HH Com 554

They say a watched pot never boils, but what about a watched criminal?

If you ask her, Katherine Germaine will tell you that she never killed anyone, anyway, so it doesn't matter. She also never lived outside the city of paranormal bliss, New Rochester, or befriended local rabble rouser, Nate Reis. As proof of her innocence, Katherine cites her job--professional paranormal agent, working for the city’s most vigilant do-gooder, the always cryptic and never photographed Blain. She never mentions that behind the name, Blain happens to be a Hispanic midget with a heavy belief in karma. Nor that as an agent, she is paid to fix disasters and see that criminals get their just reward while working alongside some of the city’s most ill reputed residents.

Despite the best efforts of her nervous empathic partner Noah and the memory-stealing nephew of former social delinquent Nate Reis, Katherine manages to worm her way into theater owner Arabella Dempsey’s worst nightmare: a cursed production. Under contract for a sizeable fee, and under the constant watch of Nicholas, the man whose brother she is said to have killed, Katherine attempts to find out what is really going on in the theater where actors are disappearing and the props seem to come to life. Is there murder afoot, or is Arabella’s production just cursed?

This is an interesting idea but you're drowning in explanation and set up. Get the formula stick and bop yourself on the head with it. More than once if need be. This is a fun idea ...rescue it.


KM Staso said...

Just wanted to say thank you. Can anyone point me in the direction of the formula tree so I can beat myself properly? (yes, I know the formula, I just need the tree to make the formual stick)

mozartgirl said...

"Blain happens to be a Hispanic midget with a heavy belief in karma". That's a howler!

Crystal Charee said...

Katherine Germaine just wants to keep her job as agent to the city’s most vigilant do-gooder. Her boss, the always cryptic and never photographed Blain is a Hispanic midget with a heavy belief in karma. Along with a far from nine-to-five job, she has to make time to sing carols at the senior center, plant flowers in the park, force-feed homeless people nutritious meals--and prove herself innocent of murder. Blain isn't thrilled that his almost-as-good-doing-as-he agent has been accused of killing someone, but he is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Her current assignment is to investigate a theatre production where actors are disappearing and props seemingly come to life. She has to determine whether the production is cursed, or if someone is setting the scene for murder. Complicating matters is the star of the show. Arrogant and talented Nicholas stands as Katherine's angriest accuser--it was his brother that she stands accused of murdering.

Helping Katherine keep things together is a new gift from Blain. An assistant in the form of Noah, a nervous empath. Noah is burdened with the Cloak of Responsibility-- which tends to make him cranky and self-righteous--and is not as certain of Katherine's innocence as she is.

Katherine must solve the Case of the Cursed Cast or she'll lose her job. She needs to break the Bugaboo of the Buthchered Brother, or the show will not go on. (And she'll lose her job. And go to jail.) She has the thwart Noah, who keeps trying to pass the cloak off to her, or she'll lose her freakin' mind.

dana p said...

There are too many names thrown at the reader here -- names we just don't need to know yet, names that are only mentioned once. Specifically: New Rochester, Arabella Dempsey, Noah, Nicholas. You could make the hook much more streamlined and accessible by referring to some of these by only their descriptors, e.g., ...under the constant watch of the man whose brother she is said to have killed... and despite the efforts of her nervous empath partner, Katherine manages.... (The nameless memory-stealing nephew adds no value here, so I'd excise him as well. He's just clutter.)

There's probably a maximum number of characters who should be introduced by name in a 250-word hook. Four, maybe? I don't know, and it would be silly to have a hard-and-fast rule about it -- but after reading all these hooks, I can see that too much info really clogs up the flow and works against clarity.

Good luck, author -- Miss Snark likes your concept!

xiqay said...

Nate, Nicholas, Noah--You might want to think about different names because these are too similar, given their initial consonant and modern popularity.