12.16.2006

HH Com 55

Welcome to Grafitti Hall, the hallowed hallways of high school, corner of Public and Education.

Come in, hang a right, go up the stairs, first doorway on the left. Meet Libby Logan. Teacher. Mother. Wife. Sister. The good girl next door, everything to everybody.

Everybody’s always told her play by the rules. Be nice. Work hard. Play fair. She never thought it was too much to ask. She’s just wired that way.

And she’s got it all, all together. At least on the surface between 7:30 and 3, and 3 to 11. Beneath that, pipes are bursting and water’s flooding the hallowed halls, washing bright anger and dull hope from the writing on the walls, leaving nothing but swirling shades of grey.

What happens when the rules change? Nobody ever told her the rest of it. About how to keep her head above water; about how sometimes the lesson plan of the day is simple survival for the students, the teachers, her kids, herself.

The hallway’s narrow and straight. It should be easy finding the way; to get from one end to the other, intact. But she’s in uncharted territory, tap dancing blind and furious in the minefield between could’ve, should’ve, might’ve been, and what is.

The hallway’s crowded. There are busy intersections. There’s too much traffic, too much noise, too many choices.

And there’s always too much to lose.

Plot?
Antognist?
Why should we care?

The thing that always gets me is this could be really good. There's an energy and vivacity here that I like. But there's no bridge to "why I want to read this" so Im just waving at you from the form letter rejection side of the Slush Pile Canyon.

11 comments:

Clarice Snarkling said...

Besides what Miss Snark already noted, I think the author could lose most -- if not all -- of the extended metaphors in his or her hook. Better to entice us with really interesting, specific detail than to needlessly draw out a very apparent metaphor. I get the feeling that the main character is a lot more complex that this hook shows she is.

December Quinn said...

At least on the surface between 7:30 and 3, and 3 to 11.

Or, as some of us like to say, "from 7:30 in the morning until 11 at night." Or perhaps "during the daylight hours" or "her waking hours"?

I get the sense there could be an interesting story about a woman's mental breakdown here, but I'm not sure.

KingM said...

This person has some skill, but seems to have forgotten what makes a good story. Start at the beginning: character, in a situation, with a problem.

This hook is thin on all three.

Anonymous said...

I like this. The writing is great and kept my attention. But as a hook for a book, I find myself asking, "Yes, but what the heck is it really about?"

Word Verification: wuttzhul (and doesn't that just say it all?)

Anonymous said...

Ten extra points for use of active verbs and moving imagery. Be careful of the repetition, however. You're hitting the same note too many times for no particular reason.

Wabi Sabi said...

Really liked your ideas - and oh joy and rupture, something original. As it's written at the moment your hook seemed a bit airless,claustrophobic -bring in the outside influences, yes. Keep on trucking with this - I hope you will.

S. W. Vaughn said...

You've got a great setup here, but you forgot to include the premise: like, what changes? Let us know about the explosive event(s) that blows Libby Logan's world. I like your voice.

Writerious said...

I liked the first four paragraphs. After that, I expected a plot and didn't find one.

wonderer said...

Also liked the voice, but "play by the rules" doesn't tell me what's original about the character. Like writerious, I didn't mind the vagueness of the first four paragraphs (the voice kept me interested) but I wanted plot after that.

Virginia Miss said...

Good voice, but no story, and no reason to keep reading

thraesja said...

I liked the voice.

I think the phrasing "between 7:30 and 3, and 3 to 11" might be hinting that her life outside school is completely separate from within school, but that she still plays by the rules. If that is not what is intended, change it to 7:30 to 11 as suggested above.

The lists describing her and her life are good, but they go on too long, and there are too many of them to keep me interested.

Keep trying. In my opinion after you've pruned it and input the plot, it has potential.