HH Com 468

Carol Kaminski is a nice girl, but she can't keep her pets alive. Every time one dies, she profits. A Jackie Kennedy look-alike who mows down her poodle apologizes with twenty bucks. A Philadelphia hunter who plugs her pug hands her two hundred. When the neighbor's
pit bulls do in her doberman, the law gets involved awarding her more in damages than her bank teller father makes in a year. People in her tight-knit coal mining community begin to whisper that Carol is cursed. The squint-eyed lady at the SPCA refuses to let her adopt

"No reflection on you, honey," she assures Carol. "Just we can't keep giving out dogs that end up dead."

Carol's Dad invests her windfalls. Carol accepts her petless status, until the day her dying parish priest bequeaths her his beloved labradoodle, Lucky. Determined to overcome her bad pet karma, Carol embarks on a mission to keep Lucky above ground.

Killer Yapp: Miss Snark!

MS: KY, I'm busy with the crapstravaganza.

KY: Dead! Dog! Plural!!

MS: yes, I see that. Shall I send the author a flame from hell?

KY: No! Me! Me!

MS: KY, I'm not unleashing you on the writer. There's a constitutional amendment forbidding it.

KY: Yes! Me! Kill! Kill!

MS: KY, there are roast beast leftovers in the kitchen with Grandmother Snark. She might give you some if you let her win at gin rummy.

KY: Beast? Beast!! Bye!

Obvious horrors of dead dogs aside, this is a set up, not a hook. We need more of the story.


Anonymous said...

Rolling on the floor.

Fresh, entertaining. We know the character and the stakes.

So what happens next?

writtenwyrdd said...

If this isn't going to be black comedy, I will be disappointed.

Good luck with it. but like MS says, this isn't a hook. What is the story? What events transpire?

Alex Adams said...

Killer Yapp is giving me a serious "Day of the Dolphin" flash back. I almost expect him to squeak, "Fa loves Ma!"

Anonymous said...

Well, I think my daughter would like it.

But I agree, it MUST be comady to survive.

Dave said...

The last book I read about coal country was "Coal Run," by Tawny O'Dell. It's a father finds his way in his home town along with his never known son and lost loves story.

Someone is killing the Carol's dogs sounds like the running joke in "A Fish Called Wanda"...

And then there was political cartoonist Tim Menees's "Neo Druid Dead Puppy Cult" that wanted a holiday display to be set up next the the Christmas Tree and Creche and Menorah in Pittsburgh. Mucho Fun for the kiddies.

The story starts when she gets the "labradoodle" (is that a cross between a poodle and labrador? my mind boggles) and the story really starts there. The story is why someone is killing her pets and why they are after her in particular. What malevolent person is stalking her pets?

Fourteen Year Old Writer said...

I found this amusing. Maybe this is since I have bad pet karma, but in a different way than the MC. I think this can be cute and funny!

Anonymous said...

:Soon as the poodle buys it the tired editor stops reading and hastily shoves the hook into the return envelope.:

"No WAY would that sell at the acquisition meeting. Maybe it was just some sick joke."

Michele said...

I thought this was hillarious. I agree that it's mostly set-up. But you might only need a few sentences about "what happens next" to turn this into a hook.

Anonymous said...

"No reflection on you, honey," she assures Carol. "Just we can't keep giving out dogs that end up dead."

This is humorous, but in all honesty, most animal shelters have so many animals to care for that I don't see why they would turn her down for adoption when she isn't purposefully causing animal deaths. Plus, 3 dead pets isn't really that many. Not when cat lady down the street is found with 200 cats on property and 20 dead in her house.

If she went to a pet store or (especially) to a breeder, that I could see.

Anyway, it's a small point, and no editor would probably care.

jamiehall said...

I find this very funny, and I'd want to see more.

The first two paragraphs and last two sentences are great. The middle part is weak and could easily go.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fabulously funny. I'd read it!

Inkwolf said...

I want to read it!

Only...the 'profitting financially' angle is a bit questionable, since poodles are definitely more than $20 and $200 is not unreasonable for a pug. Even if they are shelter adoptees, the animal shelters I know of tend to charge a consderable adoption fee.

Anonymous said...

"No reflection on you, honey," she assures Carol. "Just we can't keep giving out dogs that end up dead."

LMAO. If that's a representative sample of your dialog, author, I want to read this (even though I hate dead animal stories!).

Crystal Charee said...

I'm hooked. That was hilarious. I definitely want to see her break the curse and save the labradoodle.

Elektra said...

Anybody else really want to see Killer Yapp: the screenplay?

Anonymous said...

I thought this was awesome!!

Anonymous said...

I swear I read that as Parrot Priest and suddenly had Monty Python going through my head!

Virginia Miss said...

Dave, yes, Labradoodles are trendy labrador-poodle mixes.

I wondered if this was YA? It's cute, could even be chick lit .. I wonder what the mission to keep Lucky alive would entail.

ObiDonWan said...

I want to read the book.
and, actually, i think it begins almost exactly as the "hook" has it, with us reading about her various pets getting killed, and the payoffs, etc. to start with the labradoodle would be to depend on flashbacks.

skybluepinkrose said...

I also love the line of dialogue. If this is a funny book, go to it. I can't tell if the book works; only that the hook doesn't. I'd like to know more.

Anonymous said...

This may not be a hook, but I loved it. I'd read this book.

JPD said...

I think that this IS a hook, judging by the number of people who responded favorably.

"Carol Kaminski is a nice girl, but she can't keep her pets alive." ...had me laughing right from the first sentence.

A lot of people questioned the middle-sections, but kept quoting the squint-eyed SPCA lady. That piece of dialog was good to include, in my opinion.

I can easily imagine the story of "luckless" Carol trying to keep poor "Lucky" on the right side of the dirt. But as her portfolio increases, Lucky eyes Carol with increasing suspicion, as his near-death encounters accumulate... (my own inference, not the author's)

Why is this NOT a hook? Where was the "oingo-boingo" for this one?

JPD (one of the guys from slide #10, the one wearing the red hat...)

heidi said...

Okay, while this hooked me and I would certainly pick up a book with this on the flap, I can see why Miss Snark didn't call this a hook; it lacks causality and what's at stake.

Why do the dogs keep dying? Is it truly a curse or is this random coincidence? If it's random coincidence, there is nothing to resolve. If there's nothing to resolve, then the plot falls flat on its face and the end fizzles out, leaving the reader feeling unsatisfied.

What's at stake? Not Carol's reputation. It's already shot. Or are we looking at redemption? Lots of bad things happen to Lucky and Carol must go the extra mile to circumvent them? And then, what would be considered a "success"? All dogs eventually die and go to heaven. What sort of death would be acceptable for poor Lucky that would also prove that Carol's no longer cursed?

Excellent idea, great beginning, but I can't see what the ending is going to be. I'm kinder than Miss Snark and I'd ask for a synop to see if you could satisfactorally resolve this storyline with a satisfying ending.

But if you couldn't, I don't care how brilliant you write. I wouldn't be able to snag an editor.

xiqay said...

I liked this.

What's at stake is Lucky's life. And it sounds like girl against "nature" (and karma?) And definitely funny.

Go for it.
Good luck.

The Author said...

Thanks, Everybody! Your comments have been very helpful and I appreciate each and every one.