12.20.2006

HH Com 218 (214)

Six lanes of traffic and a gritty bus stop clinging to the ugly side of 97th street shouldn't be the venue for a life-changing moment. David doesn't know it at the time, when he turns his gaze from the usual—the row of maples some homesick Easterner planted decades ago—to look at the back fences of white stucco houses. He doesn't know, one September afternoon, that looking over at the flaking wooden bench is going to change his life. Or at least not right away. All he knows, in that moment, is that he's caught.

It's not that there's any one bit of Scott that's riveting. Dark hair, slight build, no one feature dominating his face as he sits next to a guitar case—and yet on some fundamental level, he's so captivating David almost runs into the car in front of him, so intent is he on watching out the passenger window.

That day and for two weeks after, the guy at the bus stop is what he thinks about. It's what he thinks about in class, when he should really be paying attention to what the teacher's saying. It's what he thinks about when driving his uncle's reno tools around, or picking up paint from Revy. It's what he thinks about in bed, at night, under the covers— Yet he still can't think of one plausible excuse to do something, anything, but drive slowly past the bus stop, then cross three lanes to signal his left turn away and home.

I think this is a first page.
Whatever it is, it's not a hook.
No conflict, no antagonist, no sense of "what comes next".

Start over.

5 comments:

Stick and move said...

Ah, I think I have a sense of "what comes next". David is coming to terms with his homosexuality, and the mysterious stranger will be the host of his coming out party.

Anonymous said...

First page and not a hook, yep. Thought it might work on its own, but I'm seeing not, which is fine. Thank you.

stick and move, I'm afraid you've got it wrong re the mysterious stranger, but... well, it doesn't really matter in this context, does it?

:P

HawkOwl said...

Yeah, it doesn't leave much to the imagination. It's not that I wouldn't read something on this topic, it just seems that you're pretty much done already. Competent writing, though. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

No not a hook. But a good first page, as I wanted to know what happens next. (I'm hoping for something concrete, like the guy on the bench looks exactly like our protag, or like the protag's brother who went missing years ago, or like an old family photo...I don't want the guy on the bench to be exclusively a trigger for internal development or self-discovery. But that's just me...)

Anonymous said...

And I'd want it to be the beginning of a well-written gay-related novel. But that's just me.