12.16.2006

HH COM 56

ME
My experience as both a furtive card counter and courted high roller lend Mitcheneresque detail in my settings and characters.

STRUCTURE
A family saga with multiple POV unfolds in three alternating time frames.

BLURBS
Four generations of Richfields gamble with the truth as they reveal the genetic and psychological history they seem doomed to repeat.
My modern-day Scarlett learned about odds from her casino-owning Grandpa Pershing, but ignores them when she seduces her gambling partner weeks before he marries her sister.

1st CHAPTER

“The young redhead pretended to watch the roulette table, her eyes focused on the adjacent $25 blackjack table. Becky positioned herself to see every card played since the dealer returned the six freshly-shuffled decks to the card dispenser. The shoe now holds approximately three decks. Becky is a card counter. A good one….

“After a moment of silence, Becky took a deep breath, leaned close to the Professor, and for once, ignored her own rule about not playing games she could not win….

“Becky was surprised by her boldness, her desperation. It wasn’t like she could win him back from her sister. The game was rigged; there could be no jackpot. Yet here she was, risking it all for one night, a consolation prize….

“Experienced at reading each other’s subtle signals in crowded casinos, their unrehearsed dance choreographed itself. But as they made their way to the bedroom, there were no bells, no whistles, no flashing lights. No winners here.”

This isn't a hook.
This isn't a query letter.
This is an application form for Reject Me Now University.

I have no idea why you have quote marks around all the paragraphs.
This is a mess.

7 comments:

HawkOwl said...

It's pretensious, the style sucks, the plot sounds like some kind of Danielle Steele, and you actually used "POV" in your "hook." I'd actually want to throw something at you rather than just mail it.

Bella Stander said...

Also, there's no "t" in Michener.

Xiqay said...

"Reject Me Now University"

LOL. Miss Snark is brilliant again.

wonderer said...

For a query letter or a hook, you need to take what's under "Blurbs" and expand. A lot. The rest of this doesn't belong there.

As for your prose, be ruthless about cutting out the cliched phrases and the parts where you're telling instead of showing. A critique group would help there.

Good luck!

luna_the_cat said...

Before anyone will seriously consider publishing your work, you need to learn to follow instructions. Was ANY of this the kind of hook that Miss Snark was exquisitely clear about wanting?

Agents and publishers and editors all have stringent sets of criteria. They all have huge slushpiles, too. Anything that doesn't conform to their instructions for submission will get instantly dumped. None of them will hesitate to tell you this.

shannon said...

I'm not going to comment on the content cause I didn't bother reading past the first couple of lines.

What all these agents who have taken the time to blog and enlighten us aspiring not-yet-published-writers have said over and over again: Follow The Instructions!

If you can't do that, who would anyone want to work with you? You just waste people's time. Such queries don't even get looked at, they get an instant rejection.

Anonymous said...

Okay, maybe the women object, but I get the gist of where you're going with it, and I thought some of the narrative was pretty cool. The POV switching doesn't need to be mentioned, that's regularly done. As far as hooks go, it missed the boat, but if you explained the plot nicely, then the writing could keep my attention.