HH Com 81

Sweat poured down Lissa’s back. Miserably, she leaned over and retched into the sage bushes. Her eyes blurred as she straightened up and staggered to her mother’s car.
Open the door. Start the motor. Drive . . . home.
The road tilted, curved. The car jerked, bumped, stopped.
Blood trickled into Lissa’s eye.
A face peered in the window.
"Please," Lissa asked. "Will you get my daddy?"
The door opened. Fingers wound through Lissa’s hair. "No!" she screamed as they pulled her from the car.
"Please, don't!" Lissa begged as hands grabbed her hells and dragged her onto the bridge. Arms lifted her over the railing, let her go.
The ground was hard. The black sky exploded with shards of shooting stars. Lissa shudderd.
"God, help me . . . ."
The air was cold.
Footsteps ran away in the dark.

Sylvia turned off the alarm. 6 AM. Why did she do this to herself? It was Saturday morning. She could have slept until noon. Red padded to the bed and pressed his wet nose against her cheek. The setter was ready for his run.
Yawning, Sylvia pushed the covers back. She stood and pulled on her gray shorts and a red Nowellton Raiders practice jersey. She tied on her running shoes, slapped her Astros baseball cap on her graying hair, and tip-toed into the hall past her sleeping father‘s room. She'd moved back home last year after her second depressing divorce.

this isn't a hook, it's a first page.

I'm also not sure what "grabbed her hells" means but it sounds dirty. Probably a lesbian thing given what we've seen here today.

You've seen examples of hooks that worked. Revise.


Anonymous said...

Why "retched" why not vomited or barfed? We can say that now, its okay.

Anonymous said...


and lesbians don't grab they bump:)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and for the love of God, don't open with a dream sequence.

LindaBudz said...


Wonder if they were of the stiletto variety?

HawkOwl said...

I think this would have gotten rave reviews on Evil Editor. Which is to say, no.

Anonymous said...

:Editor looks at the offering:

Oh, what joy, another opeing with barfing on page one. Hmm-hmm...creative spelling, choppy sentences, no who-what-where-when to read of, no real hook unless you're in to barfing, and I'm not...footsteps are running away into the dark? I'd like to see how that's done. Wish *I* was running away...

:Editor stares out window until lunch time. Sadly, there is no window in her office.:

Dave Fragments said...

You open with a murder, a vile murder and then move to the most mundane silliness you can. Are we supposed to feel emotions over Lissa's death? Are we going to revisit her life up to her death? (I hope not, that would be awful to read. Surely you're not doing Sunset Boulevard and starting with a dead body. The hook for that isn't the murder.
Who is this killer? Is he or she important?

Ski said...

You know, the first part was really good. It's just that the second part was too abrupt, it came too fast. Its like it needs a "middle" - something that ties the first part to the second, even if it's slight. I really want to know what happened to Lissa! Good luck.


Anonymous said...

This is mine...I clearly got it wrong as a hook, but some of you gave me good advice. The retching is gone. The beginning is not a dream sequence. Sylvia finds Lissa's body while on her run with her dog. I made it abrupt on purpose. I wanted horror followed by the mundane. Maybe that doesn't work. Please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Horror followed by the mundane could work, but only if your opening section is much longer so we're drawn in more, and preferably set off from the second section (even a section break like * would do) so we know it's not a dream sequence.

Anonymous said...

To show that it isn't a dream sequence and that they will relate to each other, I'd put a short title at the start of each section in the form of a date stamp (or date and time stamp if the two events happen on the same day).

Anonymous said...

I think this could work. You missed the hook thing, but it's not bad.

I don't think Lissa would shudder after hitting the ground. That would just cause more pain. She might spasm, or shiver. I assume she survives the actual fall, and dies of injuries and exposure? If not, you'll want to move "God, help me..." to before she hits the ground. I'm not sure if a child as young as she seems to be would say "God, help me." Not sure what she would say, though. I didn't understand "grabbed her hells" either.

I think Sylvia might need to only put one piece of locale-specific merchandising on in a scene. The clothing description seems a bit overdone to me.

Good luck. This would have at least made me read the next couple of pages.