12.20.2006

HH Com 221 (217)

"David didn't mean to do anything wrong! He just found the old metal armband in a box of junk and thought it looked cool... He strapped it over his wrist, and all hell broke loose."

Here's where your hook starts:
David Judd never wanted to be friends with a bunch of ghosts and goblins, but ever since he accidentally opened a portal to another dimension, he's been the most unpopular kid at Prairie Middle School. His "Dark Planer" pals – led by the charismatic poltergeist, Jallywag – keep getting David into twisted, magical mischief. But when the cheery new girl, Jillian Nichols, offers David an unlikely friendship, he is inspired to change his fate. David ends up grounded, suspended from school, the target of international bounty hunters, and unintentionally flooding East Deerfield with hundreds of otherworldly party-crashers. Fortunately, David is used to a little adversity. Once David confronts his fears, the horde of Dark Planers, and the nightmarish vortex, East Deerfield is back to normal... or as normal as an inter-dimensional portal can be!
and here's where it ends

THE BOY WHO RUINED EVERYTHING is a 40,000-word, middle-grade novel about the awkward tween years, peer pressure, and family values in America's haunted heartland.


This is energetic writing but it's not saying much. He hangs out with a bad crowd till a woman shows him the error of his ways. That's a yawn in any dimension.

What's going to happen if he doesn't confront his fears? What's the conflict? Demons arriving in middle school is an event, not a plot.

12 comments:

Dave said...

I hope you have teen angst. All those teen books and shows have teen angst. In fact, Teen Angst sells among teens.

JPD said...

I love the title. JPD

Writerious said...

An ancient armband that makes magical things happen?

Wasn't that "The Mummy Returns"?

A Paperback Writer said...

Demons in a middle school..... I call them eight-graders.
Seriously though, there's hope for this. Wow. Lots of possibilities with demons loose in a school. Have fun writing about them. :)

jamiehall said...

International bounty hunters? I'd like to know why some poltergeist-type activity in a school would attract them. Did you mean interdimensional bounty hunters? Even more interesting, but I'd still like to know the plot that's attached to them.

Anonymous said...

Author says:

Thanks! Yes, I should have ditched the quote and kept the line about the armband using his life energy to fuel the portal (can't close unless he's dead) ;-) !! Oodles of teen angst, dark clothes, moody tweens, and no mummies.

I plan to take the loads that I've learned here in Snarkland to the next round of queries. Thanks to everyone here -- it's more than a beating, it's an education!

Inkwolf said...

This one sounded pretty readable to me. :) I'm assuming there's more to the plot than what's said in the hook, though...

Anonymous said...

I think author means "planar".

planar

adjective
involving two dimensions

Wikipedia suggests:
"Something is called planar if it is made up of flat planes, or pertaining to planes."

Madeline F said...

"Fortunately, David is used to a little adversity" is a sentence that begs for an earlier sentence describing how David's life is problematic even before the demons. With a setup, it'd be an amusing worthwhile sentence.

HawkOwl said...

The paperback writer cracked me up. The hook, not so much. Competent writing, done concept. Good luck with it.

Saundra Mitchell said...

Miss Snark's critiques of the hook itself aside, I would so want to read this. I have buttons, and this pushes every one.

Divine Bird said...

Wahoo! Author, dear, the Snarking wasn't so bad as you thought it would be! :D I also prove that my idea of a hook is way off, considering what she suggested you keep and not keep. XD

Geez, this is a great exercise. For serious.