12.21.2006

HH Com 248 (244)

Following the loss of his girlfriend, Celine, in a Paris subway attack that also leaves him severely injured, Robert, the main character in my novel, "Title X" travels across Europe seeking her killer but ultimately finds peace within himself. His journey begins as a sojourn of escape from his grief but quickly devolves into a spiraling addiction as he comes to terms with his loss, his own injuries, and the startling truth about the killer’s identity. His addiction starts naively, becomes insidiously macabre, but eventually leads him to his final redemption.

The path starts as Robert returns to the scene of the attack. It follows his mourning perambulations across the Continent, through to his discovery of the killer and arrives at the revelation that he himself is to blame. Robert learns that the route to the truth is not found in one of Europe’s back alleys, but within his own conscience. Through a painting she leaves behind, Celine transcends her own mortality to guide Robert towards the astonishing truth that challenges his own beliefs about himself and the events leading
to the attack.


Robert, mourning Celine, journeys across Europe only to find he was to blame for her death.

That's not a novel, it's a French film. Zut alors.

You need some specifics here and a sense of urgency. Strike up a Gitane, pour some wine; start again.

6 comments:

Dave said...

There's a few contradictions in the way you describe the hero.

"Robert, the main character in my novel, "Title X" travels across Europe seeking her killer but ultimately finds peace within himself. His journey begins as a sojourn of escape from his grief but quickly devolves into a spiraling addiction"

He's both "seeking her killer" and "devolving into addiction" ...
and "seeking her killer" clashes badly with "utimately finding peace" ...

He should travel across Europe seeking the reasons for her death. His mental state goes from self pity to drug addiction, and finally, when he confronts his own conscience ...
"Through a painting she leaves behind, Celine transcends her own mortality to guide Robert towards the astonishing truth that challenges his own beliefs about himself and the events leading to the attack."

It's his mental journey that we have to care about and experience. So rewrite with that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Have you finished this manuscript? Because I'd want to know what he does after he finds out he's to blame. Obviously, he didn't plant the bomb, so there's someone out there walking around with their hands dirty. Is he going after them? If he did it by doing some violent act, then he becomes the antagonist, is there a protagonist that takes over at that point? A plot of this nature should have a resolution IMO, and leaving it at "he finds he's at fault" comes up a couple sentences short. It may be that you've left the critical part of your plot out of the hook. You'll have to show that when you query.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, call me weird, but I kinda like stories like this, a bit darker, more introspective, and less whiz bang.

Rei said...

Anon 2: But surely you can admit that the hook needs help if Miss Snark can capture its essence in a single line. Sure, you could add a few more lines to convey the detail that she left out, but it wouldn't take much.

I didn't get enough sense of character or plot in this hook to be able to tell whether I'd like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, commentors. Yes, its done, and I guess my reluctance to divulge too much of the story in such a public forum limited the effectiveness of the hook. I can promise it doesn't read like a french film! I have gotten a fairly positive response rate to queries thus far, but it can certainly be refined.

Thanks again to all.

Ski said...

"Strike up a Gitane!" Those things'll kill ya. It's like smok'in barbed wire - only not so smooth. I've quit years ago but I remember thinking rolled up tires would taste better.

Love & Kisses....Ski