12.21.2006

HH Com 267 (264)

Isolated Objects (72k words, literary fiction) begins as twenty-six year old archaeologist Wendell abandons her best friend and lover Tristan in search of freedom, open skies, and the answer to a question she should have abandoned years before. (the question is who's buried in Grant's Tomb, right?)

Her road trip ends in Texas, where she tangles with a sultry-voiced,(sultry is used almost exclusively to describe women--are we back to lesbian love bunnies?) married art dealer, skids into relationship angst, and becomes obsessed with armadillos. Tristan, obsessed with Carl Gustav Jung, alchemy, and convincing Wendell to marry him. follows her to Texas, lures her to the hoodoos of New Mexico, loses her to a Special Ops soldier, and does the unspeakable: calls her father.

Scott works for the government. His secret trips and one-night stands have carried him in and out of Wendell's life since her mother died. Broken-hearted, nursing an old grudge against his sister-in-law, and edging toward a mid-life crisis, Scott is ripe for change. When Tristan calls to say Wendell took off with a man on a motorcycle, Scott flies to New Mexico to set things right.

Wendell's disappearance triggers a string of synchronicities that reveal how love, grief, and the mysteries of connection not only provide the answer to her question, but transform dark secrets into love and light.

this is a string of events with no over arching plot to hold them together. And anytime I see "transform dark secrets into love and light" I kill a Tribble (and LAUGH!!) so let that be on your conscience the next time you want to write that.

No stakes, no antagonist, questionable lesbian love interests... I think this means you should start over.

8 comments:

angie said...

Oh, no!!! Not a Tribble! A Tribble is a terrible thing to waste...

I got a bit lost in the tangle here, but did smile at "does the unspeakable: calls her father."

cm allison said...

I also got lost, incredible tangle. Try staying with MC and one or two actions. I'd like to see a "clearer" blurb, might draw me in.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually having a hard time figuring out who the protaginist is. Is it Wendell or Scott, or are they on a path to getting together at the end in which case it's a love story about two people that are unlikely to get together after Wendell runs off with the biker. If the biker is bad for her, then the hook should include Scott trying to save her from him, or her not seeing the bad in him, if the biker is good for her, then he needs to be included in the love triangle.

John Anthony Sperling said...

This is one of a few that I've read where I was completely confused as to which character was which gender. I think it's important to be extra-clear when you use names like Wendell and Tristan instead of Dave and Susie. I realize that if I re-read it carefully, I could probably figure it out, but I'm not so inclined...just my two cents.

xiqay said...

Back to the dictionary to review "hoodoo." In a previous hook, used to mean object thought to bring bad luck. Here used to mean sandstone columns of rock.

Live and learn.

jamiehall said...

All of the characters in this tangle seem like mirror images of each other. They are all confused, all experiencing (or about to experience) some kind of emotional turmoil, and there are a lot of confusing romantic situations going on. Furthermore, it is hard to follow what is actually going on.

billie said...

Thanks for the comments - I am already working on untangling the snarls. :)

And clearing up who's who, etc.

This has been incredibly helpful - thanks again..

billie

Twill said...

"Tristan, obsessed with Carl Gustav Jung, alchemy, and convincing Wendell to marry him. follows her to Texas,"

He wants Wendell to marry Carl Gustav Jung? The horror!

I think there's a story in there somewhere, but it's giving me a headache...