To kick off this ultra satisfying week for me, I thought we'd resurrect my original opening line from the FastDraft days. You might need to rub Ben-Gay in the nostrils like those crime-scene detectives. This one is foul:
Even his own breath reeked of psychosis. Stale from exhaustion and hours-old
First, and most obvious perhaps, is the unintended proximity of my lead character's name to Adolf Hitler's mistress. I'm sure my subconscious filed Eva Braun's name during some AP History class in high school or while watching The History Channel. My intent was to imbibe my hero with a characternym: Braun=tough, strong. FAIL.
Second, and likely equally disturbing, was the suggestion that my character was not merely staring through a peephole, but humping the door. I guess intimate encounter resides firmly in the mind's gutter, at least in the minds of my beta readers. FAIL.
Third, and lesser known, I'd assumed everyone roaming the world knew Jamaican Blue Mountain was coffee. It could be alcohol or lizard piss used for medicinal properties. Specific is good but dangerous what-the-hell? territory. FAIL.
So there you have it. The not-so-glistening, dependent-clause happy, constipated hook at the story's inception.
Wednesday: Part 2: Secrets in the pages...