HH Com 375

September Adams is an up and coming lawyer, a black belt, a failed murderer, and a two-timing slut. That is, at least, what her mother-in-law thinks. As for September's abusive husband, he doesn't have much to say at all in the catatonic state she put him in. That's where the failed murder came in. Apparently the cliff wasn't high enough.

A kind, gentle police officer has taught her to love in a way she never has. In his arms, she felt safe. For a second, she could almost believe everything would work out. But by some strange, cruel twist, fate gives Terrance, her husband, a second chance at life. He isn't going to use it working for charity.

He is quickly consumed by an obsession with the one woman he could never break. Pursued by him, September's life hurtles on. A young girl with haunting eyes and a broken nose needs her. For this girl, September will have to confront her own monsters before she confronts one in court. One by one, those dearest to her are picked off, stripping her bare. Soon, all she is left with is her lover who adores her more than anything and her husband who wants her— dead.

This is the weirdest assortment of intersting and bad writing I've seen in a while.

this is interesting: As for September's abusive husband, he doesn't have much to say at all in the catatonic state she put him in. That's where the failed murder came in. Apparently the cliff wasn't high enough.

this is crap: A kind, gentle police officer has taught her to love in a way she never has.
as is this: September's life hurtles on.
and this: by some strange, cruel twist, fate

Speicifics will help. Pruning out all the cliches will help.

You've got the basics of a stalker story here so you're going to need some new elements to rescue this from "seen too much of this already".

This has promise but it's not close to ready.


Bullet said...

Oh thank Dog and Miss Snark, I have promise. Thank you for giving me just a tiny speck of hope. Having read 374 other hooks, I now agree most of that was crap. With a some major reworking, maybe I can prove my book isn't crap.

Crystal Charee said...

Wow. That first paragraph was intense. I love the humor of starting out with how her mother-in-law describes her, and I LOVE the idea of putting an abusive husband in a catatonic state--heheh...*ahem* Then it's a stalker/romance and it gets boring.

I don't think he should be allowed to pick off all the people she loves. She should be there to thwart him each time. Maybe she wins one and loses one, but have her fight. Grr! She needs to terrorize him and put him back into a cata-freakin-tonic state...

That way it wouldn't be like every other story we've ever read on the subject. And since it's fiction, feel free to kick his ass...'Cause, y'know, in reality I'm far more forgiving than this.

Zany Mom said...

I like stalker stories and evil MILs (got them in my own novel, LOL). I'd read this. And I have the same problems with my hook.

Good Luck!

Angus Weeks said...

There's an energy and a cynicism here that is interesting. And then much overstating and cliche, to detract from that.

It strikes me you were maybe referring to the styles of others while wading in the deep end of newbie hook writing. Just stick to your own voice, because it's stronger than the cliches. Good luck.

Bill Peschel said...

I suppose we're not certain who this woman is. She has a black belt and is confident, able to push her husband off a cliff, so why didn't she just divorce him? Depending on how many years she stayed with him, why did she? There seems to be a contradiction in her character that is not explained by the hook.

You know, you've got a story there with just the first two paragraphs. The woman in love with a cop trying to keep him from learning she was responsible for her husband being comatose. He comes out of it. What happens next? Will he hold it over her? Will she try again? Will she try to get her cop boyfriend to do it this time? What if he finds out? Lots of tension there.

Anonymous said...

Confidential to Miss Snark,

May Santa Snark brings you something special this year. You have been a very good little girl. I hope you find yourself under the mistletoe with George Clooney.


crankynick said...

So, this isn't specifically related to this hook, but I just noticed something interesting.

Check the time stamps on Miss Snark's posts - they're all about 5 minutes apart, give or take a couple.

Assuming that Miss Snark is posting as she reads, and assuming that it takes a couple of minutes to write the comments, post the hook and comments, and actually get the thing up on to the site -

We have about a minute to impress a working agent when we're coming off the slush pile.

I know that Miss Snark keeps saying this, but (for a nitwit like me, at least) it didn't really sink in until I actually watched it happen this morning.

I think that might be the revelation of the week, actually.

Other than the proof positive of my previous nitwittery, obviously,

angrylil'asiangirl said...

i dunno why, but this entire post, and the responses, are making me snicker like crazy. crumbs from the pepperidge farms bordeaux cookie i was eating are flying from my nose.

i agree -- the writing is quite interesting.

Bullet said...

Thank you guys for even taking time to read! My hook does indeed have issues...Crystal Charee, she stayed with him because she was too scared to leave him. So she drove him off a cliff.
It wouldn't be a problem kicking his ass again if he didn't kill her sister and leave her in September's office covered in blood or blow up her boyfriend.
It doesn't help that her boyfriend's got a pretty partner.
Oh, and her mother-in-law has a shotgun.

Kit Whitfield said...

The problem with your hook is not that difficult to fix, because it's a very simple thing. It's this: when you're talking about the stalking, you're punchy, succinct and wry, in a way that I really enjoyed. When you talk about nice things, like September's new love and the young girl with haunting eyes, you get - sorry about this - sappy. Those two things don't go together. Either you're dry and sharp or you're soft and fuzzy, but not both.

Go for dry. You do it much better; it's more original, more vivid and more engaging. I'd certainly read the book based on the stalker scenes; you just need to freshen up the nice bits. And definitely keep working on it, because you're showing genuine ability in the good parts. Good luck!