Reply To: Student: Vicki Briner Homework Thread

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Brenda Nelson-Davis

Hey Vicki,

I enjoyed your revised version. You’ve got some intriguing action going on, and Arthur’s an interesting guy. I would follow his story, but based on Alicia Rasley’s advice, I have a suggestion for you. What if you started the scene at–

Drip. Drip. Drip.

The leaky faucet in the airport’s break room kitchenette was driving him crazy. Agent Arthur Erickson rubbed his forehead and checked his watch. Dammit. Only two minutes since he last looked.

He stopped mid-stride and sucked in a breath, regretting that third cup of coffee. He needed to relax. The mission depended on it.

Two weeks ago, the department authorized the operation. Two weeks of long days and sleepless nights. Intelligence work only, they said.

Seemed easy enough. At the time.

Sweat beaded on his brow.

That was the thing about undercover work. It required composure. Awareness. Credibility.

He could do this. He was good at pretending. (or some better worded hint you come up with)

Passing himself off as a charter pilot shouldn’t be difficult. Nothing beat six years in the cockpit of an F-16 to make a guy comfortable at the control wheel of a plane. “

You’re an awesome writer and your start is truly interesting just as Alicia’s examples were, but maybe if you delay Arthur’s backstory, you’ll inspire readers to read on and turn pages to find it.

I hate throwing out good words, and believe me your words are, but I want to improve, and I know you do too. Sometimes when I get some new craft ideas, I have my reading friends read the before version and the new craft version and ask them which they liked better. I guess that’s what I’d recommend you try.



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