12.21.2006

HH Com 297

Two things engage all five senses. One is food; the other is sex. Both are central to Tangled Up in Blue, a novel. Sophie Bennet is a junior in high school. She's not normal; she's known that for a long time. But she wonders if things might be more serious than that:

I am in line at the food court, on break from my job at the megamall, when suddenly I'm somewhere else. My top is off, my skirt is hiked up, my arm is flung over the back of the seat. I kick the gear shift. Good thing Theo put the emergency brake on. I kiss his neck, and the taste of salt blooms blue-green in my mouth. We press against each other so hard it feels like we could push on through.

As quickly as it came, the memory is gone. I'm back in line, while the man in front of me orders. He's fat, bald, and older than my dad, probably in his fifties. Nothing like Theo. But he wears the same cologne.

The smell took me back to the middle of last year. I thought I was crazy. Now I know better.


This isn't a hook. It's probably a first page, but one never knows these days.

First pages can work if there's a twist or a suprise. "Now I know better" isn't either of those.
"so did the judge" might be.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couple other things engage all the senses as well, cigarettes, licking an envelope, I'd lose that line. Again, this is coming off as porn. Don't know if it is, but if it's not, you may want to re-think it.

Virginia Miss said...

This writing engaged me; I'd keep reading. Good luck, author.

Angus Weeks said...

If you're going to have a first line like that, you need to make 100% sure it's true (and not just rely on the fact that some psych book said so).

For example, I stopped immediately and took three seconds to think of "vomiting" to disprove your "Two things engage all five senses" theory. Gross, but true.

Don't let sweeping statements bog your story down before it's even started.

Ski said...

This is a saxaphone playing a different tune than the rest of the band - and I like it! The writing is jazzy and that suggests to me that the finished product is likely to be jazzy too. For me, the subject of the story is sometimes secondary to the ability of the story teller to tell it. I wish you Good Luck!

Rgds.........Ski

aries said...

I thought the transition from the first to the second paragraph was jarring. The first paragraph might work as a hook but the author needs to elaborate on why Sophie isn't normal and what's at stake because of it. The rest of the 'hook' works (at least for me)as a first page. I definitely want to read more and find out what Sophie's memories are about and why she's having them.

I Said said...

Good writing here and I hope there's a good story within it.

If the novel's finished, do learn how to write a hook so that it gets past a slush pile.

Anonymous said...

I agree that, if you've got a first line with punch, you need to be sure it holds up under scrutiny.

I'm eating chocolate and it's not engaging my hearing one little bit.