12.27.2006

HH Com 479

Fifteen-year-old Caitlin McKay’s parents have taken the family to the British Virgin Islands. For a year. To live on a sailboat! Life as a live-aboard isn’t exactly the floating “Laguna Beach” Caitlin had hoped for, however. She’s sharing a tiny cabin with her five-year-old brother. (Careful, folks, he’s a biter!) Her new school is girls-only and full of glitzy British ex-pats. Island Time, the sailboat her parents bought—sight unseen—from navigationally-impaired cigar smugglers, looks like the opening shot from an episode of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” And, as anyone who’s ever tried to work up a good lather in salt water can tell you, bathing in the ocean isn’t nearly as romantic as it sounds in pop songs.

But, for the first time in her life, Caitlin is learning what it’s like to have people (plural!) actually like her. And not just because of the “interesting stuff” she found hidden beneath the Island Time’s splintery floorboards, either. No one who meets the New Caitlin would ever believe that, back home, she was just that freaky, scrawny girl who skipped third grade. Even Tristan, the hottest guy on the island, is beguiled by her easygoing air and artfully padded bikini top. She just can’t help wondering, though, if the New Caitlin and the real Caitlin have anything in common. And when the Island Time’s former owners come looking for the contraband they left behind, she wonders if she’ll ever get the chance to find out.


This is a great idea. It's a lousy hook. You've got a very bouncy energetic style and it's bogged down in too many words and long ass sentences. And "careful folks he's a biter" is clever but it's evocative of a ringmaster at a circus, not an omniscient pov. Try writing this info in first person to see if it helps. Then "translate" to third. This is a fun idea.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Loved this! Thought the "voice" made up for the lack of a hook. And some books just don't lend themselves to hooks. (Literary especially.) Methinks Miss Snark sometimes misses out on some winners now and again.

skybluepinkrose said...

I like this, too.

I'm not sure, though, where Caitlin finds the wherewithall to become the "new" Caitlin if the romantic sailboat life isn't all it's cracked up to be. I got the impression that she doesn't fit in with the British ex-pats, and personal grooming apparently has its challenges. How does she turn herself into a cool enough islander to attract Tristan and become popular in general?

Just a few questions. I do like this and hope it works out for you.

A Paperback Writer said...

I like it!

Virginia Miss said...

Great energy! Fun situation! But I didn't like all the exclamation points! I think they undermine your style!

Let your words do it for you. Save the exclamation points for dialogue.


I'm not sure, though, where Caitlin finds the wherewithall to become the "new" Caitlin if the romantic sailboat life isn't all it's cracked up to be. I got the impression that she doesn't fit in with the British ex-pats, and personal grooming apparently has its challenges. How does she turn herself into a cool enough islander to attract Tristan and become popular in general?
skyblue pink rose: if Caitlin found a certain type of contraband on board, that could help with her popularity...

Anonymous said...

This hits the right spots. Didn't mind the long sentences. Actually, I didn't think they were too long at all. Creative idea and thankfully, no bodies thrown in for good measure.

Keep at it, and good luck.

Brady Westwater said...

Since it sure hooked me - and I am a fear cry from being the target audience - I'd call it a hook. Agreed it could use a little more fleshing out, but not all that much more.

Zappadong said...

Love it. I like the voice. I like the idea. It sounds like a lot of fun.
To the writer: keep going!

Zappadong

xiqay said...

I liked this. I think it works as a hook. I especially like the MC wondering if her new self and her "real" self have anything in common.


Good luck.

jeanne said...

I liked this a lot, too. As to the "interesting stuff" -- I hope it's not drugs and that's how she's winning friends. That would be a huge turn-off for me.

writtenwyrdd said...

I assume these folks are American, so forgive me if the assumption is mistaken.

If they are American, there is a flaw in the premise, in that you cannot just move to a foreign country and enroll your kids into school. There are immigration laws, and there is a limitation on non-immigrant stays of 6 months.

It's the little things that get you.

Anonymous said...

I know this is #479 and we're all getting a little jaded here, but ripping holes in a hook because it doesn't explain how the protagonist navigated the intricacies of the immigration laws of the British Virgin Islands seems a little pernickety to me. Is anyone else getting sick of people pointing out logical flaws which don't really exist?

AuthorOfThisHook said...

Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for the feedback. I've had a terrible time coming up for a hook for this book, and I think I have a better idea now of how to approach this. Very much appreciated.

To Writtenwrydd: Yes, you can just move to a country and enrole your kid in school--if it's private school. (I know, it's the little things that get you.) I am the voice of experience. What you CANNOT do is just move to another country and get a job--but Caitlin doesn't try that.