Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Reader's Gamble: A Test Run

Ah, the excitement of a new beginning. New jobs, first days of school, or moving into a new home. It's a fresh start. It's all about possibilities and anticipating what comes next. It's also the beginning of a journey we hope we will want to stay and enjoy for a considerable time to come. We might even say to ourselves, please don't let this be a mistake! Don't let me invest in big dreams only to find out later my classmates or co-workers will make my life miserable, or the new house will be a money pit.

It's a gamble. We don't know what the new beginning will hold and likely will get burned a time or two.

As readers, we take the gamble willingly with the beginning of every book we read. Hoping to live vicariously through interesting characters, we also say to ourselves, don't let this be a mistake! Of course, reading mistakes are a lot easier to get out of than other mistakes, but you still hope the bells and whistles in a beginning aren't deceptive.

Trying for that balance, here is my current beginning for my WIP:

I couldn’t say we hadn’t been warned. No, I couldn’t say there hadn’t been a sign with the words “Keep Out” written in big block letters bolted to a chain link fence. There had been. In fact, the warning posted by the New Zealand Park Authorities had been so obvious that there hadn’t been a chance of resisting temptation. Ben Riley was an adventurer on the trail of unknown treasure, and because I loved him, so was I.

Is this paragraph hook enough for a reader's gamble? I have no idea, but I'm curious for any impressions. From only this paragraph, what kind of story do you expect to come next? Really...tell me. LOL

What kind of story would your reader expect from your beginning?


  1. Yikes! Looks like your blog is getting revenge on me because MY blog eats up your comments! LOL

    So let me give it another try! I like the opening. I can tell we've got two adventurers here, although one is a little more reluctant (or less experienced?) than the other. I am expecting more of an action/adventure type story rather than a straight romance, since the narrator has already admitted loving this man. :)

    I definitely want to know what kind of treasure it is, since they're willing to break the rules. :)

  2. Sorry about the lost comment! Bad blog! Quit trying to get revenge. LOL

    I'm so glad you tried again. :) I'm shamelessly begging for feedback here. LOL Great! Your assessment (see how sneaky I was trying to be to get it, rather than just saying how do you like it? LOL) works for me. That's about what I was looking for - - just a hint of the characters' personalities and the adventure set up. I know it seems non-traditional to have her admit to loving him already, but it seemed like one of those things first person POV "told" me to do, if that makes sense. LOL This is a love story, but the loved-lost-loved again kind, with seemingly mismatched hero and heroine. This first chapter is the "happy" time but the heroine feels like she's out of her league to keep up with her adventurer. The second chapter starts three years later in third person in the hero's POV with no return to the heroine's POV for a long time. (The description is in the sidebar for River of Tears.) Thanks a bunch for the feedback! :)


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