HH Com 74

The woman was boring, boring, boring. Jennie leaned back on the pillow and studied her, wishing the agency would send someone else, now and then. Gail's eyes fronted a soul as deep as a rain-puddle on asphalt, and were set in a face reminiscent of a sock-puppet. Old, fat, and with opinions that mirrored the lowest of the television talk shows, she sat by the bed, moving her lips as she read. Jennie detested her.

I live in a bedroom prison, and my warden is fashioned from mud. For the dozenth time that day Jennie shook her head and sighed, wishing it were over--wishing her journey toward death would finally end.

But if nothing else, Gail was attentive, and with Jennie's sigh the woman lowered her book.

"Would you like to get some fresh air, Honey? It's nice today, and we could sit in the yard for a while."

Jenny hated being carried down the stairs like a baby, so she shook her head.

"A movie then? I could--"

"No. I'm okay, Gail. I just want to rest for a while." She closed her eyes, shutting out the room and shutting out her life; removing the sight of her emaciated hands--turkey-claws scrabbling on the quilt--moving backwards to a time when she owned the whole world. A flicker of days to move from the runways of fashion to the bedroom of her confinement. Paris to purgatory in little more than a year.

If only David would come home.

oh good. Dying people.
Whiny ones too.

This isn't a hook, it's probably a prologue. There's a reason you need a hook in a query letter if you're going to open with this: you need to give me a reason not to smother this one with an embroidered pillow that says "Why Miss Snark Loves Satan".


Mindy Tarquini said...

I live in a bedroom prison, and my warden is fashioned from mud.

I found this sentence hooky. It screams, 'opening line.' Since this is the story of a shut-in, I wondered how it would sound in first person.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I found it grabby; don't know if I'd read past a few pages standing in the store browsing, but the first part snagged me. Now let me know something to REALLY grab me and I'll buy. But if stays "poor little me", nope, you'll lose me.

HawkOwl said...

Well I was bored too so at least I empathize with Jennie. She's one of the most relatable characters I've seen so far, actually, when you think about it.

But no.

Anonymous said...

It's not a hook. I'm beginning to see.

But as an opening page, I liked it. I agree with Hawkowl that you've created a relatable character. And by seeing through her eyes, I feel like I've got some idea of her personality already.

I'd read on.

Dave Fragments said...

I read "The woman was boring, boring, boring." and quit.
That's the wrong line to start your hook.

Anonymous said...

Your second paragraph is your opening.
I think I'd kill the dialogue and stay in her head.
Maybe just me, but I think anger might do more for you than whining.
I'd like to see this one come around again later.

Anonymous said...

"oh good. Dying people.
Whiny ones too.

Love it...
a true "HOUSE-ISM!" Good on ya, Snarkest.

Haste yee back ;-)

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Oh, dear dog! I stopped at this one because of Miss Snark's embroidered pillow! KY hasn't torn that thing to shreds yet? Hmmm, I thought I sent enough liver treats for the bribe!

Nancy Beck said...

Sorry, author, but I quit after the first paragraph. I think starting a story with the words "boring boring boring" is like signing a pre-nuptial agreement (a self-fulfilling prophecy).