Dig out your red pencils. After posting the topic on opening lines,(the one I borrowed from Phyllis Campbell)then judging several entries in the EPIC contest, I'm realizing how important the opening of a book really is. I decided to continue the theme.
Author Jen Black turned this topic into a challenge. She actually posted opening lines on her own blog and asked visitor's to critique them. I went and added my two cents (you know I would), and now I'm going to accept her challenge to do the same. I invite you to join by doing the same on your blog.
Below, you'll find the opening of my works-in-progress. I invite you to point out anything I can do to improve on my hook. Would these make you want to keep reading? Remember, these are actually the openings to the stories I'm working on now:
“Can anyone hear me?” Odessa Clay screamed. Nothing in the desert stirred except the hot wind that whipped her long hair into tangles.
Her nails dug into her fisted palms. She returned her gaze to the overturned wagon atop her father. Again, she struggled to lift the cumbersome weight.“God, please help me.”
A heavy mist hung in the air. Sheila Townsend’s bangs drooped into her eyes. Her muscles tensed as she hauled open the heavy door to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Her entrance flickered the tiers of candles at the altar.
She paused inside, removed her scarf and blotted her face. The stained glass window on the far wall--an image of the Holy Mother--looked far less impressive at night than when the sun shone through the tinted panes. Hurrying up the long aisle between empty pews, Sheila slipped into the confessional, sat and slid open the door separating her from the priest.
First Degree Innocence:
“Okay, Lang, strip!”
The guard’s bark made Carrie’s stomach turn. She cowered in the corner of the women’s processing area, unable to move. Her legs wobbled and her lips quivered under the blast of cold air from the ceiling vent.
“Hey, gimpy, wanna race.” Pep squad captain, Sally Rogers, yelled from across the street amidst a gathering of her groupies. “If you win, maybe I’ll buy you something new to wear.”
Cindy Johnson sagged against the tree at the bottom of the hill leading up to her house, wishing she could sprint home to escape the piercing stares and haunting laughter. Seventeen years ago she’d been born with one leg noticeably shorter than the other. Every day brought a new heartache. Would the tormenting ever stop? Tears burned the back of her eyes. Since she’d switched schools, not a day passed that someone didn’t question her deformity or comment on the limp it caused.
Okay...have at me. I'm ready to learn. :)