Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#1
Since you guys slapped me with bunch of important reviews, I tried to make my second attempt and I will not give up until it is perfect! So my question is still the same. Would you be interested in the fiction after reading this introduction?

She fell on her knees, looking at flickering orange flames that were feasting on town's beautiful buildings. They were merciless, leaving only explosions behind that were triggered by a huge amount of powder kegs. People were screaming in terror, running away from that place as fast as possible. She could not run, the girl could not get her eyes off the town. Akira was frozen, confused about what just happened. 

"You wonder how did I get here?"

She tried to process the event that happened just a moment ago. Meanwhile, another ball of flames exploded in the huge town. 

"Me too." Her inner voice spoke again.

Akira blinked and started to remember that mysterious boy tricked her into doing such cruel action. Her care for him made her to follow the boy which led Akira right into his trap. She understood that not only he was hiding his true intentions under his sweet lies, but the boy also lied about their friendship. She felt guilty about what happened to the town that had to crumble because of his self-centered behavior.

"So how did I get here?" The girl asked herself.

Akira heard his hysterical laugh that was coming from the right side. The girl finally stood up and looked at him with her piercing red eyes.


Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#2

Quote:She fell on her knees, looking at the flickering orange flames that were feasting on the town's beautiful buildings. They were merciless, leaving only explosions behind that were triggered by a huge amount of powder kegs (Suggestion: Triggered by the huge amount of powder kegs, he explosions were merciless). People were screaming in terror, running away from that place as fast as possible. She could not run, the girl could not get her eyes off the town. Unable to run, Akira was frozen, confused about what just happened.  She could not get her eyes off the town.


"You wonder how did I get here?"

She tried to process the event that happened just a moment ago. Meanwhile, another ball of flames exploded in the huge town. 

"Me too." Her inner voice spoke again.

Akira blinked and started to remember that the mysterious boy that tricked her into doing such cruel action. Her care for him made her to follow the boy which led Akira right into his trap (Suggestion: Driven by care, she stepped right into his trap). She understood that not only he was he hiding his true intentions under his sweet lies, but the boy also lied about their friendship. She Akira felt guilty about what happened to the town that had to crumble because of his self-centered behavior.

"So how did I get here?" The girl asked herself.

To her right, Akira heard his hysterical laugh that was coming from the right side. The girl finally stood up and looked at him with her piercing red eyes.

My biggest suggestion, try using Grammarly. It can catch quite e lot of mistakes.

Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#3
It's much better this time as now I'm nitpicking to find things to complain about.  So keep in mind that a lot of the criticisms I am about to say are much more my opinion.  

Don't outright state opinions from the narrators point of view.  Calling the buildings "beautiful" is too direct.  Say why they were beautiful.  A lot of the wording is rather awkward.  Honestly, I wanna reword the whole thing, but at that point it may not even be yours anymore.  


Honestly, I think the problem is word clutter.  Too many sentences that can be combined and simplified into something more effective.  


Quote:Explosions rocked the city and intricately carved buildings erupted in flames.  Akira fell to her knees in the once dark alley now frozen in shock.  Tears ran down her pallid face now lit by the glow of the blaze.  Only one thought ran through her mind, "How did it turn out like this?" More explosions rang out. More death.  More destruction.  



I don't really understand the part that came after that.  So I'll stop there.  

Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#4

Retrograde Wrote: She fell on her knees, looking at flickering orange flames that were feasting on town's beautiful buildings. They were merciless, leaving only explosions behind that were triggered by a huge amount of powder kegs. People were screaming in terror, running away from that place as fast as possible. She could not run, the girl could not get her eyes off the town. Akira was frozen, confused about what just happened.

Hello! This is a very nice passage! You've mixed dialogue with action and observation. You also show how the boy's intentions create consequences Akira has to deal with. That's pretty much everything you need to start a story.

The problem, as has been pointed out, is in your delivery. You use too many modifiers (adjectives and adverbs, like FLICKERING, ORANGE, TOWN'S, BEAUTIFUL, MERCILESS, ONLY, BEHIND, THAT, HUGE, POWDER, AWAY, THAT, FAST, POSSIBLE, FROZEN, CONFUSED and JUST.

That is one out of every four words, meaning that if this were a 100,000 word story, 25,000 of the words would be modifiers. Using too many modifiers is called Purple Prose, and it wears on a reader pretty fast. Still, it is not your worst problem. 

Using purple prose for a short period of time is fine every once in a while, as it helps highlight important scenes. But what is never okay is writing in a Passive Voice. Do you know what Writing Passively means? A good way to notice it in your writing is to think, 'Can a person do the verb while sitting in a chair and not moving a muscle? Also think, 'Is the verb vague and undefined?' Finally, you must make the Subject Noun do the verb's action, and not the Object Noun. 

Let's parse! Your first sentence has SHE FELL as its Subject and Verb.  So that's good! The Subject is doing the Verb, and you can't fall without having to move.  It is ACTIVE, not PASSIVE. (However, a person falls TO their knees, and not ON them.) 

Your first sentence is a compound sentence, so next you say SHE was LOOKING. That is passive, as a person can look without moving a muscle. Plus the noun doing the action in this part of the sentence is the FLAMES, which are FLICKERING and FEASTING. In your sentence, you have FLAMES as the Object of her LOOKING, rather than the Subject of the FEASTING and FLICKERING. Plus, this is confusing -- are the FLAMES FLICKERING (with means they are barely burning) or are they FEASTING (which implies a raging inferno?) Let's go with a raging inferno, as that would be what could destroy a building. Also, let's get rid of the modifier BEAUTIFUL. So here now, is your first sentnence -- 

 She fell to her knees as orange flames feasted on the town's buildings. 

Okay! Next sentence! Here is another compound sentence, with the verbs in it being WERE, LEAVING and again, WERE. Can you see how vague and passive writing in that sort of voice is? They imply no action whatsoever! Also, the Object Noun for the second WERE is AMOUNT, which is also very vague. So let's fix that by making the Verbs WERE and TRIGGERING, and eliminating the second WERE, which is redundant -- 

 They were merciless, triggering the explosion of huge powder kegs. 

Again, with your next sentence, the Verb is WERE. That is super passive! As a good exercise in editing, every time you see that you've written a verb such as WERE or IS or ARE or WAS, think to yourself, 'Can I get rid of that verb, and replace it with an active, more descriptive one?' Also, saying AS FAST AS POSSIBLE is redundant. Is there a way to run away in terror AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE? No -- so saying AS FAST AS POSSIBLE is redundant. 

 People screamed in terror, running away. 

Next, you make the mistake of using a pronoun first (SHE), to describe a noun later (GIRL.) Correct sentence structure dictates that the noun comes before the pronoun. You also say TOWN again, which is redundant. Let's replace it with somethig more vivid, like CARNAGE or DESTRUCTION. Finally, the correct way of writing this idiom is TAKE HER EYES OFF, not GET HER EYES OFF. 

 The girl could not run, she could not take her eyes off the carnage.

Last sentence! Here, you again write in a passive voice, using WAS as your verb. Super passive! Write using Action Verbs! Eliminate the word WAS whenever possible! Other words to eliminate whenever possible are JUST and ONLY and VERY and REALLY.

Akira froze, confused about what had happened. 

I hope this has helped! Good luck with your story!  😃

Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#6

ArDeeBurger Wrote:
Retrograde Wrote: She fell on her knees, looking at flickering orange flames that were feasting on town's beautiful buildings. They were merciless, leaving only explosions behind that were triggered by a huge amount of powder kegs. People were screaming in terror, running away from that place as fast as possible. She could not run, the girl could not get her eyes off the town. Akira was frozen, confused about what just happened.

Hello! This is a very nice passage! You've mixed dialogue with action and observation. You also show how the boy's intentions create consequences Akira has to deal with. That's pretty much everything you need to start a story.

The problem, as has been pointed out, is in your delivery. You use too many modifiers (adjectives and adverbs, like FLICKERING, ORANGE, TOWN'S, BEAUTIFUL, MERCILESS, ONLY, BEHIND, THAT, HUGE, POWDER, AWAY, THAT, FAST, POSSIBLE, FROZEN, CONFUSED and JUST.

That is one out of every four words, meaning that if this were a 100,000 word story, 25,000 of the words would be modifiers. Using too many modifiers is called Purple Prose, and it wears on a reader pretty fast. Still, it is not your worst problem. 

Using purple prose for a short period of time is fine every once in a while, as it helps highlight important scenes. But what is never okay is writing in a Passive Voice. Do you know what Writing Passively means? A good way to notice it in your writing is to think, 'Can a person do the verb while sitting in a chair and not moving a muscle? Also think, 'Is the verb vague and undefined?' Finally, you must make the Subject Noun do the verb's action, and not the Object Noun. 

Let's parse! Your first sentence has SHE FELL as its Subject and Verb.  So that's good! The Subject is doing the Verb, and you can't fall without having to move.  It is ACTIVE, not PASSIVE. (However, a person falls TO their knees, and not ON them.) 

Your first sentence is a compound sentence, so next you say SHE was LOOKING. That is passive, as a person can look without moving a muscle. Plus the noun doing the action in this part of the sentence is the FLAMES, which are FLICKERING and FEASTING. In your sentence, you have FLAMES as the Object of her LOOKING, rather than the Subject of the FEASTING and FLICKERING. Plus, this is confusing -- are the FLAMES FLICKERING (with means they are barely burning) or are they FEASTING (which implies a raging inferno?) Let's go with a raging inferno, as that would be what could destroy a building. Also, let's get rid of the modifier BEAUTIFUL. So here now, is your first sentnence -- 

 She fell to her knees as orange flames feasted on the town's buildings. 

Okay! Next sentence! Here is another compound sentence, with the verbs in it being WERE, LEAVING and again, WERE. Can you see how vague and passive writing in that sort of voice is? They imply no action whatsoever! Also, the Object Noun for the second WERE is AMOUNT, which is also very vague. So let's fix that by making the Verbs WERE and TRIGGERING, and eliminating the second WERE, which is redundant -- 

 They were merciless, triggering the explosion of huge powder kegs. 

Again, with your next sentence, the Verb is WERE. That is super passive! As a good exercise in editing, every time you see that you've written a verb such as WERE or IS or ARE or WAS, think to yourself, 'Can I get rid of that verb, and replace it with an active, more descriptive one?' Also, saying AS FAST AS POSSIBLE is redundant. Is there a way to run away in terror AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE? No -- so saying AS FAST AS POSSIBLE is redundant. 

 People screamed in terror, running away. 

Next, you make the mistake of using a pronoun first (SHE), to describe a noun later (GIRL.) Correct sentence structure dictates that the noun comes before the pronoun. You also say TOWN again, which is redundant. Let's replace it with somethig more vivid, like CARNAGE or DESTRUCTION. Finally, the correct way of writing this idiom is TAKE HER EYES OFF, not GET HER EYES OFF. 

 The girl could not run, she could not take her eyes off the carnage.

Last sentence! Here, you again write in a passive voice, using WAS as your verb. Super passive! Write using Action Verbs! Eliminate the word WAS whenever possible! Other words to eliminate whenever possible are JUST and ONLY and VERY and REALLY.

Akira froze, confused about what had happened. 

I hope this has helped! Good luck with your story!  😃


Indeed, this has helped. I appreciate that you spent your time pointing my mistakes. Thank you!

Re: Is this hook good enough for first page? Attempt number 2

#7

Quote:She fell on her knees, looking at flickering orange flames that were feasting on town's beautiful buildings. They were merciless, leaving only explosions behind that were triggered by a huge amount of powder kegs. People were screaming in terror, running away from that place as fast as possible. She could not run, the girl could not get her eyes off the town. Akira was frozen, confused about what just happened.



How I would have done it:


Quote:Akira fell to her knees. Flickering orange flames feasted on buildings all over town. Crowds of people ran away screaming in terror from the explosions bursting forth. But she could not run. Her knees were firmly frozen to the ground below her, and her eyes to the town around her. 



Same advice as everyone else, but my attempt at pounding out more sensory detail into what is surely a horrific scene without changing the text too much.