12.24.2006

HH Com 406

When you're 16, you think everything is against you, no one cares about you, and things are never going to change. When you're Mark Watson, the first two are true and the last is the thought that keeps you up at night crying. He's poor, orphaned to an uncle that couldn't care less about him and a social pariah at school. What's keeping him up now are the nightmares where (your hook starts here --->) he sees through the eyes of a young kidnapped boy from 1953, trapped in a basement by a madman who's sacrificing children to a dark power only he can see.

The dreams are the least of his worries. The killer has returned from the grave as a force of darkness and fire and is targeting the few loved ones Mark has with deadly supernatural power. Their deaths are a message for Mark: what happened in that basement is not over, and it's not going to be until Mark learns the truth about what happened al those years ago.

He's falling in love for the first time, his bullying nemesis at school is out for blood, and his best friend is eyeing his new girlfriend. There's no peace wherever he turns, and that looks to be exactly where the killer wants him: broken, alone, and facing his end in the house that saw the deaths of four children all those years ago and still holds a terrible evil. "Shadow of the Past" is a 98,000 word completed horror novel.

Well, the plot doesn't make sense since Mark doesn't appear to be calling in the authorities. So what if he knows? And "back from the grave"?? Nameless faceless evil is boring even if it is undead.

And of course we all know my feelings about dead kids.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would pass on this because Your set up is flawed. 16 year olds don't think that everything is 'against them'. They think everything out there in the world is out there FOR them. They also don't think no one cares about them. The most important people to them at that age are their friends. Maybe you coulde show that Mark Watson thinks everything's against him or that no one cares about HIM, but that's not how typical 16 year olds operate.

December Quinn said...

I love a good haunted house story, though.

Anonymous said...

This was just too unpleasant for me. Four kids from the past are dead. This guy's parents are dead. His uncle is mean. His schoolmates are cruel. There is no "bright spark" to keep him (or me, the reader) going forward.

This just isn't a reality I'd want to immerse myself in, and that's even before the evil from beyond the grave shows up!

Anonymous said...

I would pass on this because Your set up is flawed. 16 year olds don't think that everything is 'against them'. They think everything out there in the world is out there FOR them. They also don't think no one cares about them. The most important people to them at that age are their friends. Maybe you coulde show that Mark Watson thinks everything's against him or that no one cares about HIM, but that's not how typical 16 year olds operate.

Where did you grow up? Holly Hobbie's Rainbow Land?
When I was 16 I had crippling depression and no friends. This novel sounds quite realistic to me.

Author: Remember Steven King's Carrie? This hook reminds me of that for some reason.
http://users.cybercity.dk/~nmb21186/carrie.htm

"Carrie White was no ordinary girl.
Carrie White had a gift - the gift of telekinesis.
And when, one horrifying and endless night, she exercised that terrible gift on the town that mocked and loathed her, the result was stunning and macabre."

Yes, she had jerks picking on her at school. She also had a really creepy mom. The hook doesn't even mention her mom. The focus of this hook is on her power, her reaction. The act. It's not all "who", "who", "who", it's WHAT. Why should we care? Everyone gets picked on, so what? People are cruel, so what? Ahh, but she gets REVENGE and you will want to see how.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like YA horror, not adult horror, but the length is wrong. If it's for adults, I think the tone is wrong.

The first anonymous apparently assumes that all 16 year olds are alike, whereas the last comment makes it clear some people will identify.

But for the hook, you need to rework your phrasing so it doesn't sound like it's written from a 16-yr-old's perspective. Not if it's horror.

Anonymous said...

This scared the bejeesus out of me. In a good way.

(And Anon #1's belief that every 16-year-old is surrounded by loving friends and thinks they have the world at their feet made me so angry that I just wrote something quite rude here, then deleted it when I remembered my manners.)