Author Topic: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?  (Read 4236 times)

Offline 510bhan

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And isn't that what editing and revising is all about ;) Getting the story down in your own voice with a flow and description that matches your style and genre.

Offline Chiron

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T.M,

I'd say your editing has made this story more readable. About the primary issue of whether this has a hook or not - I'd have to agree with what some of the other senior members have already pointed out. I have the same problems as you do, I try to create an ambiance first then pop the characters out, and in the process the story becomes filled with some really unnecessary stuff.

I'd like to read further about how the story progresses. I agree that most of the readers now have a very short phase of time to read, almost no patience, and they want to jump right in the middle of things from the very beginning. So cut off all the fillers, and push them right in  ;D

I have also noticed that some of the dialogues sound a little more woody. You can try and make them a little different to add a bit more punch.

JMO  :D :D :D

Offline T.M. Penrose

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2011, 04:00:13 PM »
Hi Butterfly

For being so young you're certainly on the right track. Your advice has been very helpful to me, along with everyone else on this board. I know I tend to be very descriptive, I always have, that's my flaw I can't seem to overcome. I probally break every rule in writing, and you're right the 'ng' or 'ed' is confusing. I too have been told always write in past tense, but then present before an action, or speech tag. Junel of course I forgive you. Your insight, comments and suggestions are very helpful to me, maybe you should rewrite my beginning and find my hook. ;D ;D ;D Thanks. I just rewrote the beginning again, and I hope I'm closer to finding my hook. :( :(

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2011, 09:16:57 PM »
A hook, simply I think is, intrigue. Something that sparks the readers interest.
Find something that will make a reader stop and think, what's going on here?
You gotta present some kind of question, or danger, something like that.
The beginning of my sci fi novel is the MC, Ela crawling through smoke. Shirt stretched up over her mouth and nose, Ela crawled through the smoke.

I did have the alarm going off and water spurting from sprinklers as the opener, but I put Ela's intro sentence first instead. Now, although my hook probably isn't the greatest, it still sparks intrigue in a reader's mind. They stop and think, she's in danger, I better keep reading to see what happens.

Again, you've re-posted your opening. It seems the same to me though, just worded different.
A few things I noticed is, although the ambiance you set with the beginning paragraph is nice, it still doesn't have a hook that I can spot, nor does it give a hint as to what genre this is, or your main character. In the first paragraph at least we should be introduced to the MC, feel a connection. You open it like a movie would open, I picture the camera panning down from the sky, looking upon this giant magnificent tree and flowers etc. Then Soavi comes into the picture. I used to write like how I saw it in my head, like a movie. But that never worked, not for me at least. That's what screenplays are for.

You can still make it obvious that the tree is a special thing without opening with it. Open with Soavi, conflict and have her climb the tree or something. Then maybe personify it a bit through her point of view, show how special Soavi thinks it is by how she thinks of it. Instead of just telling us, she think's its great. Opening with conflict gets people's attention and once you have that, then introduce the setting and create an atmosphere around the characters. Anyway, that's just my opinion. I think I've just repeated what I may have said in previous posts.  :D But I hope it helps, nonetheless.   ;D

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2011, 09:54:30 PM »
Hey T.M., I'm back.
I didn't feel I explained myself properly so I thought I'd re-write your opening just to show you by example what I mean by everything I said in the previous post. I re-wrote your entire opening in three paragraphs, I just found a lot of unnecessary conflict that I could set up in less words. Here it is.

Soavi stared into the sunlight seeping through the leaves, her eyes squinted. “Soavi,” her sister called. She flipped her hair over her shoulder, and covered her ears. “Soavi.”
“What?” she growled, turned and stared down at Sozie.
“Why don’t you let me play with you?”

Soavi rolled her eyes. “Why, why does she do this to me?” she asked the tree. Wind whistled through the branches, Soavi wished she was still young enough to imagine the replies. Only a whistle, she no longer heard a soft voice whispering to her. Soavi huffed, “I’m fifteen. Got to stop acting like a child, trees can’t talk.”
“Soavi.”
“What did I say, squirt? Get lost.” Sozie’s eyes welled and Soavi rolled her eyes. “Those crocodile tears won’t work, Sozie.”

“You're mean,” Sozie blubbered.
“Soavi,” Sammy called.
She jumped down from the tree and nudged Sozie, “Quit it.” She grabbed Sozie’s hand and went to find Sammy before he found them.


It's not great, but it works ok as an example.  :D
Now I'll explain my little re-write. I opened immediately with Soavi, tried to capture some of the peaceful ambiance you had going, but in only a few words. Because, the conflict needed to come early, to create some intrigue. I also think, even though its good you had Soavi telling, instead of you telling, it was kind of obvious you wanted her to tell all that info she did, about the tree, plus it was a little confusing. I shortened it, made it less obvious you wanted her to tell the reader about how she felt about the tree, and in less words.

I also omitted the whole long drawl of Soavi being mean to Sozie. Just because, I didn't feel it needed to go on that long, once you set up the conflict you were done, the rest was just dragging on. Also, I thought that part she said about their father, was kind of cruel. That's just my opinion. I guess Soavi get's really annoyed by Sozie, but she doesn't hate her guts does she? Maybe you can mention something that hurtful later in the story.
I kind of just assume that in the beginning, Soavi and Sozie don't get along, then by the end, they understand each other, and appreciate each other. Just my initial thought.  :D And, I didn't know where exactly they were. Thought they were at home, the tree was in their front or back yard, but then I thought maybe they were in a park or something, because it was time to go home. So I just had them go find Sammy, cos I wasn't sure.

Anyway, I hope this helps you understand what I said previously. I can be confusing sometimes, so I wanted to show you by example. Example's are best I think, instead of someone saying, do this, do that. It's easier said than done. So I hope this helps, anyway T.M.
And, by the way, you don't need to keep re-writing it day after day. Just consider the hook, the way you want to introduce your characters, how you could set the atmosphere in the least amount of words possible, and have the conflict between the two girls. I suggest you be descriptive to set the ambiance, but try and limit it to only a sentence or two, so you don't over do it, seem that's an issue you have.
I'm gunna stop rambling now,  :D. That's my issue. Hope this is helpful. Good luck figuring out your hook.  ;D

Offline T.M. Penrose

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2011, 02:14:19 PM »
Hello Butterfly,

First thank you for all the time you have Put in helping me, I really appreciate it.  ;D ;D I understand what you're saying about cutting out all  of the clutter of too many words. I'm just use to writing descriptively, I always have, so changing is difficult for me to do. I think that's why I'm having so much trouble coming up with my hook. Because throughout the entire book, I have described everything so that the reader can get into the ambiance of the story. Instead of the story getting into the ambiance, I have a lot of editing to do. :( :( :(

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2011, 08:05:45 PM »
I think, once you initially set the ambiance around the tree, like a beautiful magnificent tree that is special to Soavi, the reader will remember through all the action and dialogue. You don't need to keep interrupting the flow with narration just to keep the ambiance going. The ambiance you create continues unless you change it. Like, if its a sunny day in the beginning, your characters then do their things, the reader will assume its still sunny unless you tell them its storming.

Changing is hard, though you don't need to change so much, just know what's necessary and what's not. I still have a lot of unnecessary stuff in my writing. I just started writing chapter 10 of my sci-fi and I was annoyed by the whole opening scene, so I went to watch some TV. Came back and realized I needed to scrap most of the beginning scene, because I was putting too much emphasis on what's going on around Ela, and then when the actual important thing happens, it kinda seems insignificant.

You just need to remember what's important I think. Is it the setting and the ambiance that is important, or is it the characters and their interactions within that ambiance and setting?
Anyway, I think you just need to take some time out of re-writing so you can revise the theme of the story, and know what's important. Once you know the most important things in the story, you'll know how to begin and what to write and what to exclude.
Still, I include a bunch of unnecessary crap at first, until I go back and cut it. It's just a habit. Also, don't get attached to every word. You need to be brutal and think of every word like a sneaky little devil that wants to mess up your scenes. Then you go through and kick those little devil's out and your scene gets better and better.
Anyway, I freakin' ramble so much. So, so sorry about that, T.M.
Once again I hope this is helpful and I ain't just annoying.  :D ;D

Offline jvk1120

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2011, 11:43:05 PM »
TM, as others have said, get to the heart of the matter more quickly. And, give readers more than the simple fight between siblings...what's really going on, and why should readers be interested?

Not sure if you entered the flash contest, if not you should join the next one. It forces you to cut,cut.cut.

You can also take a part of your story here, and give yourself a target...take the first 1000 words, and make it 250 words.  Sit on it a few days, then add back any parts cut that you think belong back in the story.

Offline T.M. Penrose

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2011, 03:41:35 PM »
Hey Butterfly, you could never be annoying, I appreciate your help. And you're right I need to step back for a while before editing more of the story, give my mind a rest, before I go crazy. So I'll start another book I've been thinking about doing for a while now. It's a thriller revolving around a nurse who works in a convalescent hosp, that's haunted. I'll post the beginning for comments. jvk1120 thanks for your suggestions, although it sounds like murder I'll give it a try. ;D ;D ;D

Offline Butterfly21

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Re: Abellio's Heart revised x5, Does it read better? Is a hook there?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2011, 07:30:20 PM »
Sounds interesting. I'll keep a look out for that. I love anything haunted.  ;D