Feeling Productive?

If you’re a writer anything like me, you probably have lots of story ideas floating around in the wrinkled old gray matter under your cap. I know I sure do. There’s a lot waiting to bloom.

As I mentioned last month, 2018 was a productive time for me. I’ve completed several chapters of three entirely different books. A couple of them are sequels to my current novels, and I’m pretty comfortable with where they’re going. I expect them to be done by summer.

But the entirely new one has me in something of a quandary.

I’ve always heard it said you have to hook your reader within the first three hundred words, or you’ll never get them to turn the page, let alone finish reading. I’ve repeated that mantra often.

Part of me believes that conventional wisdom to be true … not because “conventional wisdom” says so, but because I often decide on a book purchase myself after scanning the first couple of pages.

So, I must be ahead of the game. I’ve actually got several thousand words down on the new book. It’s just … none of them seem quite right as the start of the story. I’ve changed the beginning several times already.

So, I need some feedback, and I decided, as I’ve done before, to put the (current) beginning of it here:

* * * * *

Electricity came to the village of Harkäu in the year 1937. That doesn’t sound like much to the children of today, because they don’t realize what a blessing it was not to live by candlelight.

Once people got over the big, wooden poles stringing unsightly wire alongside all the roads, many of the old farmers, at least those few who could scrape together enough money, put an electric light bulb in a room or two, usually hanging it bare from the center of the ceiling.

Those lights, all by themselves, were a fabulous invention that changed our lives, but some in the village who could afford them also had an outlet installed and bought a radio to plug into it, and those radios brought the rest of the world into our homes.

My brother-in-law, the baker, ordered one for himself and another for his brother. In no time at all, the neighbors would gather in the evenings at one of those radios. It made us all feel so very worldly to listen to those broadcasts.

A lot of the local broadcasts were performances by some of Germany’s top orchestras and opera singers, which were marvelous, but the messages were also heavily laced with National Socialist German Workers’ Party ideals.

I wasn’t sure I agreed with all the rhetoric contained in the broadcasts we were allowed to hear, but I have to admit Hitler’s fiery speeches were raising German spirits, which had been down since the end of the World War.

Germany’s economic environment, still plagued with enormous war-related reparations, supported the rise of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party Chancellor.

He took advantage of the brewing economic discontent to find himself at the forefront of a political ideology. National pride, patriotism, Aryan pride, and things like that.

“I don’t think some of that is true,” I said one night after listening to one of his more vitriolic speeches.

“Auch der lieber!” my brother-in-law’s neighbor sneered when he heard me, “Oh, my God! What would a woman know about things like that?” If I had expected to receive any support, the idea quickly vanished as I surveyed the open stares of others in the room.

© Ron Herron

* * * * *

What Do You Think?
Is this something likely to grab your interest and make you want to know what happens next?

Leave a comment.

Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. Decades ago, long before the digital age, I once sold encyclopedias door-to-door. What can you possibly say to me I haven’t already heard?

* * * * *

My novel “Blood Lake”, a Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner and a ForeWord Indie Finalist, was also named a 2018 Book-of-the-Year Finalist by TopShelf Magazine. At the end of December I learned they named it Number One in the horror category!

* * * * *

Gentle Readers, my books have all garnered some terrific reviews. You can see all of them by using the Amazon link below. Check them out. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now;


You’re invited to visit my author’s website, BROKEN GLASS to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” on The Authors Show. You can also like my Book of Face page, find me on Goodreads, or follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Feeling Productive?”

  1. Darnell Cureton Says:

    I like it. My only change would be the first sentence to something like this: “Not living by candlelight in the village of Harkau was a blessing in 1937”. My audience would already know that young people today would not appreciate that one bulb in the middle of the ceiling, so Id play to those who do remember the one light blessing. – Well done. You’re on the right track.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Thanks, Darnell. I see I still have some clarification to do. Item is actually a flashback an older woman is having about her life. Obviously, I need to make that connection sooner. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback.


  2. Ron Herron Says:

    I guess I took it for granted everyone would know Harkau is in Hungary. This is a actually a flashback for the character, who is much older in this narrative, reflecting on her life. It obviously isn’t all that apparent. Thanks for the comments. It helps me focus…and good luck with your own writing!


  3. trinitygrau Says:

    I’m a budding writer and by no means an expert myself, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but I have a couple of points I want to address: 1. The opening was very cut and dry, with little to no narrative voice in it, so I actually thought I was going to be reading a synopsis of the book. I could be totally wrong if it is a synopsis in which case, my bad. 2. I was confused about the placing of the book (thought it was Japan at first) until the last few paragraphs. 3. I like the character who is listening, but it seems a very abrupt introduction to her. I don’t get who she is, where she’s coming from or what’s happening. Not a bad thing if you’re trying to hook the reader in, but by this point my mind was on lightbulbs, so I was kind of thrown for a loop. 4. I really do like the main character and the whole listening to the radio bit. THAT is the story I want to hear about. Does she do something about it? Does she agree a little or not at all? And was she affected by the economic depression after WWI? How old is she? Seriously, I really like her – I’ve got invested interest now. I (just my opinion) think she is a thread to puruse.

    Liked by 1 person

Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: