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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The man in front of me in line kept fidgeting nervously, shifting from foot to foot, looking around, checking the time on his cell phone -- suspicious. Or, like me, he could just have a need to fidget, to move; the long bank line certainly wasn’t.
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Sorry. There isn't enough here beyond why they are standing on line to interest me in reading further.ReplyDelete
Ditch "nervously"--the reader will infer the man is nervous from what follows. I'd also take out the second "fidget"--just leave it as "...he could just have a need to move;". A little tightening could make this really great!ReplyDelete
You have a good idea here, but I agree the second sentence needs reworking. Interesting.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering how the MC knows the man is checking the time. Maybe he's checking for messages. The suggestion to drop the 'fidgeting nervously' is a good one. The rest of this is a good show of the fidgeting so we don't need the tell. Sorry, this one didn't grab me.ReplyDelete
There is a good element here of what I THINK is going on, but the sentences didn't reach out and grab me. Why is the man interesting?ReplyDelete
I'd switch this up, start with the fact that she's in a bank line. THEN a fidgety, nervous type guy in line seems much more interesting, because we instantly think "bank robber - is he or isn't he?"
One thought, though, if this guy isn't important to the story at all, drop him. Focus on the narrator instead.
I'm in complete agreement with the other posts so far. Take out "nervously" from the first sentence and the first person narrator doesn't necessarily know what he's doing on his cell phone; he could be reading a text from the sniper poised in the window...ReplyDelete
You could start with MC being nervous that the man in front of her was a bank robber, unless that would ruin the surprise later on.
Imo, you should plagiarize AC's comments and have him imagine the person reading a text from the sniper in the window :)ReplyDelete
That's terribly clever and exactly the sort of quirky things I wish my MCs did more of.
And, I think it pinpoints what's missing from your hook: that sort of innate cleverness and quirkiness to make the MC someone we instantly want to know about.
The man in line in front of me <- works better that way.
I didn't really see his behavior as suspicious. Most people who I wait in line (anywhere) with shift around and act twitchy, especially when the line isn't moving.
Everything leads up the the reveal that the MC is standing in line at the bank. Unless the MC or the man in front of him is a bank robber, I'm not really hooked.ReplyDelete
I'd give it a few more sentences.
I vote for a bank robbery. If there isn't some serious tension in the next page I'll skip.ReplyDelete
Good writing. but little to intrigue or make me read on. I wish you could give just a little more. maybe the next sentence would keep my attention on the story.ReplyDelete
Eh. This is either a usual day or the bank is about to get robbed and the main character either held hostage or framed. The word suspicious implies foreshadowing, but no, I’m not really hooked.ReplyDelete
I'm not getting anything suspicious from the man's actions, nor is any action happening here. Start off with some action, rather than building up slowly to it.ReplyDelete
The feeling I get is that the narrator is admitting to an active imagination bordering on paranoia. It's hard to judge these sentences without seeing what follows. I don't necessarily agree that nervously is inappropriate to describe fidgeting, even though fidgeting is a nervous habit. I'm willing to believe there is casual fidgeting and nervous fidgeting.ReplyDelete