12.16.2006

HH Com 37

Whispers and murmurs of the previous afternoon's gossip were spreading quickly. No one had ever heard of Countess Fraser, who was claiming to be the youngest granddaughter of the 3rd Duke of Devonshire. Since her arrival the rains had not ceased. Thunder and lightening roared through the night of the last of London's Spring Balls. Trumpets blared as the last guests of the evening arrived. The clock struck half past the second hand. Silence fell as Elizabeth Spencer, Countess of Fraser, descended the stairs in the arms of Duke Alderman's. The women gasped at the dark blue low-cut bodice, while the men could only find themselves staring at the Countess' cleavage. Many a men found an elbow poked into their rib cage.

"Good evening, Lady Spencer. The Duchess and I are honored that you could make it after all that has happened since your arrival. I assure you that the unfortunate events of yesterday is not the norm in our society of London. May the rest of your journey be uneventful, yet full of promise in finding what you have come to seek."

"Rest assure, Lord Byron, I am not at all offended or discouraged by yesterday's theft. I am sure justice will be served when the wrongdoer is apprehended. Though I am truly disappointed that I will not have the pleasure of meeting Damien Van Horn. I had been informed that he is a man to fear, and a man with a fierce temper."


This isn't a hook. I think it might be the first page. It's also got some oddities like "many a men"; "the clock struck half past the second hand"??

And the dialogue...holy stilts Batman.

Try again.

19 comments:

CM said...

I think you mean, Holy Avon Fanlit, Batman.

Anonymous said...

God, I thought we'd buried these people once Avon Fanlit was over. At least she isn't Patience!

Anonymous said...

Enroll in a few English courses, read a lot more historical fiction, then try again. What does "many a men" mean? Did you mean "many a man"? And this is telling, not showing. What man is prodded? Why? Who prods him? Show! Don't tell!

This is quite badly written.

HawkOwl said...

Wow. Flush.

Anonymous said...

"the night of the last" this speach is written poorly. Don't do this ever again. Save your self the embrassment. Go to your local bookstore or library and read up on the words and proper speech used for the timeline you are trying to grasp. Because this is all wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think this author submitted two hooks. But, I believe Miss Snark made a cameo in this hook because "The women gasped at the dark blue low-cut bodice, while the men could only find themselves staring at the Countess' cleavage."

Stop it Miss Snark you need a total make over.

MWT said...

That first paragraph is written in reverse order.

Also I'd lose the last couple sentences about her cleavage. Rearrange the remaining sentences, and it might be a good opener.

Anonymous said...

From the first paragraph, I can't help wondering if this is supposed to be humor. The overblown setup for the character reads almost like a parody.

Anonymous said...

She wouldn't be Lady Spencer. If she's the Countess of Frasier, I believe her title would be Lady Frasier.

Calamity Jane said...

To make sure your dialogue sounds natural, read it outloud and listen carefully to yourself. Without contractions and slang, it doesn't sound right. Historical fiction has it's own slang and a little research will help you with that.



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December Quinn said...

Oh, dear.

The tenses are off. There's misspellings ("Rest assure"? "in the arms of Duke Alderman's"? Is he carrying her? "many a men"? "events is not the norm"? etc.)

Why would someone be sorry not to meet a man with a reputation for being fearsome and angry? Yeah, I hate it when I don't get the chance to meet people like that.

Anonymous said...

Also - why is the duke carrying her down the stairs?

And, if he is a duke, he would NEVER be called Duke Alderman. Unless his first name was Duke, he would be the Duke OF Alderman.

I also think that the sentence "the unfortunate events of yesterday is not the norm" should read:

the unfortunate events of yesterday ARE not the norm.

Nitpicky, sure, but they were driving me crazy just the same.

Anonymous said...

Terrible. Scrap this entire novel. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.

Anonymous said...

And why, oh why, do so many people misspell "lightning"?

shelby said...

You have obviously gotten the advice that you shouldn't use contractions, particularly in historic fiction. I have heard that advice too. It's wrong. Don't do it.

Kim said...

There are quite a few websites devoted to Regency-era slang, etc. You might want to take a peek at them to make your dialogue flow a lot more smoothly. I don't know if this is Regency-set, but it still might help.

Also, read everything out loud to see how it sounds. I was a little confused as to why Elizabeth was being carried down the stairs.

A duke is always the Duke OF something. He isn't Duke Alderman. Unless, of course, his name happens to be Duke. That in itself would open up a whole new can of complaints.

Also, if they are making an entrance, why is Elizabeth on his arm (or in them) and not his wife?

You also might want to research your peerage and titles a little more carefully - I don't think Elizabeth Spencer, the Countess of Fraser would be Lady Spencer. She would be Lady Fraser, and I'm not even 100% sure about that, because I think to be a Countess, she'd have to be the wife of an earl. Again, there are many websites out there dealing with peerage and titles. You might want to take a peek at them because readers of this genre will jump all over you for mistakes like this.

Pay close attention to the smaller things as well - like "many a men". I know this has been pointed out already, but the small details are just as important. You don't want anything to sink your chances.

Read a few more books in your genre to get the speech et all down a little better. And don't forget the research!

shannon said...

"Damien van Horn ... a man to fear, with a fierce temper."

This cracks me up!

But seriously now, this is just posturing. I would have to guess the plot: an imposter countess who was most likely a porn star, is a cat burgler/jewel thief" but this is NOT Evil Editor's blog.

thraesja said...

I'm guessing that this is written by someone whose first language is not English. At least, I hope that's the case. Too many idioms are wrong for someone to just be a poor speller.

Get thee to a library!

Anonymous said...

Countesses, Lords and Ladies, cleavage ... the bookstores don't already have enough? Print off a few to give to your friends, or to sell at yard sales.