Hh Com 333

It’s one thing to discover that an ancient legend is true – it’s a whole other thing when the living proof is you.

Fourteen-year-old orphan Evie Cochrane is packed off from her home in Australia to Scotland to live with an aunt she has never met. It’s tough to fit in when you’re the new girl in town – especially when ‘town’ is a remote island where they’ve barely heard of radical modern concepts like cars, TVs and shopping centers. It’s even tougher when your own aunt is keeping
secrets from you. Who was Dora, the child lost to the sea? Why is Evie forbidden to talk to anyone or go to the beach alone? What is Aunt Evangeline hiding?

Evie is horrified when she stumbles on the truth. She is a selkie – one of Scotland’s half human and half seal folk. Life as a freak of nature doesn’t appeal, but she has no control over her nightly transformations. Repelled by her own nature and disdained by the islanders, her alienation is complete. (splat) Then an outsider threatens to destroy the selkies and if she wants to survive, Evie must embrace her true identity.

Sealsong is a young adult contemporary fantasy of 70,000 words.

You had me signed .ahem..sealed, delivered right up until splat. Who is the outsider? Why is he threatening to destory them? do they smell bad? pitch woo on his front porch? steal his lobster pots?

Specifics. specifics.

You were really going strong up till then. Regroup. Revise.


Anonymous said...

You also ought to know that there are LOTS of young adult selkie fantasy novels out there. Check out fiction by Franny Billingsley and Laura Williams McCaffrey, just to start with.

December Quinn said...

I adore this one, I have for ages, why isn't it sold so I can read it?!?!?

A Paperback Writer said...

I like the selkie idea, though. But maybe I haven't read enough of the others.

Pisica said...

especially when ‘town’ is a remote island where they’ve barely heard of radical modern concepts like cars, TVs and shopping centers.

This sounds patronising, especially in a book you're labelling as 'contemporary'. The internet has changed island life dramatically, and by now every part of Scotland should have access. If people can see streaming video of Live8, they will not be ignorant of shopping malls, and there are indeed cars on the islands (admittedly I don't know much about the smaller, most remote ones).

Even if you shift into a slightly historical past to avoid this, I don't see how this section supports your hook. It's vague. I'd prefer to see a bit more about the protagonist's reaction to her new life - what specifically is making her life awkward? Her accent? Her clothing? The koala hanging from her neck? If she's an outsider from the first, it could set up the 'and she's REALLY different from everyone else' slammer.

cm allison said...

somthing I stumbled over is: she didn't know she was a selkie until 14? Then she suddenly started changing? Why? Because now she's in Scotland?
(Does her aunt steal her selkie fur and keep her human 24 hours a day?)

tattieheid said...

I live in Scotland and you do not describe my country. Also if she was a "selkie" she would not be "distained by the islanders".

I like "selkie" tales but your query does not atttract me. sorry.

Marva said...

I recall this plotline from the Crapometer blog (I think). I kind of liked the premise, if the author can pull it off without being maudlin about seals.

kate said...

This smacks of a children's movie I saw many years ago that took place in Ireland (I believe it was called THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH or something). Complete with secret missing child, half-selkie relatives, uprooting from "modern" to "rustic," etc.

McKoala said...

Thank you, Miss Snark. Sorry about the splat, glad it worked until then - I'll sort it out.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. She didn't transform where she used to live...but now she does, because she's in Scotland...but her relative doesn't want her to and makes her stay away from the beach...so why did the relative support the move to Scotland in the first place? Why not send her to boarding school, move with her to someplace else, meanly refuse to take her in (for her own good to avoid selkiness). Or *does* the relative think the selkiness is okay? And if so, why forbidding the beach? Anyway, perhaps you're revised hook could help me over that confusion :-)

Virginia Miss said...

Why mention Dora in the hook? That character isn't mentioned again so it does you no favors.

You might want to start out the same way, then change in the middle of the second paragraph (after the shopping centers) to "It's even tougher when you discover you're a selkie.."

Then you can get into the antagonist and conflict.

Good luck.