12.28.2006

HH Com 518

[hook for novel in either literary or quirky category] (there's no such category as 'quirky')

In the last few years twenty year old Zach has suffered five broken bones, four arrests, two psychiatric hospitalisations, and a car crash; and that's just the big stuff. These days he won't step outdoors without pockets-full of lucky charms.

When he accidentally steals a bunch of DVDs from a shop-front, he seeks refuge from his pursuers in a box that happens to be occupied by a homeless lady. She tells him he wasn't born unlucky; he's just lost his guardian angel. The chances of finding a sane spiritual advisor inside a random box don't seem good to Zach, but he figures he's got nothing to lose by following her advice.

Nathan, the one man act behind Guardian Angels Inc., is not what Zach expected: he's in his early twenties and looks like an overgrown boy scout. Upon determining that Zach's guardian angel has indeed gone missing, Nathan declares Zach a danger to himself and others and insists upon acting as his protector until he can return the lost angel. Zach suspects a scam, and
anyway, he doesn't believe in guardian angels. But now it seems his miasma of bad luck is expanding to include others; like his friend Gary, who goes missing after Zach is the last person to see him; and Nathan himself, whose apartment burns down after Zach pays a visit. Feeling guilty, Zach offers a helping hand to Nathan; and learns Nathan might not be just another con artist after all.


This isn't the best hook I've ever seen, and the writing isn't the zippiest, but I like the idea.

5 comments:

roach said...

This is nit-picky but why doesn't he believe in guardian angels if he carries good luck charms around him? Belief in one doesn't automatically mean belief in the other, it just threw me off as I was reading.

Inkwolf said...

Sounds like a good book idea, but I must admit, I'd like it better if the homeless old bag lady insisted on volunteering as his guardian angel, and tagged along after him everywhere. :D

I'm curious how you steal a bunch of DVDs by accident, though. One I can understand, but a bunch? Did he think they were free samples?

xiqay said...

Irritated by the the type-set. Didn't like the accidental theft set-up. Wondered what happened to three (5 broken bones, 4 arrests,...2 psych..and a car crash)--perhaps it was French hens?

Like his hiding out in a box with a homeless lady and getting some advice.

Thought Nathan was an angel, so got confused when his apartment burns down. Gary goes missing-but he's missing from Zach's perspective (not his own), so this doesn't seem like an expansion of bad luck necessarily. Just worrisome to Zach.

Good luck.

Twill said...

Liked the concept. Not sure about the tone - is there humor, or is it straight?

"Pocket full of lucky charms" made me think of cereal.

Angus Weeks said...

Author says: This is the first hook I ever wrote and I'm really grateful for the comments so far - I definitely think my hook can improve a lot from the suggestions.

Roach: I initially thought I should leave the charms out - maybe my instinct was correct.

Inkwolf: I may need to leave my homeless lady out of the hook, too, cos I see she is distracting to the main thread. The main reason I left her in is for world-building (these characters all live on the fringes of society).

Inkwolf and xiqay I can understand why you both have problems with the stealing of the DVDs because it looks like a clunky bit of plotting. This is a problem with the hook. The incident itself comes out of character - Zach goes into trances and steals things and is presently on probation for a previous incident. He desperately wants this problem solved and will try nearly anything. I found it too hard to explain in my draft hook without over-explaining but I take the point that I need to find some way of doing so.

The idea that Gary going missing can be related to Zach's bad luck is supposed to be a bit ludicrous. This illustrates Zach's world-view, and propels the plot in certain directions.

Again, I'm really grateful for the comments.