Miss Snark's First Victim
I'm wondering who the boy is. Since you didn't mention his name, I'm thinking he's not a main character, so if he is, you may consider getting us a little closer to him by giving us a name. That being said, I would keep reading, I'm curious what he's watching.
I'd go on a bit, but I don't really feel hooked. Instead of 'the scene before him in horror' is there any chance of being a lot more specific? Give us *something* to make us want to know what's happening!
I agree with the above - if he's a significant character, a name would give us something to hold onto. Also - perhaps describe his horror - show it to us rather than simply telling us he watching in horror. Give us something visceral to draw us in.
This piques my interest but think you could do more to draw me into the story. Agree with vrleavitt that a name would help a lot and it might even give me a hint to the time and setting from whence we're going to travel. I might read on a few pages.
I agree with the above comments. I'm curious about the boy, but I'd like more specificity about what has horrified him.
Interesting but also telling. Try to show his horror. The boy crouched within the shelter of the rocks frozen in horror as the scene below.... The boy crouched within the shelter of the rocks fighting the urge to throw up...U get the picture
Love the title (that seems to be an important part of these first sentences) especially for this genre.Would like more on the boy and the scene (this relies on a little bit too much showing for a killer first line) but would read on just to find out what he's looking at and why.
I wold like this better if instead of "horror" the author described some of what the boy was seeing, for instance: A boy crouched within the shelter of the rocks, watching his little sister take one last step towards the edge of the cliff.
Believe it or not, I re-wrote this sentence for something else this morning! Here's the update:A boy crouched within the shelter of the rocks, watching in horror as blood poured from the arrow wound in his father’s back.
I'm with Jayne - show, don't tell. If the boy is fighting the urge to throw up, we know what he's seeing is terrible.
I like the rewrite better.
I've been working on showing not telling, so I'm sensitive to it. I'd rather you show us he's horrified, than be told it. Also this feels like a summary. You are trying to hook us and then will reveal things. So far, I don't feel you trust me as a reader to draw conclusions, so I'm not really invested in this.
Love the re-write!
I love the re-write. I'd keep reading.
Nope. Too generic. I don't care about random horror. Maybe if I knew what the random horror was...
Revision much better.
The rewrite makes all the difference. I'd read on. For sure.
Not hooked, sorry. I'm not fond of openigns starting with "the boy/girl", etc because it keeps me at a distance and doesn't let me know WHO this is, or why I should care.
I like this opening but feel it could be improved with a few tweaks. This feels as if we are watching the boy from a distance, and if so, I would include one bit of description of the boy so we get a better mental image of him. Is he thin? Fat? Dark haired? How do we know he is watching in horror? Is it the look on his face? Is he covering his mouth with a hand, his eyes wide? Good luck!
I'm not in love with the sentence, but it wouldn't make me close the book and walk away. You've still got me for the rest of your paragraph.
I like the rewrite but I'm still getting the feeling this boy isn't going to be our main character, because of the lack of identity. If he is the mc, drop us in his head rather than nearby. And as others have said, a tangible sensation of horror would give the reader something more to latch on to. Clapping a hand to his mouth to stay silent, clutching his stomach to keep from vomiting, shaking uncontrollably, etc. Or you could just cut out the horror in this sentence and have him staring at the blood pouring from the wound, and then give us his visceral reaction following.
Thanks everyone! Very eye-opening!He shall remain un-named, because that's central to the plot...but otherwise, I'm off to re-think my opening! (Why are they the hardest part of the entire book? ::sigh::)
Although it's intriguing, the distancing voice didn't hook me. It doesn't feel as if we're actually in the boy's POV--or anyone's really--so there's no one I can connect to as a reader. Perhaps by identifying the boy by name would start to create that connection.
Sorry, I'd pass. "within the shelter of the rocks" seems wordy. I'd go with "crouched among the rocks and watched" and let the fact that he's crouching among the rocks convey the sense that he's hiding, and the fact that the rocks are offering shelter will be inherent. "the scene before him" seems a bit overwritten. You could go with "the scene" but better yet, just tell the reader what's going on. Chances are, you won't have to tell the reader that he's watching it with horor, because it'll be some horrible scene, and the reader will make that assumption. And I agree that he should be named unless he is just a cameo character, in which case I'd question why you're opening the book with him.Fred
The shifting POV makes me dizzy. "A boy" is distant, objective. (It might be up close for some other char who is watching, but we don't know about any other char yet and it's distant from the boy.) "Horror" is up close inside the boy's head.