Friday, January 22, 2010
CRIT FRIDAY OPENING #4 July 7, 1777, Hubbardton, Vermont
GAIL: I like your setting and I liked the soldier's banter in this passage. I'm not sure if it works as a hook for the opening of a book. First, because you already told us where they are, so there's really no mystery about that for the reader. Second, if this is a romance, I'm not sure the average romance reader is going to be enticed by images of bloating rotting cows. I do love Revolutionary War stories so I hope you have great success with this one.
AMY: I would take out the location in the set up and just give us a date. I read that first and then the opening dialogue/question. It had already been answered for me. I do think you used good description through this and painted a picture of the scene, or at least what they had seen. One thing that did read awkward to me was "—and one of Granger’s dark eyes staring sideways at him." I am not sure why, it just did.
MELISSA: I am of a differing opinion about this than Gail I guess, sorry Gail lol. But I love that you're not afraid to get real in action! Excellent example as I mentioned in my action blog! Yay! I love the banter between them, (the mouth of hell) Great line btw! I'm completely hooked which is your first goal. I would only suggest the wandering eye line just needs a little tweaking and you're set! Great job!
HEATHER: Great opening and descriptions but you lost me a little at the mention of carcasses. Suggestion: Even through the thick linen tied across his mouth, the heavy stench of death tainted the air. He’d never gotten used to the scarlet wool of his …
I found the beginning of your story really interesting - thanks for letting us critique your work.
JERRICA: I'm with Melissa on this one! I loved this opening! Superbly written, first of all, and the description brought me right into the scene, regardless of how unpleasant it may have been ;) I wish I had more to say, but I think this was darn near perfect!
PHYLLIS: My thoughts are you should open with using "The mouth of hell" in your sentence. That was an awesome description. But I agree with the others and I don't think that makes for a good enough hook.
JULIE: Take out exactly where they are to leave some mystery. The opening is good to me. I like the action and the dialogue is very well written. I do think you may automatically turn some off with the vivid descriptions of half butchered, fly infested cattle. I might just move that description for a little later once the reader is hooked and unwilling to put the book down. Great beginning. Best of luck.
SAMANTHA: I really like the opening, and although I don't generally enjoy half-butchered carcasses, I think it is very telling. It transports me to the life this soldier is living, and I feel empathy for him. It isn't a pleasant image, but it isn't gratuitously detailed. I don't feel it is included for shock value. And the writing is fanatastic!