Monday, October 11, 2010

Hook, Line and Sinker Blogfest

Justin at In My Write Mind is hosting the Hook, Line & Sinker Blogfest. 
Thanks, Justin!

Post a 1000 word sample of your hook. 
Preferably, chop it right out from the opening of your manuscript.

I decided to go easy on your wary eyes (which you'll need to save to read the rest of the participants' entries! Find a list at the bottom of this post) and so I've posted significantly fewer than 1000 words. 326 to be exact!

I hope this beginning actually qualifies as a hook... 
I have just one question for you at the end of this:

Would you want to read more?


  I am dreaming again of the night my sister died.

  It is evening and the First Sun has already slipped below the horizon. The Second Sun, blazing slightly smaller, is following close behind. It will be dark soon.

  I know that Cecily is in the forest and that she should have been home by now. Why did she go in there without me? I am twelve and old enough to look after us both.

  In an instant I am running toward the forest because I know that something is wrong. I have been here before and I know how it must end. But perhaps this time it will be different. Perhaps this time I will reach her before it is too late.

I rush through the trees, stumbling over roots and fallen branches. I try to push myself harder but my legs feel weighted down with sand. I know what I will hear soon and I dread it.

  My legs grow tired and my chest aches, but still I try to push harder. I know exactly where I am going; I have run this path many times now.
Then I hear it, that scream that freezes the blood in my veins, and I know I am too late again.

  I sprint as fast as I can, gasping for air, my throat burning. I reach the clearing and drop down breathless beside her small, broken body. Her dark hair is matted with blood and her unseeing green eyes blink wildly several times before becoming still forever. 

  I move away from her and stand up; tears cast a haze across my vision.

  When it happened in real life I clung to her lifeless body, sobbing, until Gran found us like that. But now, in my dreams, I look around me. I look to see what happened, to find some clue of who did this, a figure running away through the trees perhaps.

  But I am always too late.


Don't forget to check out the other entries!



The Golden Eagle said...

I would certainly like to read more! That is a haunting sample--I felt like I was running with her toward her sister!

stu said...

A good way to start, since it creates something powerful in the character without giving away too much too soon.

Justin W. Parente said...

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for joining. This small offering is strong. I like the idea of the dream coming and she always gets farther than the last time. Or maybe that's how I saw it. Each time she dreams, she thinks that if she can get there in time, she can change how it happened. But those damn sand-weighted legs!

Like Stu said, you've hooked me without telling me much. That's tough to do.

I hope to see you around.

In My Write Mind

Jamie said...

This is very held my interest and built tension...excellent work!

Quinn said...

I wish you had posted the full 1000 words. I'm definitely interested and would read on.

Mesmerix said...

Rachel: This is a good start. I'm concerned about starting with a dream, as it's not immediate, more of a flashback to backstory, but you do a good job of hooking the reader. Keep it up and best of luck!

Jodi Henry said...


I am with everyone else on this. It hooked me and I want to read more, but then there's the issue of starting with a dream. I've seen it done many times, and everyone says not to do it. So which is it? Who really knows.

In this case it adds to the story, or at least I think it will. It's haunting and there's a lot of tension built with the dream.

Thanks for the read,


Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone :-)

Mesmerix and Jodi - I saw just today on an agent's DO NOT list: #1 starting a novel with the MC waking up. And I thought, "Oops..." But I posted it anyway cos right now it's all I've got!

Erica said...

Hey there, here from justins blogfest : ) I like that you broke the "rules" and opened with a dream, rules are made to be broken, right?

Brenda Drake said...

I don't mind a dream if I know I'm in a dream, which you tell us upfront. I hate when I get vested in something and then the twist is that it's a dream (I think that's what agents don't like as well). Your dream is quick and over fast, so it may work. It depends on your next words. That being said, you hooked me with this short entry. I'm wondering what happened to her sister and if she'll find out who killed her sister. Great post! :D

Francine said...


Great "hook", though dreams are risque openers if you're looking to publication, but that said it works particularly well in this instance and the scene setting is excellent. The "line" for me was the emotional need to succeed in reaching her sister before the terrible deed, and the "sinker" the hope that something, anything will come to light and provide evidence of the perpetrator of the crime.

It has the read-on factor and that's what you want. ;)


Christopher S. Ledbetter said...

Strong writing! Excellent opening because it hints at so much more without giving the farm away. Your MC is compelling. I'd definitely read on.

erica and christy said...

I agree with what's said here about the dream/waking up. It's on some weird master-list of do-nots (although I don't know why) and you might not want to push it. How can you say this a different way? Maybe have her draw a picture of something that reminds her of her sister? (I don't know, of course, just throwing out an idea)