Is this hook good enough for first page?
Good evening. I have started writing my original fiction, also known as Sacred Mountain. I want to know if first page like this would get your attention. Would you be interested in reading it? Why? Maybe it is opposite?
"Did you kill her!? At the Royal Capital!?"
Akira started to approach him slowly. The boy took a step back, not answering her question. She started to walk faster, but he did so too. He had a big grin on his face while moving away from her. Finally, she grabbed him firmly by his coat with both of her hands and both of them stopped moving. They were looking right into each others eyes. She shouted.
The boy shrugged and smiled even more. She lost her temper and took her right hand off his coat. Akira glanced at him with most furious look and opened her hand. Shortly after, the fire was burning from her palm in dark-orange and red colours. She could not control her emotions anymore.
"I should have killed you when I had a chance!"
He started to giggle and started to talk. His voice was deep and unrecognizable as if thousands of voices would talk at the same time.
"All victims look the same for me. I do not remember."
She frowned and whispered under her breath.
"You are a victim now."
She felt her anger rising up extremely fast, the fire started to burn even more intensively in her palm. Akira forgot everything, including discipline, honour and peace. She wanted him to die in the fire. The shinobi pointed at him with her palm and shot the ball of flame. Before her fireball touched him, the body just melted into the ground in form of black mist, leaving only clothes behind. His clothes started to burn and a trail that was leading to town appeared. She fell for his trap. The fire trail was approaching the town quickly, without any way to stop it. Soon, buildings were catching fire one after another. This hungering flame gave a spark to all powder kegs that were set by him and the whole town was instantly drowned in powerful explosions in no matter of time. She heard people screaming in terror and finally, Akira understood the situation she was in. She froze in one place. Another voice that was coming from the side woke her up from her thoughts. It was a familiar voice this time. It was him.
"I did not slaughter whole town, but you did!"
She looked around and saw a figure that was covered in a black mist, up in the tall tree. The silhouette started to jump from one tree to another, Akira was tracing the figure, waiting for a good moment to strike. She shouted once more.
"You are using me for everything! I will kill you this time for sure!"
Only a very few first chapters have ever actually pulled me in right from the start. The story "The Necromancer's Nephew" did that for me. It set up the rest of the story with the first chapter.
"Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich" was another that pulled me in. It did it the same way you are trying, but less direct. It starts with the line "I am a good person." which you gotta admit is a statement that begs a question without being too direct.
There are some simple rules to follow to make it simpler and easier to design. Rules for a successful first chapter? Simple:
- you have to make your protagonist sympathetic (so that people find him or her pleasing and can connect with them).
-You must have a conflict (I don't necessarily mean a fight).
-you must share with us a little of the thoughts and feelings of the mc (enough to make us care).
-you must briefly present what makes your world unique.
In short, the first chapter should be a kind of trailer (like a movie trailer), which gives an idea of the situation and where your plot is going to lead. This first chapter version does not do that at all.
You should write at least the first 5 chapters, and then when you've done that, rewrite part or all of the first chapter to make it catchy.
As for how interesting this first chapter is, the concept is great but the execution could use a bit of polish. I really like the idea of a tense situation where the bad guy ends up tricking the protagonist into doing something evil. If you want to polish this up, start getting rid of needless sentences and words. You don't have to tell me ...she grabbed him firmly by his coat with both of her hands and both of them stopped moving. They were looking right into each others eyes. She shouted.
This is the type of stuff that needs some work.
e.g. She snatched him by the coat and wrenched him in, glaring down into beady eyes.
For starters, the bold dialog throws me off. I know some writers use bold text to indicate when a deity is talking or to show magically infused words, but I’m unsure of the purpose here. Without knowing the reason, it comes off looking like an accident.
It’s also hard to tell which character is talking when every line of dialog is sitting in its own paragraph.
Instead of writing the dialog in two paragraphs like this:
She frowned and whispered under her breath.
"You are a victim now."
You could try:
She frowned and whispered under her breath, "You are a victim now.”
It’s good practice to start a new paragraph whenever a new character is talking, but it’s unnecessary when the speaker is the same one performing the action.
The first line is good ("Did you kill her?") but it gets confusing after that. Most new writers make the mistake of telling readers too much on the first page, but this airs in the opposite direction. Opening with dialog and action is good, but you also need time to let the tension build before you start setting everything on fire. The payoff at the end of a scene is only as good as its setup. I can tell you’re trying to create drama and conflict, but without any context, the attempt falls flat. What are the protagonist’s goals? Why should we root for her?
You don't need to give us her entire backstory in the first scene, but some relevant details might help. In fact, confrontations like this are often the best place for descriptions because they'll feel more fast-paced.
Hope that helps!
I generally use my first chapter for world building. It's a habit I picked up from reading (and hell, even watching) LOTR.
The boy stepped back with a grin on his face, matching her stride for stride, until she grabbed him by the coat with both hands.
"Answer me!" she demanded.
The boy shrugged, smiling even more. Akira opened her right hand, her palm burning with fire in orange and red.
"I should have killed you when I had the chance," she screamed, losing control.
He giggled while trying to talk, his voice deep and unrecognizable, as if thousands were speaking with his mouth.
"I don't remember," the voices said. "All victims look the same to me."
She frowned and whispered under her breath. "You are a victim now."
Do you see what I did here? I told the same story as you, using only half the number of words and sentences.
I eliminated the redundancy (started to approach and started to walk -- both of her hands and both of them -- took her right hand and opened her hand -- GLANCED with a LOOK -- started to giggle and started to talk -- his voice and thousands of voices)
I wrote in an active voice (APPROACHED instead of STARTED TO APPROACH -- WITH A GRIN instead of HAD A GRIN -- LOSING CONTROL instead of COULD NOT CONTROL -- GIGGLED WHILE TRYING TO TALK instead of STARTED TO GIGGLE AND STARTED TO TALK -- HIS VOICE DEEP instead of HIS VOICE WAS DEEP)
And I eliminated the obvious, such as the boy stopping after being grabbed, and Akira letting go of him with her hand in order to open it.
Now you do that with the rest of the passage. It will sound so much better! 😃
I liked it until the "I did not slaughter the town, you did" part. The next two paragraphs don't really hook me as good as the middle part, so I think it's a bad place to cut off, but this might be just me liking my dark, psychological stories with internal conflicts rather than external...