Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Are You Hooked? #4

TITLE: Room Full of Killers
GENRE: Adult Fiction

A million and one fresh and exciting ideas were flooding his skull as he drove back to Willoby. This 2 day experience made Gianni recall his conscious awakening in life. His father used to tell him about strong men of the past and bare knuckle fighters when he was an adolescent and bed ridden in an oxygen tent with asthma. Those stories were an epiphany that created a desire within him. The seed was firmly planted. He started slowly, worked out religiously and eventually got rid of his illness with weight training and the deep breathing that it involved.. 

He regarded seeing Clay and Liston training as providential. He analyzed both their styles. He also thought a lot about the money they were getting for the fight, which was more than a million dollars each. In fact, he couldn’t stop thinking about the money. Cash incentives will make people do strange things. He always wanted his own health spa and, also, wanted to open an Italian restaurant called, “Gianni’s.” That’s his first name. His full name is Gianni Valentino Romasco.

After vacillating on the pros and cons of getting involved with boxing, he finally committed to giving it a shot. His best shot, of course. When he got back to Willowby he called his best friend, Tony DelVecchio, to share his decision with him as Tony would likely want to get involved too. They’re both 21 years old. Tony also has more balls than the Boston Red Sox.


  1. Perhaps consider starting somewhere else. A person driving and thinking isn't compelling, and thinking about the past is even less so.

    What is your MC's current situation? What is his problem now? What does he want now? Find a place shortly before your inciting incident where something is happening and start there.

  2. I think you are spending too much time painting a backstory, and not enough on what is happening to the main character at the present time. The information here could be spread out in later pages/chapters, you don't want to dump too much backstory/exposition on the reader in the first page.

    Perhaps you can start with Gianni's call to Tony? "I'm gonna box." And then let the conversation flow into the "why" he's going to do this? It might let you have a more natural way (via the conversation) of pulling out some of the things you have here.

    Good luck!

  3. I love the line..."Cash incentives will make people do strange things." as a possible first line. It seems very reflective, backstory that doesn't pull me in right away. Nice comments from Pete above to chew on.

  4. I think “a million and one ideas were flooding his skull” is a great description of your first few paragraphs. There are too many possibilities for Gianni for a reader to know what to “hook.” Should I care about the boxing? Should I care about his best friend or making money? Should I be worried about his past health? You have more than just those 4 themes in the first 250 words. They could all be developed as part of the story, just not that quickly. Gianni is driving back from a 2 day experience. Is that important? Can you lead me somewhere with that? I agree with another comment that reflecting doesn’t engage the reader. Could he experience something at that event that the reader takes part in? There is a great deal of potential. You just need to chose one thing. Good luck (one of my main characters is named Gianna).

  5. This book is an experience..It's 535 pages long and 95% true. I lived it. It also won an "Irwin Award" in LA for "Best Fiction of 2015." Read book description on www.amazon.com It's been called by critics in LA better than "The Godfather" or "The Raging Bull." There is a prologue before this first chapter 250 words.

  6. Well awards or no, as a reader this opening doesn't entice me. I want a story, not just a sum up of a character.

  7. If you read, "the seed is planted," "He committed to give it his best shot."Ali and Liston are getting one million each for the fight."He decided to give boxing his best shot after seeing Ali and Liston train," He called his friend Tony to share his decision." That's called a set up Amy...