Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are You Hooked? First Page #8


The wooden vegetable crate wobbled when I stepped up to reach the dust-cakedwindow. I studied the Jeep full of men, looking for someone I recognized,someone from the village. I didn't talk much to the people there, but Istill knew who most of them were. Not these, though. All were strangers, andthey wore uniforms. Military camouflage that hardly camouflaged them at all.The way they slouched off into the bushes, I could tell they believedthemselves unseen. Except that I had seen them quite well. I noted eachstitch on their clothing, every whisker on their unshaven faces, even thecolor of their bootlaces.

I blinked behind the thick sunglasses that shielded my sensitive eyes fromthe harsh midsummer sun. It was nearing dusk now, so my eyes didn't hurt asmuch. I normally stayed within the darkened rooms and hallways of themonastery. I was barely a teenager and my family of Maronite monks did agood job protecting me from outsiders, including the Lebanese villagers whostared and whispered about the way I looked. I heard them. But I could alsohear a bee leave its hive a mile away.

Maybe I should tell Brother Thomas about the soldiers, but it was so rare for us to have visitors other than the village doctor. This visit was anovelty and I couldn¹t pull myself from the window. I felt like a hookedfish, the bait my own insatiable curiosity.


  1. Lots of words got run together when this was posted. Sorry about that. In the manuscript, the words really are separated by spaces. Just wanted to clarify so that no one thinks I think believedthemselves, among others, is a real word. 8^)

  2. I figured it was just a formatting glitch in the email. ;) No worries.

    I'm going to say NO. Sorry.

    The voice didn't grab me and while I'm moderately curious about the narrator's abilities (and how, if his hearing is so acute, s/he manages not to get hearing damage from loud noises) and what he/she is, I didn't get a sense of strong personality or conflict from this. Not enough to make me read more.

    Good luck,


  3. Yes, I would keep reading to see where this was going.

  4. No. But a close yes. Who is "I"? Man? Woman? Child? I think you have an interesting character (able to here a bee leave its hive), but you wait too long to let the reader who is talking. What's his name? I think if you reworked the last 2 paragraphs and used that as the beginning it might help.

    Good Luck.


  5. I'll have to say no. There was a lot of description, but not much story movement.

    I felt too that I was watching the scene, not experiencing it. I didn't feel a part of your character strongly enough to be invested in him.

  6. First of all, I'm so sorry for not catching the glitches in the text! I tried to fix up all the posts before posting them, as many of them got trashed in transition.

    As for hooking me: I don't think I'm "hooked". There's some over-writing going on, I think, and I don't think I'm as compelled to find out what happens next as I should be. Tighten up the writing, get into the conflict more quickly. As it is, my curiosity isn't piqued quite enough.

  7. I'm going to say no on this one. You've got a potentially intriguing character with seeming superhuman abilities that could be interesting. But I don't feel for him. I also don't see anything happening; the fact that camo'd soldiers are outside isn't enough to draw my interest. I think if you could show how their presence is a threat to him, or at least show more emotion on his part to explain why they're a threat, that would help.

  8. Yes for me. I liked the intrigue here. I want to know why the MC is there. Who the soldiers are.