Wednesday, December 3, 2008

F2S 72

A narrow recess between the solar and the main hall, the result of expansion at Blackheddon Manor, provided the perfect spot for eavesdropping. From past experience Lady Willamena Ffenwyck knew her father could not see her, even as he paced before the hearth in his private room.

14 comments:

TerriRainer said...

LOVE historicals, but too much of an info dump right at the beginning screams BORING!

I would start with the eavesdropping on her father, not so much why there's a handy little nook to do it in. More action, less telling.

I'd read more, not because you hooked me, but because of my love for the genre.

:) Terri

AC said...

I agree with Terri, you could chop out the first sentence entirely and it would be more of a hook. You can add in her location later. We want action! I'd read further; a "Lady" eavesdropping always makes me want to know what she's listening to ;)

Amanda said...

I'm with Terri too. I'd read more because of the genre.

Sponge said...

There might be slight infodumpiness in the first sentence (delete the part about the expansion), but I'd read on.

*hearts books that start off with the MC eavesdropping*

Jeannie Ruesch said...

This is setting a stage that doesn't need to be set, IMO. Jump RIGHT into the first words her father speaks... then let us know Willamena is eavesdropping, where she is, and why, as she's listening.

More in the moment. This is backstory. (And I am intrigued to know what she discovers, I think that's a great hook to start a historical on... just needs to be more compelling, more in the moment.)

Wulf said...

Start with intrigue, save this for later, imo.

Just_Me said...

"from past experience" kills this for me. It's sort of a cop out. You could show her noticing the spot, slipping in, and watching her father. Instead you leave that to the reader and miss the opportunity to paint the picture and scene.

And, for the record, I'd love you forever if this wasn't a historical and you still had a lady. They still exist. And they appear in sci-fi. It would be awesome if this introduced an alien invasion... just to be the odd one out :o)

disorderly said...

I agree with jumping right into whatever Lady Willamena is overhearing and THEN telling us she's eavesdropping from some little nook where she can't be seen. The description of the nook threw me out of the story before I even got into it.

**chuckling at Just_Me's comments** Don't you just love the unexpected? :-)

fairchild said...

I'd switch the sentence order. Start with action then give context--but I'd drop the 'result of expansion' aside.

I'd probably read on.

Scribess said...

I was hooked when I initially misread "expansion" as "explosion," since the tone was so matter-of-fact.

As is, though, I think it falls a little flat. I read historicals on occasion, but I'm not a huge fan. Don't think I'd read on, sorry.

Lori said...

The POV needs to be stronger. Would your MC *really* call herself "Lady Willamena Ffenwyck" when in her own thoughts? Ditto on the comments that not much is happening here. Throw us a line of tension right away and draw us into the story immediately.

Bethlene said...

I'm into historical fic at times. I'd keep reading, hoping for more intrigue to sink my teeth into. This doesn't give me much. I'd like to know if she's eavesdropping right then and why.

Anette J Kres said...

The solar? *scratches head* Otherwise, I’m intrigued. A daughter spying on her father… I’m curious to know why and what she might learn. Strange name...

Anonymous said...

The author here. Much thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate the time and comments everyone made. I'm going back to the drawing board and will take all the advice as I look closely at hooking the reader. Thanks again everyone.

And sorry, Just_Me, it's historical. No alien invasion, just a marriage to man who may have killed his father.

J