HH Com 235 (231)

Sonia Richardson thought that, to make a difference in the peace process, she’d have to go to the front lines. Her husband Brett thought peace could be achieved at home, with car cruises and sing-along oldies.

In ISLANDERS FIRST, Brett must restore DHRR, Dresden Island’s dying heritage radio station, to prominence, and find the owners of a large collection of Hebrew books and records. Sonia, who feels neglected, volunteers to serve with Project Shalom, a peace mission based in Jerusalem.

ISLANDERS FIRST, complete at 92,000 words, also touches on the hot topics of war in the Middle East, immigration, and multi-culturalism.



xiqay said...

There's some writing here, but what's the story?

I've been trying to keep a list of submissions by genre, and I hate entries like this one because I can't figure out where to log it.

That should be a clue, too.

r louis scott said...

I haven't commented in the Crapometer except to urge Miss Snark onward and applaud her efforts.

This one though, well, I can't help but think that the writer is very wrapped up in, and very close to, their story. So close that they take for granted their own understanding of it and fail to tell anyone else what is going on.

Step back, author, and take a deep breath or two and then try again.

Anonymous said...

Uh.... no offense, but does this even have a plot? Even if it does, car cruises, sing a longs, and a cultural heritage station? This sounds like a book you may want to self-publish and pass along to a few of your most intimate and forgiving friends.

jamiehall said...

The last paragraph is not part of a hook (though it should be part of a query letter proper). Too bad that you wasted some of your 250 words on that paragraph.

The first two paragraphs are confusing and all over the place. I can tell there is a story there, but you seem to be beating around the bush.

JPD said...

I empathise with the "WTF" you've just received, writer.

I think I GET your story. Brett is pragmatic, but tries to fix his world in impractical ways, such as by staging car-shows or old-time sing-alongs. (I'm being serious, not sarcastic.) Or by resurrecting a long-dead radio station, for example.

Sonia thinks he's on the wrong track, and prefers a more direct approach. She sees herself on the front-lines of the current conflict, and she takes action towards peace into her own hands.

I'm inferring a lot, but that's my take on the story...

JPD (all I got for Christmas was to be spanked at MS.com)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon,

My guess is that's exactly what will happen here. The author will either start a new novel or self pub this. It seems to have too little plot, too little action, and too few elements that would hold my interest for 92,000 words (sing-a-longs and reviving a hole-in-the-wall cultural heritage station would certainly not hold my interest).

Anonymous said...

Is she going to tackle the peace process in the Middle East? Wow, good luck with that one.

HawkOwl said...

Hmmmmm... I'd like to love this, but I don't think I do. I was hoping to read something really together about achieving peace, which is an interesting topic, but personally that's not the angle I'd choose for it. Also your execution doesn't seem clean so far. I hope you rock it, but it's not for me.

HawkOwl said...

Xiqay: mainstream / general / non-genre. Also, anyone who actually thinks "fiction novel" is a genre would count this as a "fiction novel." I think.

thraesja said...

I think you need to be up front about what kind of peace you are looking for. If it's for peace in Israel/Palestine put that up top. Is Brett honestly trying to get that peace by restoring a radio station and dealing with old books? Why does he think that will work? Or is he trying to find inner peace? Sonia volunteers to go to Jerusalem because she feels neglected? Or because she truly believes in a cause and needs to be on the front lines to help?

Unless someone is familiar with Illinois, you've made them guess where your setting is. I didn't know if Sonia and Brett were American, Canadian, British, or Australian until I googled the island. And I only narrowed it down to those based on the last name. Otherwise I'd have probably gone with German. At least put in a state name, unless your setting is famous world-wide. I assume you wouldn't need to be told that Toronto is in Canada, but I expect you'd want a bit of help with Lake Simcoe.

Step back from your story. Try to put yourself in the head of an unknowing reader. This is hard, but I'm sure you can manage.

Anonymous said...

In the interest of helping you fix this, here are some questions I have.

Why "must" Brett restore the radio station and find the owners of the books and records? What does Sonia volunteering for the peace mission bring about?

I see two characters and a vaguely marked disagreement, but I'm not sure what, *specifically*, they're disagreeing about, and I'm not sure what the *specific* problem is, nor what's at stake.

The difference between how they think peace should be achieved sounds interesting, and I must assume there's an interesting story to go with it, but I don't get any sense at all from it from this hook. Clarification and specifics would be good.

Good luck!

Rei said...

I kind of get what's going on here, so I can't give it a WTF. But this clearly isn't a hook.

Anonymous said...

As the writer of this trash, I simply want to thank MS for her insight. "WTF" really tells the writer a lot re what the writing needs to be worthy of the ten seconds it will take her to read it.

Anonymous said...

Thraesja, did you also Google search Lake Wobegon or Peyton Place to find out where exactly on the map they are?