HH Com 171

Din was a small man; nothing worth looking at twice. Yet, people from everywhere had traveled to Hearth Vale to hear him shape words. His talent as a storyteller was legendary and he loved that life dearly. Din did not think the man pushing his way through the departing patrons had come to hear a story.

"Story room's closed for tomorrow... until tonight... for now." Din said, wishing instantly that he could take back the wavering tone.

"You are Din," the man rumbled. It wasn't a question.

The giant man stepped aside as a woman touched him on the shoulder. When she moved into the candle light, Din knew that his comfortable, peaceful life as a storyteller had fled into the woods without so much as a wave goodbye.

Lament is the tale of (your hook starts here --->)five elite warriors who kidnap a storyteller to save their small country from war. How he will do it is anybody's guess. They have only an incoherent riddle as a clue. Yet, they are desperate enough to try, considering the backup plan--annihilation.

Din simply hopes he can live long enough to return home and tell the greatest story of his career; his own. To do that, he will have to discover the meaning of their riddle and unravel the mystery of Kara: a woman with a hidden past, a mission, and a knife at his throat.

Let's chant all together now: focus focus focus. Specific is good.

Try again!


Tundra said...

"to hear him shape words" intitially confused me. Even though your next sentence clarifies that he's a storyteller, I pictured a man who was popular for his phonetics!

writtenwyrdd said...

If you start where MS recommends, the hook works pretty well. It still lacks something for me, however. I think I'd like to know why your character will grab my attention, and something more about the warriors. Do the six of them form an alliance? This seems implied, but I'm just guessing. What obstacles are in the way, and how does this Kara relate to the problem/search?

Anonymous said...

I liked the beginning of this and thought it was well written and interesting--rework the query into query form making Din interesting and mysterious as he is portrayed.

Anonymous said...

The shaping words thing was a bit odd to me too. I do like the last two paragraphs except for the anybody's guess line. It definitly sounds like something I would read.

HawkOwl said...

"They have only an incoherent riddle as a clue. Yet, they are desperate enough to try, considering the backup plan--annihilation."

I like that. It's like saying "I have no respect for this genre and its readers, but there's money in it, so here I go." But I don't suppose that's the best way to woo the customer.

Anonymous said...

Agree with writtenwyrd. If you start where Miss Snark recommends, I like the hook.

Kit Whitfield said...

You're given yourself a big problem in making your hero an exceptional storyteller: he's only going to tell stories as well as you can, so readers will fault you heavily for anything unexceptional in his stories. If you say his stories are great and write them only medium-good, you'll lose their faith. More experienced ones will also be on the lookout for anything that suggests he's an idealised fantasy image of yourself as storyteller. You've picked up a grenade here, and you're going to need to handle it very carefully. Personally, I'd play safe and have him be something like a bard whose musical accompaniments help his stories - that way the reader can do some imagining.

I really hope, too, that the story doesn't end 'And that was how I, Din, came home and told you this tale.' That's only one step above 'Then I woke up and found it was all a dream.' If you have to do that, make it clear he's telling his own tale from the beginning.

The kidnap and mystery plot sound much more interesting than Din's storytelling abilities; I'd like to hear more about them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was ready to flame this one until I got to the part where MS put "hook starts here". (She does have an eye, doesn't she?) You left me so little to go on, I don't even know what sort of suggestions to give, other than that you'll have to divulge more than what you have so far. I think you'll have to tell what the overriding problem is they face, and why a story can fix it. Maybe it's a secret you guard jealously on a blog, but put it out there when you're writing your query.

Kato said...

Thanks Miss Snark!

I found that writing a hook was an entirely different beast than anything I have tried before.

It will take some time before my dense skull will wrap around this concept.

It was a great learning experience for this fact alone. The wonderful feedback in this comment trail was a great bonus.

I would like to point out that one does not need to be a great story teller to write a great story teller (any more than one needs to be a great martial artist to write one). That's why it's fiction ;)

However, Din's stories are fireside tales, not full length novels (or swarthy hooks) and much easier and more fun to write.

Like any great character in a story, he tells them himself and has surprised me a few times when he has run off with my ideas.

Best to all.

Anonymous said...

I love this.