12.20.2006

HH Com 234 (230)

When eleven-year-old Mindy Smith wakes up on the first day of summer vacation, she never imagines her day is going to go on and on until she's found the answers to about a million questions: Why doesn't Mrs. Bradley answer her door? Why did Sammy blame his school graffiti on her? How can she convince her step-dad she's innocent?

(your hook starts here)
With a missing retired schoolteacher on her mind, a deputy sheriff on her tail, and a new "friend" on her case; it's a long, sometimes frightening, and totally frustrating day. The questions only multiply: Why are Mrs. Bradley's cracked pitcher and washbowl in the window of the antique shop downtown? What is Mrs. Bradley's marble-topped dresser doing in a warehouse full of old furniture? Where are the ancient wicker chairs and table that belong on Mrs. Bradley's back porch?

Then, just as Mindy is about to give up, she finds Mrs. Bradley and uncovers what could be a really dead end. Now Mindy faces one last question: How is she ever going to save Mrs. Bradley, Sammy, and herself?

Why does Mindy care? What's the problem for HER?

6 comments:

jamiehall said...

Too many questions, and no real tension. You might be afraid of giving away the ending in a hook, but here, you're just not telling us what's actually happening.
For an equivalent, imagine a hook for Harry Potter that doesn't mention he is a wizard. It would be like: "There's this boy, and nobody likes him, and weird things keep happening to him, and then he starts finding out what is behind all these mysterious events."
The central problem isn't really described, you are only circling around it. You certainly don't want an agent to think that there isn't a central problem.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Bradley is redecorating..?

HawkOwl said...

I only counted seven questions. I hope the remaining 999,993 are more compelling.

Wabi Sabi said...

Author, did you know Mindy Smith is a country singer? (I tell you that because in my early drafts I had a villian called James Cameron when the film 'Titanic' was around and several readers said 'you CANNOT call him James Cameron'). Just thought it's worth a mention.

Hypergraphia said...

I'm under the impression you have the bulk to this story. you've got a great idea and I didn't "dislike" the hook. I'm convinced I'm not really good on judging hooks anyway, but for a YA book - this is one I would read.

Anonymous said...

author -- Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Back to work!