Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 Words #44

TITLE: Call Me Mara
GENRE: Contemporary Women's fiction

What was in this old box they’d carted from home to home over the years? The faded label said keepsakes, but Mara doubted she’d find anything she wanted to hang on to. After all, sixteen years of traipsing around the world had provided plenty more recent treasures.

Mara sat cross-legged

12 comments:

Amy Sue Nathan said...

Not hooked.

I see the potential for a hook in a secretive old box, but the language is too wordy for me.

Hint: Don't end submissions in the middle of a sentence just to get in four more words. End in a logical place even if that means at word forty-six. It looks unprofessional.

enewmeyer said...

not hooked. If you MC doesn't really care, why should we?

Huntress said...

Not hooked. This does create some interest but, at least for me, lukewarm at best. Several errors in grammar are jarring.

Jean V. Ryan said...

The idea is great, but the wording is awkward. Let me see the box and then wonder about it.

Jill Wheeler said...

I would keep reading, but I agree that you need to add a little more urgency.

rhea said...

I would rather see what's in the box than wonder about. But I would read to find out more.

TKAstle said...

Not really hooked. I didn't like starting with a question. As others have mentioned, I feel like there's a better way to set up this obviously important box.

I did like the, "Sixteen years of traipsing...," line.

jjdebenedictis said...

Sorry, person-I-know, but not hooked.

I would suggest playing up the tension between Mara's cynicism and her curiosity, and emphasizing her emotional turmoil. This is a quiet scene, so the driving force for it has to come from internal sources. Mara's thoughts are what have to hook us; give us some inner conflict.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I'd like more of a sense of Mara. The sixteen years gives me the first impression that she's almost that young. Then I read it again and think she's much older.

It's a quiet beginning that I almost like. I'd read a little more.

Claire said...

I was thrown from the story with "this old box." We aren't in the character's head yet, so it should be "the old box."

This doesn't seem like an opening--it has a middle feel to it.

Mystery Robin said...

I love the title and the allusion to the book of Ruth and would keep reading on the strength of the title alone. I don't think 50 words was enough to hook or unhook me in this case.

Bron said...

The danger of starting with a character doing something they're not really interested in is that your readers won't be interested either. Mara isn't all that excited about looking through the box, so I'm not either, even though I'm sure she'll find something otherwise you wouldn't have started your story with it.