1. KidWriter
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    KidWriter New Member

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    The hook

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by KidWriter, Jun 30, 2009.

    I'm trying to make my first paragraph very exciting and have a great hook. It's not turning out to what I thought it would. Please help me make it better.

    I lay, quietly on the grass with my fists clinched ready for some action. I was very angry due to lack of sleep and drama at school. What can you do when the preppy girls spread stuff about you.

    I for sure need to fix What can you do when the preppy girls spread stuff about you.

    I really need suggestions. Please help. I would like to add stuff or to revise stuff. ANYTHING!
     
  2. losthawken
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    losthawken Author J. Aurel Guay Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    I lay on the ground, the stiff grass poking my skin through my shirt. I clenched my fists, and my muscles tensed. With so little sleep and so much emotion from the events at school, I was ready for anything. All I could think of were the lies and the filthy villains that spread while hiding behind their designer skirts and preppy hair.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this is in the wrong section... this section is for suggestions to do with the site itself, not one's work...

    you can ask a mod to move it for you...

    as for that problem sentence, first of all, it's a question, so must end with a '?'...

    the rest has problems, as well... beginning with that comma that doesn't belong there after 'lay'...

    simple is best, or as the old axiom goes, 'less is more' and its army version, 'K.I.S.S.!'...

    here's how to pare that down to basics and make it make better sense, read more effectively:
    hope this helps... love and hugs, maia

    ps: welcome to the forums!
     
  4. KidWriter
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    KidWriter New Member

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    Thankyou, I'm new.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    *moved to general writing*
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think the sentences themselves are your worst proiblem, so much as the approach. You're rushing the opening by telling instead of showing. Your character is frustrated and tired and angry, and you are too eager to explain why. Draw it out a bit more. The balled fists are a good start, but don't be so quick to explain why. Show te lack of sleep like you showed the anger, but keep the reader wondering (and curious) about the reasons.

    Then take Maia's advice about keeping the writing simple and direct.
     
  7. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    Is she laying on the grass outside of school, where people would be around? You could add in that she could hear the whispers of her fellow classmates, and that she was sure they were about her, and that it made her angry and was causing her to lose sleep. Add in that she could zero in on the sounds from the ring leaders, the preppy girls, and that it made her so angry, yet there was nothing she could do about it since they were popular.

    Of course reword all that to fit it in, but I think expanding, and SHOWING what is going on, rather than just telling that she felt one way would spice it up. Action is more interesting than just saying something, atleast that is my mantra. It was a helpful tip I read, and really gets things going.
     
  8. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    If making the first paragraph exciting is that difficult to you, then perhaps you should consider changing the first scenario.
    Just a thought,
     
  9. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    Personally I think you should leave as much mystery as possible for your hook, so we just see the character in her disposition, so there's just the snapshot image of here and now. So we know something is upsetting her, we know something has frustrated her, but what? And that's why the reader must read on. I felt by knowing that there's Preppy girls spreading stuff around then it already reveals the answer to the initial question the reader might have, though we don't know exactly what the rumours are, but as a reader I can guess as I can assume that it's going to be a typical rumour situation, perhaps you may want to lead me into believing that and then suprise me with an alternative situation. Though for the hook, I personally think it's better not to answer any questions you raise.
     
  10. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I actually thought What can you do when the preppy girls spread stuff about you. was the most interesting line. Instantly it tells you something about the MCs social standing within the school with out it being spelled out.
     
  11. Ellsbeth
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    Ellsbeth Member

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    I'm not great at writing. My grammar is terrible and i write using the words would, could and was waay too often. But I read a lot, so hopefully I can help give you a readers point of view not a writers. :)
    I lay, quietly on the grass with my fists clinched ready for some action. I was very angry due to lack of sleep and drama at school. What can you do when the preppy girls spread stuff about you.

    I lay quietly on the grass I first thought of someone peaceful, maybe enjoying the sun. When i read further i felt the words i lay quietly weren't very fitting considering your character is angry. Maybe replace it with something like : I threw myself angrily onto the grass.

    I was very angry due to lack of sleep and drama at school. if you cut this and left the info out for a moment, as a reader i feel like id have a better connection.

    I threw myself angrily onto the grass, fists clenched ready for some action. What can you do when the preppy girls spread stuff about you?

    Congrats for starting to write its very tricky! This is a great place to start also. I have learnt many things here and you will too, but remember that you have your own voice, don't get yourself too caught up in techniques and hooks and the rest of it. write your story down, get your plot out there, then worry about the hooks and jumping hoops later on. or like me, you end up sitting on a writing forum without getting a paragraph done, too caught up in the 'correct' writing skills. let me know when you publish :)
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ellsbeth...
    since this thread is 4 years old and the op hasn't responded since then, it's not likely that s/he'll see what you're saying to him/her...

    you can see how old a thread/post is by the date that appears over the poster's name... and if you click on their name and go to 'view forum posts' you can tell if the person you're 'speaking' to is still active on the site, or hasn't been here for years...

    just wanted to let you know that while critiquing old/inactive posts can still be helpful to you as practice, they will not be of any help to the person you're addressing, if they've been gone from the site for months to years...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dig any deeper in that thread archaeology and you're bound to strike magma.
     
  14. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Hell if anything, I'm more interested in what the girls said about the MC. So maybe you should have the MC think about the exact words.
     
  15. doghouse
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    I hope I'm not being too bold here. But, I wonder if it would help you to go back to basics of story form and look into what a hook is.

    The beginning of a story will introduce setting, character and conflict -- all which are not hooks.

    In the example given, the reader has setting: school; character: the 'I'; and conflict: a girl's rumours.

    A hook in simplest form is generating a question in the reader. Getting them interested. An aim is to force the reader to ask the question, "What happens next?" Yeah?

    Perhaps a way to improve your example: 'I thumbed the pen-knife in my pocket.' Yeah?

    Here's an example. This is the opening line to a short of mine:

    'There is an hour left until, I, Henry, will drop dead, and I sit in my car staring at a traffic light waiting for it to change green.'

    I hope this has been of some help.
     
  16. doghouse
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    doghouse Member

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    Sorry for double post. And even worse, for you not realising the age of the thread. Oops.
     

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