This was a rocking contest in so many ways. Ms. Root invested a lot of time to give thoughtful feedback on each entry to the Are You Hooked? contest. All 115 of them.
Mine is here, if you’d like to see. It was a fresh revision, as I was inspired to rewrite my opening from another character’s point of view just a couple of weeks ago. The feedback I received was absolutely invaluable.
It is SO helpful to have fresh eyes look at your work, especially expert, professional agent eyes. I’ve now revised my new opening and am pleased with the changes.
Especially significant was the disconnect occurring with the first paragraph of my contest entry. Several readers mentioned that paragraph was less engaging because they didn’t care enough about the character yet to be moved by her husband’s death. This is why the fresh evaluation is so important. I have hundreds of test readers, but they already know and care about the characters, so they can’t have the same reaction a new reader would.
I’ve posted my revised page in my entry comments if you’re interested. And if you haven’t been by Miss Snark’s First Victim previously, you might want to spend some time poking around.
Links to all the contest entries are currently displayed on the left side of the page.