HHCom 5

A herd of feral horses was grazing quietly; a sight so common the women didn’t mention it to each other. Christy and Stevie suddenly appeared, racing around the herd and trying to cut foals from the mares. “Omygod!”

“They’re hunting!”

“Wolfie, you stay here!” Wolfie gave Dusty an astonished look. She didn’t think he was stupid enough to try that, did she?

The presence of big, hungry animals pushed the herd to disarray. Virginia Highland dogs were typically well-fed and pampered, like Wolfie, but these canines behaved like real wolves.

Shocked, the adult horses raced parallel with the dogs, keeping them on the edges, but then the old mentality returned. The feral herd, their ancestors once owned by ranchers, miners and stagecoach companies had been wild for many generations. They’d saved their young from mountain lions, wolves, coyotes and the occasional bad human. They were not about to lose a foal to a couple of dogs! They stopped running. They formed a circle with the young in the middle. When Christy and Stevie dashed toward a mare, hoping to break the ring, the horses lunged in deadly unison.

It quickly became clear that the price of young horseflesh was crushed ribs or a broken back. Christy and Stevie came wagging to the women on the porch, hoping for biscuits or handouts. Mac was passed out and the cat didn’t care enough to push their Kibble bag off the top of the cupboard.

This isn't a hook. This is the first page (I think). Send this to me in a query letter and you're getting a form letter back.


Anonymous said...

If any of the other characters are named Lindsey, Mick, or John, they should consider starting a band.

Anonymous said...

Reads like a junior high version of an action adventure. Hone your writing skills by studying other writers in your genre, and develop compelling characters that have tension and jeopardy in their lives. Then Miss Snark won't be sending that form letter!

Mig said...

Confusing. POV shifts were jarring, especially when he/she includes the
POV of the horses. Dialogue attribution? I was wondering whether the dogs were talking and this was some kind of fable or fantasy.

HawkOwl said...

I was too bored to read past word 62. That is some awful style.

Catja (green_knight) said...

I read all of this because I couldn't believe how bad it was.

Unlike mountain lions or other exotic acnimals, horses and dogs are relatively easy to find; and once you find them, you should watch them before attributing behaviour to them that comes straight from the land of myth.

Anonymous said...

Who is Wolfie? What's happening? Why are there so many exclamaton points?

This is confusing and dull all at once.

Anonymous said...


:The editor stares, sneaks a quick look at the clock. Too early for lunch, dammit. Makes a swift rim shot into File 13 and picks up another envelope from the mountain.:

The writer is ordered to read Smokey the Cow Horse by Will James.

Anonymous said...

I can kinda see what you're heading at. Read some Kipling and see how deft he is at giving the animal's point of view.

Benja Fallenstein said...

I'm confused as to what's going on, and for first pages that's pretty much the knell of death.

But on the other hand, what I do understand from it sounds like an interesting concept. My advice, for what it's worth, would be to keep in mind that your reader doesn't know what you're talking about, and to get some first readers and ask them to tell you where it's difficult to understand.

Then again, I haven't read too many animal stories, so consider the source of that advice.

As a hook, this doesn't work for me, because it doesn't tell me what the story is going to be about.