To tell a compelling story…

Get Hooked!

Posted on: March 25, 2010

I love reading books devoted to improving our mastery of the craft. King’s On Writing, Maass’ The Fire in Fiction…  every time I read advice from a seasoned veteran, I’m inspired to greater things that are (I hope) evident in my writing.

I’m just finishing Hooked, by Les Edgerton. It’s a book devoted to writing great beginnings.  And… inspired by Elisabeth Black’s love-scene-in-one-paragraph invitation this week, I thought it would be fun to try our hand at openings.

Post your opening scenes here, feel free to comment on the ones others post. Let’s have some fun with this! I’ll send the author of the best one an e-copy of Hooked.  To help me decide ‘best’, I’ll be looking at the comments from others, so don’t be bashful about stating which opening scenes you like.

My new opening for Send (current WIP) is up in its own post.

What ‘master-of-the-craft’ books do you swear by?  Always looking for recommendations.

Write on…


4 Responses to "Get Hooked!"

Hi Patricia–I just wanted to send you a thank-you for the shout-out you gave for my book, Hooked. I really appreciate it and hope you find it useful in your own writing.

Come visit me sometime on my blog, at:

Blue skies,
Les Edgerton

Hi, Les,

I thought Hooked was great! I am already applying the lessons learned. I’d finished “Send” earlier this year and gathered up the courage to start querying. My first query was answered and not with the standard form rejection, much to my surprise. Rather, Colleen Lindsay wrote to ask why my YA characters were in the twenties. I am mortified by my sloppy research. I thought the ages for YA were guidelines, not rules. So, I’ve decided to rewrite Send, this time, with the characters still in high school.

That, sadly, required a brand new beginning. I was paralyzed. I had no idea how to start this new version of the story without leaning on the hero’s vocation. And then I found “Hooked.”


Loved it and also, loved your blog. The ‘as’ and ‘ing’ constructions peppered my first piece of fan fiction (I was an X-Files addict back in the day.) I’ve learned much since then, thanks in no small way to writers like you who take time to share the wealth of your experiences with newbies like me.

Patty B.

I’m just delighted it helped, Patty! Hope you join my blog and I’d love it if you’d do a guest column some time.

About YA character’s ages. I’m sure you know teens always like to read about characters older than them. Sometimes, about characters their own ages, but mostly about older ones. I had to change the age of my protagonist in a YA book I wrote (she was originally 14) as I didn’t realize this, and thought my audience would be 14-15-year-olds. Discovered that with a 14-year-old protagonist, my audience would more likely be 12-13-year-olds). Which meant a lot of stuff she did I couldn’t have her do, for one thing. Now, she’s 16, about to turn 17 and it’s for the demographic I wanted.

We live and learn!

Blue skies,

I agree and that’s why I picked early 20’s for the leads in the first draft. I didn’t realize I’d put the story right out of the YA market, though.

I added your blog to my blogroll and would be honored to guest on yours.

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Hi! Welcome to my blog. I’m Patty.

I'm a writer represented by Denise Little, The Ethan Ellenberg Agency. I love to tell stories, to boast about my sons, to indulge in a serious chocolate obsession. (I often combine these passions.)

During the day, I write software user guides, but at night, I let my hair down... and write whatever I want. (I know. You expected something else. Sorry.) I'm currently working on a YA story about sexting gone horribly bad called SEND. I use this blog to explore my passions.

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