Apr. 17th, 2007 06:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Touching Indigo - Thea)
[personal profile] rj_anderson
I've just seen the first batch of hook critiques on [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey, and come to the realization that my hook for Indigo (which hasn't been judged yet) is terrible. It's flat, passive, and gives no indication whatsoever of the characters's personalities or my voice as a writer. About the only thing going for it is that it's short -- which may be a plus when you've got one agent reading hundreds of hooks a week, but when you're competing for the attention of a judge with only 10-20 hooks to review, not so much.

On the plus side, I suppose this means I don't have to worry about polishing up my first five pages.


On a more positive note, I do want to say how much I appreciate all of you who've contributed your thoughts, advice, and words of encouragement in response to my Writing Angst. I apologize for being such a downer -- thanks for bearing with me.

P.S. In case anybody wonders what I'm on about, this is the hook I sent in:

Sentenced to an asylum after confessing to her schoolmate's bizarre murder, Alison Jeffries fights to prove her sanity, even if she cannot prove her innocence. But when her acute sensitivity to colors and sounds causes her to lash out at a nurse, her reputation as a model patient is destroyed. Then Dr. Faraday, the neurologist who has taken a special interest in her case, is exposed as an impostor and barred from the hospital. Unable to accept his seeming betrayal, Alison escapes the asylum and follows Faraday to the scene of her supposed crime, only to trigger a device that transports them both to his home a thousand light-years away. There Alison finds the truth about what happened to her schoolmate and a chance to clear her name -- but first she must elude a team of alien scientists, confront her greatest fear, and learn to embrace her unusual sensory gifts before she can return to Earth and reclaim her future.

Date: 2007-04-17 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] robinellen.livejournal.com
I read those hooks, and I have to admit i'm glad I didn't send anything in. Of course, I already know that I stink at these things -- I'm hoping to learn something by reading them, but...hm.

However, out of the ten listed, I liked three of them -- so you never know what will strike a chord with them :)

Date: 2007-04-17 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reveilles.livejournal.com
Just keep admitting your humanity, and we'll encourage you and be encouraged by your honesty. :)

Date: 2007-04-18 01:02 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: cover of "The Blue Sword": Fantasy (Fantasy)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
Well, one thing you've got going for you is that it isn't a cliche-ridden fantasy about folks with a life-bond with an animal...

Date: 2007-04-18 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
It sounds cool to me!

Date: 2007-04-18 06:56 pm (UTC)
owl: Stylized barn owl (Doctor #9)
From: [personal profile] owl
Thea is Alison now??

Date: 2007-04-18 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Yes, she is. I found that I simply could not write her as a credible teenager instead of a twentysomething, or give her the particular character traits I need her to have for this story, without changing her name. Otherwise it felt like I was "getting Thea wrong" and it kept holding me back.

Date: 2007-04-18 09:24 pm (UTC)
owl: pen handwriting; use it for journalling (writing)
From: [personal profile] owl
Ohh, I see. Sort of like filed off your own serial numbers.

Date: 2007-04-18 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravensnape.livejournal.com
Keeping in mind that I'm just now following your Indigo dialog and that opinions are like a##hol##s, we all have them, the Dr. Faraday sentence stops the flow for me. Though as you stated earlier, I too, love his name. I felt like you were trying to cram him into your five or so sentences. Perhaps less compound/complex and a few more simple structures work better. Also, the use of the term asylum is awkward for me. Is this a Canuck thing? If a duck is a duck, call it a duck. Mental hospital? Mental facility? Asylum dates it for me like the term Bedlam. Just my two cents worth, correct me or ignore me. I don't mind. :D

Date: 2007-04-22 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Yes, good points -- thanks for weighing in. You're right about "asylum" being archaic -- I was just trying to find something shorter and pithier than "psychiatric hospital".


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