Below are the first three hundred and fifty(one) words of my novel. What in my mind is the hook of the novel – what will hopefully keep them wanting to read more.

What I’m looking for is constructive criticism. What works? What doesn’t? What draws you in? What makes you not care? And remember be constructive!

For weeks now I had been dreaming about the tree. It was the largest tree I had ever seen. In my dream I knew, in that way you know things in the dreaming world, that fifty grown men could stretch out their arms as if to hug the tree and barely be able to make it around. The branches swooped out and then up, cupping the sky and forming a deep green bowl. The tree was perfectly symmetrical except for one solitary branch that stuck out from below the bowl. This singular branch was lower than all the rest and it drew my attention like a moth to flame. It was high enough that no one could use it to climb the tree but was low enough to throw a rope around. In fact in my dream a frayed noose was hanging from this branch.   

I could feel the pain, the sadness and the guilt of the person who had thrown the noose over the branch. I could feel the majesty of this great tree and in the dream I knew there was something special about this beautiful but tragic tree. The noose was agonizingly familiar and yet I could not have said why. Why would anyone think a frayed piece of rope was familiar in the first place? But I felt somehow that I was connected to this rope and the death it had caused.   

It wasn’t a very complicated dream; just the tree and the feelings that it invoked. Yet every night for almost an entire month I dreamt of the tree. Frustrated with the unusual dream and its regular occurrence I told my best friend about it. I was even more confused when Lo, a girl I had known my entire life to be logical and not give to flights of fancy, told me that she too had been dreaming of the tree. The two dreams were exactly the same. Identical right down to the feel of the gentle warm breeze ruffling the emerald leaves and making the noose swing as it held someone tight in its grip.

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