #20
    Derek Wayne
    Guest

    Re: Opening hook?

    Any way to justify repetition is okay with me. I think it's best to pound an idea into the reader's head. Otherwise they might not get it. They might not understand, so it's okay to repeat. It's all about getting a point across, so be sure to emphasize. Repeat if necessary. You want the reader to understand, so it's a good thing to reiterate your point if possible.

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