Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are You Hooked? First Page #15


Step three, get close to the victim.

It was a good thing no-one could hear her thoughts. If any other guild member found out that she continued to use the advice given to novice assassins, she would become the laughing stock of the guild. Drent would never give her an advancement. However, mentally talking herself through the five steps of assassination helped her focus on the job in hand. And ignore the fact that she was ending a life.

She slipped her black gloved fingers into the pouch. Feeling the tops of two glass vials, she selected the one on the right. She slid it out of its leather cocoon in one smooth action. It wouldn’t do for her fingers to slip and the vial to chink against its mate’s lid. On her second assassination, she had made that mistake.

The victim had given her a black eye when he struggled to fend her off with his spindly arms. It was a good thing he was old, weak, and that the poison worked quickly. Better that she spend a week and a half out of action than a lifetime.

“Gwringmb,” Amigal smiled at the gibberish emitted from the sleeping woman’s mouth. From her observations, there was a broad spectrum of mumbles that ranged from one syllable grunts to actual intelligible sentences. Should she ever found herself in a remote house, waiting to kill someone who spoke in their sleep, she would take the time to see if she could get them to talk back.


  1. YES, but only if you give us her name right away. ;)

    I love assassins, but my comments on nameless third person narrators holds. I loathe them--so I'd be tempted to read on b/c the MC is an assassin, BUT I want to have her name at the start, otherwise I'd be too annoyed to continue. :P

    Good luck,


  2. The opening didn't grab me. The whole assassin thing does, but the cumbersome narrative about being ridiculed takes something out of the act. I also feel like you rush the assassination, which removes us from the action, from your character and what she does. What you want to do is just the opoosite--you want to bring the reader over by the hand, put their hand on the victim's neck, feel their heartbeat treble as they realize death has come from them.

    Some stories need to make a reader reach for that squidgy wet thing hiding under the bed. They need to force them to get close, to touch it. This feels like one of those stories. Show us what it is to be an assassin, to take a life.

  3. Sorry. I'm immediately hung up on what step one and two are. Then I'm not bonding, but that's most likely because I'm not cememted in this assassin's head and a name upfront would of course help.
    It also took me a re-read to get the dialogue to start the last paragraph wasnt Amigal's. The comma after Gwringmb, and not knowing point of veiw's name until now, or me being a sloppy reader could be the reasons. But I so love assassin's, and with some tweaks you'd have me gobbling words.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. The beginning feels like it goes about getting to the point the long way around. I'd make some chops and cut back a bit on her narrative voice. Love assasins.
    This ones a strong maybe, but I'm not hooked at this point.

  5. I think this could be a yes, but as is, I have to say no. There's too much filler in the beginning, making me want to skip past to get to the good stuff. And I have no idea how she feels about what's going on: nervous? bored? cautiously careful? I need to connect with the mc to be hooked into her circumstance.

    There are also a couple of errors in the final para (the comma separating the woman's dialogue from the word "Amigal"; and the "found")

  6. Not totally hooked...I agree with needing a name and something to get me into the MC right away.

  7. Almost! I like that it starts at step three and I like the voice. Gets a little muddled towards the end though.

  8. I'm hooked because I'm curious to see whether she actually assassinates the person!

    But it needs tightening. I think maybe you could eliminate the first full paragraph altogether (I found it confusing), and just jump right in with: "She slipped her black gloved fingers into the pouch." ...