HH Com 258 (255)

Doomed From The Start is a 78,000 word novel about Christine Davis, who can’t quite figure out if she’s suffering from one heck of a hangover after her big job promotion party, or if she’s really dead, as she’s escorted by angels to the “Get to know Heaven” orientation.

From her first baby step when her foot went through the floor, to her early demise due to a raspberry seed stuck in her teeth, Christine’s life has been doomed. Now, facing the pearly gates of Heaven at only 28, walking under angels flying in formation spelling out “Welcome”, she becomes more and more convinced she must be dreaming. Or she might be in Hell, as she finds herself face to face with her “life coach”, who happens to be Mrs. Schwartz, her nightmare inducing fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Schwartz hands Christine a “Life for Dummies” handbook and informs her she has a choice to make. Either follow her guidance and sit through an excruciating analysis of her life’s worst moments or end up a bug in the next life.

Albert Brooks crossed with Kafka.

This is such an over used plot that it's really hard to not say junk it and come up with something else.

What you have here is the backstory. The start of the story is meeting Mrs. Schwartz. And what's wrong with being a bug? You act like bugs aren't the dominant force on the planet. Building pyramids may be big and showy but can you drive people to distraction just by showing up at a picnic??


Kristin B said...

Bugs are the dominant force on the planet? Hmm...I thought it would be a toss-up between dogs and cats (no offense to KY).

Then again, I have a close friend who's certain that the squirrels are conspiring to take over the world, so...yeah.

As for the hook itself, a bit of unsolicited advice for the author--vary your sentence lengths a bit. Just a technical trick that helps keep readers awake. Not saying your hook is boring, or anything--just that the drone of several long sentences in a row kind of hurts it.

wavybrains said...

I think you need to give her something more to live for other than just "avoid being a bug." Is there a guy she just met at the party? An unfinished project? If she successfully avoids becoming a bug, what then? If she gets to live in heaven, she needs a reason to want to stay there--hunky angel, relative etc. (You can tell I write romance, but you get the point). Overused or not, I like the concept.

Yasamin said...

hey wasnt this a movie about a guy who goes to heaven?

December Quinn said...

I had a Mrs. Schwartz in third grade.

Man, did I hate her.

jamiehall said...

This sounds like it could be good if it is a silly novel. Is it humor? If so, this needs to be made clear in the hook.

Twill said...

Dudley Moore: Defending your Life

Virginia Miss said...

Sounds like a cute read. I like the title, too. Unlike Miss Snark, I totally get the avoid-being-a-bug stakes, but she's not being asked to do much to avoid that fate. Listen to a lecture? You need more, or at least you need to tell us more.

Anonymous said...

That was Albert Brooks, not Dudley Moore, twill, and the author clearly knows about the film because s/he mentions it in the hook.

I really wish I could understand the small minority here just waiting to point out any similarities in plot to any other book or movie, no matter how obscure. I keep waiting for "Oh, there's a female protagonist. Gone With the Wind already did that."

Some of you take common elements of legend and attribute them to certain, specific authors, the rest of you just seem to think some writers have the market cornered on a type of character. Most of these books that have gotten the "this is copied from X" treatment don't seem similar to me at all, or have common elements so common the comparison becomes pedantic and sour-grapesy.

dana p said...

From her first baby step when her foot went through the floor, to her early demise due to a raspberry seed stuck in her teeth, Christine’s life has been doomed.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, um, well... we're ALL doomed. So, why's Christine any different from the rest of us mortals? Maybe you meant that her life has been unhappy, luckless, cursed, confounded, pathetic, or... You fill in the blank, but "doomed" isn't the word you want here.