No working title yet, but I'm about 6500 words in.
Anya scrambled up the hill, frantically searching for handholds among the loose, dry rock. Thoughts of food and water had given way to escape, run, flee, Iím not ready to die. Resources drained, she kept pushing because she had no other choice. Keep moving to live.
Never thought I'd be on this side of the gun.
Cresting the hill, she spied the lone house that was her goal, completely out of reach with her current energy reserves. Time to put this curse to use. The air around Anya crackled as moisture disappeared.
This definitely hooked me. You drop us right into the action, with Anya fleeing for her life. Adding the twist of putting a curse to use is the barb on the hook, it's now sunk in and taken hold.
My mental picture of a hill is typically something smooth and grassy, which is obviously not what you meant as evidenced by the second half of that first sentence. Perhaps you might substitute embankment, outcropping, cliff, or something else along those lines?
"I'm not ready to die" seems like a POV shift, and I found it a bit jolting, happening as it does within a single sentence. Since it appears from your second paragraph that you'll be shifting back and forth between third and first person, perhaps you should indicate this as another glimpse into Anya's thoughts?
"Keep moving to live" also seems to be an inner thought. You could push this to third person, ie. "She had to keep moving to live."
BTW, did I mention I love the idea of taking a curse - generally a most UN-useful item - and having Anya use it to salvage this situation? Well done!
Great openening. I would lose the word dry from "loose, dry rock". Two adjectives is too many. If they are loose, and they are rocks, that implies that they are dry. I would also replace the commas between "escape, run, flee, I'm not ready to die" with hyphens. It will seem more urgent and disjointed that way.
I agree with T. Westfield, that "Keep moving to live" needs to be seperated as a thought or italicized or something.
I think you can cut "that was" from the sentence where she spies the house. If you say she spied her goal--the lone house...etc. It adds urgency. Those two extra words slow things down a bit.
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Very interesting, I would keep reading. I'd also agree with Babygears and Westfield, on the internal thoughts. In frantic situations, internal thoughts should be more invisible (IMO) the better trained and more grasping of the situation the POV is. It seems those thoughts would be there, but less visible.
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Thanks for the great feedback, everyone! I can see the strangness of the POV shifts now--it all makes sense in my head... Definitely need to think about how I get her thoughts across and especially the urgency without being too obvious.
I like it. Except for the "I'm not ready to die" dialog, I'm ok with the way you did internal dialog also. Split that off like you did the rest. I think you made the rest of the internal stuff pretty obvious what it is.
I was more challenged by the "way to escape, run, flee," I would probably drop two of the escape, run, flee. It just seems too redundant to me. That might just be me though. I do see what you are trying to do and the urgency you are building.
Hello Tripper and thanks for posting up your work. That title should come here shortly, just keep motering along. Anyway, down to business.
I agree with the massess here. "I'm not ready to die."It Threw off the grove, Make sure to keep 3rd person 3rd person. Besides that, the intro really pulled me in. The second sentence really got me, and the reason why was becasue it specificly gave her a reason to scramble up the hill.
To add more of a dramatic feel, you might look into deleting the word because in the third sentence. E.X. "... She kept pushing, She had no other choice."
I would like this even more if you add a little more "deep" explination in the begining. Hill can change to jagged rock face, more description on the house, etc... Add more "tinted" explination. Things start becoming hinderences when you are in a hurry for your life. Your grim outlook on life will change how you perceve things. etc...
I like the thought "Never thought i'd be on this side of the gun." Makes me ask a lot of good questions.
"she spied the lone house that was her goal" this sounds awkward, consider rephrasing to flow more with the feeling. Short sentences add tension, longer sentences smooth things out. You can use combinations to get any effect but for the most part, this guide-line reigns true.
all in all a good hook. Thanks for sharing and may your pages be ever full.
Although I could see what you intended with your style in the second sentence, I spent too much mental time trying to figure out the sequence and that pulled me out. The POV shifts, certainly didn't help. I also had to scratch my head about the ending. If dry air is coalescing around her, then what is the BOOM for? Is it to call attention to herself or is she blowing up the house. The next few sentences might tell, but I'm approaching those more warily than I should.
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@Owasm: thanks for the style input. While I had intended to build urgency with that sentence, I can see how it might trip people up, especially with the POV shifting. As for the last sentence, it is intended to make you ask questions; it is followed by her waking up from the explosion and moving forward. The air wasn't dry to begin with, she drew the moisture from it to create the explosion.
@GhostWriter: great thoughts about wording, thanks. I especially appreciate the feedback about describing the landscape, it's something I've been stuck on for a while and need to consider in the rewrite for sure.
Had intended to work on this for NaNoWriMo, but that kind of fell apart...maybe this month?
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