Friday, April 27, 2007

Yet Another New Hook

After considering the comments of the judge from the Fangs, Fur, & Fey contest, I've come up with a completely new version of my ALDEN RIDGE hook. I think this shows more of Darrell's character, and shows more of the overarching conflicts in the story, and is less like a synopsis than before. Here it is:

Ever since his wife was murdered two years before, Darrell Williams has cared only about keeping his four-year old daughter safe, but doing so is becoming increasingly difficult even in his isolated riverside home. Nine years have passed since the undead grey men first appeared and ended civilization, and while most of the scattered remaining humans have settled into a routine of bare survival in small towns, the order of Darrell’s life never quite recovered. When everyone else in the town near his home is killed in an unexpectedly coordinated attack by the grey men, he and his daughter flee to Alden Ridge, where they are welcomed because Darrell was once a doctor.

Together with Elaine Ward and the other few inhabitants of an old factory on the outskirts of town, Darrell hopes he can finally create a good life for his daughter. But the grey men in the wilderness around Alden Ridge are becoming more aggressive and violent, and it is clear that the town will soon fall. Darrell and Elaine do their best to try to hold the people together, but the situation deteriorates even further when two men claiming to be military scouts arrive in town—they say theirs is a mission of aid, but Darrell believes they were involved in his wife’s murder. Darrell and Elaine’s only hope of saving Alden Ridge is to somehow discover the secrets behind the rise of the grey men and the fall of the modern world.

Thoughts? Suggestions? These are the questions that I'm most conscious of:

1) Is it still too much like a synopsis?
2) Do you get enough of a sense of Darrell's character?
3) Does Darrell seem more heroic in this version?
4) Does it bug you that I reveal next to nothing about Elaine?
5) Does the last line need a better transition from the one before it?
6) Is there any place where it just seems like I didn't give enough info?
7) Does any part of it (first paragraph in particular) still seem too much like lead-up?
8) Do you get enough sense of the setting?
9) Anything else that rubs you the wrong way?
10) Finally: Does this seem like a genuine improvement over my old hook, or is it just different?

All comments are much appreciated.

UPDATE #1: This has been slightly revised after some awesome comments at FFF.
UPDATE #2: This has been revised again for clarity in a few places based on some more great comments at FFF, and the last paragraph has also been tightened a bit in response to excellent feedback from Rachel Olivier.


Colleen said...

Hey Chris: Just got back from another day of movie watching and am brain dead, but will give this some serious thought once the film festival is over. Take care, C

Christopher M. Park said...

Hope the film festival is going well! I know things like that can be pretty darn draining. Thanks for stopping by!


Rachel V. Olivier said...

I'm there with you on the first paragraph, but after the first sentence or two of the second paragraph, I lose interest. You could just chop it off after the first sentence or two of the second paragraph and leave an ellipsis to let the reader know that other complications arise. I don't know. My 2 cents.

Christopher M. Park said...

Thank you for the input! I'm not sure what I'm going to do as yet, but I'll definitely pay a closer eye to that part no matter what.


Rachel V. Olivier said...

There's a blog I read occasionally and he actually did a bit the other day on how to write a synopsis. I think I need to bookmark it so I can come back to it later and use his hints. Thought you might be interested. Here's the URL:

Anonymous said...

I've emailed you my thoughts as I couldn't get the html code I wanted to use to work here.

Good work, btw. It's very well written, just needs to be shorter imho. :)