Monday, March 1, 2021

Are You Hooked? #5

TITLE: No Other Fish
GENRE: Science Fiction

On October 28th, 2021, Perry Greensborough — former Eagle Scout and National Spelling Bee semifinalist of 1982 — was sitting down with a bowl of microwaved sirloin burger soup to watch the nightly broadcast ofJeopardy! when a bat crashed into his satellite dish and turned the signal to static.

This was, Perry reflected as he clambered off the couch and into a pair of crocs by the trailer door, the one time he missed Lorna. For all her snoring, her bitching, her moaning, her trips to the store to buy another pair of glittery shoes she would never wear but which would fill the closet to bursting, she could stand in the trailer and call through the door when the picture was back.

Now that she’d run off to Tucson with that stock car driver, Perry would have to brave the cold desert night, climb up to the dish, fuss with it, then climb back down to the trailer and check the screen himself, over and over again, until Jeopardy! was over, and probably the next ice age had begun.

The dish planted on a pole behind his trailer was a relic from the eighties, nine feet across and rusted at the joints, but it caught the old broadcasts like a champ. Reruns of Seinfeld and The Andy Griffith ShowCelebrity Squares and Jeopardy!. True, every time there was a Mojave gale or a meteor shower he had to climb the ladder and poke it back into alignment and was it a pain in the ass? You bet your morning coffee it was.


  1. I don't have time this week to critique all these entries the way I'd like to, but I absolutely had to pop on here to let you know that you've NAILED the voice of your MC. I feel like I know so much about him in just these 250 words!

    You've done an absolutely fabulous job of SHOWING us your character instead of TELLING us about him. WELL DONE! Also, your subtle humor is spot-on.

  2. I love the voice in this. The initial description of Perry makes me want to know him immediately, and the wit and smarts in the voice don't let up at all. The excerpt doesn't give us much of a hint about where the story might be going, but I'm okay with that - I'd definitely keep reading to find out!

  3. Love it! I love the voice and I have a good sense of who he is. And I'm curious to see what will happen to shake things up.

  4. Very well done. I really like your character's voice and just the normal situation he starts in. We know that since it's SF that this opening is a great contrast to what's to come.

    The only thing I'm not so sure about is why it's important to mention in the first paragraph that he was an Eagle Scout and spelling bee semi-finalist. It doesn't feel germane to this part of the story.

    Great start!

  5. I know I'll want to hang out with Perry for the length of a novel. Watch out on the length of some of your sentences. Yes, your writing has a wonderful sense of rhythm and humor--just make sure your readers don't trip over all those pairs of gold shoes. I'd read on.

  6. I'm in, for sure. Great opening line, and the voice is absolutely solid. Well done.

  7. The length of the sentences slowed me down a bit. I'm also not sure what the stakes are. Is getting to watch Jeopardy! tonight a big deal? I know it's just the first page, but I don't have any idea what this is about yet. The setting is really well displayed, however.

  8. I agree, great voice here! Definitely enough to keep me reading. I loved that the one thing he wishes Lorna were here for is to tell him if the signal's back - LOL! I'll definitely want to know more about what's at stake for Perry and to see what upsets his world. That's what would keep me reading past the first chapter.

  9. Great, great voice in this. Makes the character's personality jump off the page. Some of the sentences are long, but I like the style, and the length didn't slow me down. (But I'm prone to committing long sentences myself, so I may not be the one to judge!) The title is fun, too, just because I have no idea what it means but it's playful and unusual.

    One nitpick--I don't think there's any such thing as a former Eagle Scout. Once you earn the rank, it's yours for life, even if you can't fit into the uniform anymore. Maybe they can rescind it for especially bad behavior? Like if you commit an infamous crime and they don't want you associated with them anymore? But unless that's what you're implying (and I hope Perry Greensborough isn't an infamous criminal), you might want to rephrase.

    Well done on your first page and good luck!

  10. I liked this. The visuals were there along with the character, and I wanted to keep reading. There was an element of humor, even though the character projected dour. But the humor could also be just me since I'm fixing things like that in real life. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great voice, flows well, you nailed it!

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