So the premise of Hook Line & Sinker is simple, do the first 500-1000 words of my WIP convince you to read the rest of the story (or at least chapter).
Here are some helpful questions to think about at the end.
- Does the character have a personality you can fall into easily? Or at least one that you would like to learn more about?
- Is the world around them set up to compliment the character as they're introduced?
- Too much setting or not enough?
- Lastly, would you read more?
So here's the first 990 words of WIP
A solid decade sat between me and the last time I’d slept in. My daughter, Allyson, poked me in the back, yanking me from happy-go-lucky dream land into the real world. And last night was a prime example of the real world: nightmares at eleven, cups of water at two, and now who knew.
“Mommy?” she whispered, without actually lowering the volume of her voice.
The clock display blinked 6:15 at me. My muzzy mind took a moment to comprehend the numbers. The clock just couldn’t be right. 6:15 was only fifteen minutes before Jeff needed to leave for his Wall-Street-In-Albuquerque job. “Shit!” I said, suddenly coming fully awake. I slapped Jeff on the arm.
“Jeff, your alarm didn’t go off,” I said, flying out of the bed past Allyson.
“Lori, I told you I have to be on time today.”
I bit back my first response, and inserted my our-daughter-is-listening voice. “I thought you’d set your alarm,” I said.
Jeff scowled at me. The tension in his shoulders rivaled the shocks on a monster truck. “If you hadn’t woken me up so much last night.”
“Excuse me,” I said in that warning tone.
Jeff pursed his lips. “Well, you didn’t have to roll around so much.”
“You mean after taking care of our daughters, I should be more respectful of your sleep time?” I asked. He didn’t deign to answer, he just went to the bathroom and closed the door.
“Mommy?” Allison asked again.
“Katie had an accident,” she said.
My stomach tangled into a knot. Katie’s accidents were never pleasant. I braced myself and stepped into the girl’s room. The smell hit me first, unmistakably number two.
This is my life. This is why I flushed my career down the toilet, so I could clean up poop before I got dressed in the morning.
Without comment I began containment. I ushered Katie to the bath, and gathered up the dirty laundry. As I stuffed the fouled bedding into the washing machine, Jeff came in. He was straightening the tie on his immaculate suit. I had narrowly missed shit-smears and hadn’t brushed my hair yet. I wasn’t even wearing a bra yet. There should be a law that says you get to put on your bra before taking care of poop-splosions.
“What did you do with my keys?” he asked.
Clearly, I hid them from you so I could have more time with your glowing personality, I thought. No, Lori, be more charitable. It’s as hard on him as it is on you. Just because you get all the gross jobs doesn’t mean he isn’t tired from the girl’s antics last night.
“They’re in the fridge where the girls put them last night,” I said.
He opened the fridge and made the ah-ha noise of discovery. “Ah, alright, I’ll see you later honey.” Jeff took his keys and slipped out through the garage door without so much as a kiss, leaving me in my pajamas, shitty-shitty-bang-bang in the bath, a preschooler angling for a cake breakfast, and no chance of a shower before I have to leave for work at the labs.
And to think, this is the life I worked so hard to get my Ph.D. for…
I won’t lie, mornings and I haven’t gotten along since I was a freshman in college, but somehow—with the help of a strong cup of tea—I managed to get both kids to their separate daycares and me on the road to the labs (sans shower). There’s one nice thing about having a research job: the dress code. I’ve never worn makeup (do you think anything less than a full face shield could hide the bags under my eyes anyway?), and we can wear t-shirts on occasion. Well maybe the others can’t, but I’m still a post doc, so t-shirt and jeans with a pair of converse for me. Yeah, I’m thirty-five and I have yet to get a real job, behold the power of science.
I can’t listen to “my” music with the kids in the car, so I cranked it up while I tried to merge into the line of cars. The traffic formed up into four lines, and I waited for the congestion to lift. Something caught my eye, and without meaning to, I looked straight up just in time to see a bright, blue light smash into the front end of the car.
My world became noise and that flip-floppy feeling from a roller coaster. My brain caught up, and I twisted the steering wheel in my hands trying to regain control of the car. A flash of red caught my eye, and I looked up to see the line of traffic soar above me.
Oh crap, that’s below me. I am flying through the air. In a car.
But cars don’t fly.
Oh shit. I’m going to die.
I thought I was supposed to see something right before I died. Don’t people get to see their life flash before their eyes? Don’t I get some opportunity to make peace with the fact that I didn’t take any of those high powered research jobs and sank my career in favor of actually having children? Is this the extent of my chance to repent? Aren’t I supposed to feel that feeling of ‘it was all worth it for my children’ right now?
Whatever, I’m still pissed Jeff didn’t put his career on hold. It’s not like he put eight years into getting his degrees. He got his MBA at some sort of weekend conference as far as I can tell. He paid some girl to type up his thesis. I’m the one who worked my ass off, and for that I got to raise babies, get puked/pooped/peed on every day. That’s what I got. And when I tried to get back into my career, he wouldn’t even entertain moving locking me into my go no where post doc job.
So much for inner peace.