12.30.2006

HH Com 676

There is an old man sitting in a bed on Angel ward, telling stories. He says he has to tell someone, because he is dying. He says he doesn't care if you believe the tales are true or not, because he is not sure that half of them ever happened at all.

Reg Weldon fought in both world wars, or so he says, he also insists that he fought in two others as well.

He claims a lot of things...

"I was born four seconds before the strike of twelve on the 31st December 1899. As far as I know that makes me the last living person to born in that century. My mother, god rest her soul, she quite probably could have been the first person to die in the century that followed. Because no sooner had I taken my first breath, than she took her last."


This is a set up, it's not a hook. Why should we listen?

12 comments:

I Said said...

I don't care. I like it.

Besides so much else, this ordeal for Miss Snark and all loyal critiquers and readers (and obviously, writers)has proven that what appeals to one won't necessarily appeal to all. Know your market; know the agents who deal in it.

Cheryll said...

Me, too, even if it doesn't constitute a hook. I would read a bit further to see if there was a hook for more.

jamiehall said...

I like the premise, but it's not written in a hook-like style.

Also, you can't seem to chose between description of the book and an excerpt from the book. I would probably go with one or the other.

Anne said...

I like the character and suspect this will be very interesting, but it would be nice to know what the story is about.

Scribbler said...

Thank you all. This has been a bit of an insight. I thought it was catchy, but now I look at it again, it might work as a blurb but it's not telling a potential agent what the book is about.

This certainly gives me something to work with.

For anyone curious, it is about a dying old man who has witnessed some very disturbing things during his life, both supernatural and chilling. Now he knows that he is dying, he has very little time left to tell his stories, to whoever will listen.

The story of Reg unfolds through the eyes of a nurse on the ward, as she recalls the tales an old man told her many years ago, whilst he lay dying. It is set in the backdrop of both world wars, but also spans the time between them. I would classify it as dark fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I love the last paragraph, hook or no.

McKoala said...

Loved the first para, but would like to know what the story/conflict might be, rather than his history.

Anonymous said...

I love Angel ward as a name, and I'm hooked by the old man up there talking about wars no one else remembers. But I want to know what his problem is - what he's trying to do and why it's difficult for him.

I'd be concerned, BTW, about the framing through the nurse, since that distances us from Reg's story.

Inkwolf said...

I don't know if I'd read this (the 'depressing' warning light is flashing at the back of my head) but think it's interesting and intriguing. But for a hook, I think you'd need to make it clear who is listening, and why it matters--you know, if it's somehow suddenly relating to her current life or something.

I think you write well, though. Good luck with it!

Scribbler said...

Actually, the nurse "frame" is the only thing that I'm faffing about. It would mean a 10k word rewrite, but i'm still considering it's use.

blogless_troll said...

You realize half the readers won't get past the "What Year Does The New Century Begin Debate," right?

Anonymous said...

"For anyone curious, it is about a dying old man who has witnessed some very disturbing things during his life, both supernatural and chilling. Now he knows that he is dying, he has very little time left to tell his stories, to whoever will listen."

See, that sounds like a hook to me. If you polish it up a bit, you might have something workable. I'd certainly read it.