HH Com 597

Adrienne Hunt, newly-graduated freelance journalist, takes an opening on a cruise ship, hoping to make some money and research an article on the notorious working conditions there. She meets Ryan, who works in the ship's laundry and shakes up her elitism with his obvious education and manners. When Ryan's ex-fiancee shows up on the same ship and tells all his secrets, Adrienne must choose: Should she help her new friend even though he's been lying to her, or potentially make her career by exposing his father's hypocrisy?

Ryan Sawyer has been on the Azure Mist for six months, hiding from the mess he's made of his life. He's happy in obscurity until circumstances, both on the ship and back home, force him to stand up and work out the problems he left behind, as well as the new ones he faces now.

'At Sea' is nine months in the lives of Adri, who wants to view everyone only as sources, and Ryan, who vowed to remain detached from society, as they become deeply involved in each other's and their roommates' lives.

This isn't specific enough about the problems, conflicts and challenges to hook me.


Virginia Miss said...

"takes an opening" on a cruise ship bugged me.
Try "takes a job," "takes a position," "accepts a job," "accepts a position," or simply "gets a job"

"shakes up her elitism"?
"potentially make her career?"
"'At Sea' is nine months in the lives of Adri.." do you mean your novel covers or tells about nine months? Also in that sentence you use present tense to describe Adri ("who wants to") and past tense to describe Ryan ("who vowed to"). Later in that sentenc you're using past tense. Remember hooks are told in present tense.

If you want to refer to your heroine as Adri, use it all the way through. It took me a minute to figure out that Adri and Adrienne were the same.

Author, you might benefit from a critique group.

Anne said...

What's the problem with the working conditions? What has he been lying to her about? What does his father's hypocrisy have to do with anything, and how does it make her career? This is not only not specific, it's confusing. It sounds like it could be a good idea, it's just hard to tell.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments; I have a bit better idea of how to make it work, now.

What's the problem with the working conditions? What has he been lying to her about? What does his father's hypocrisy have to do with anything, and how does it make her career?

So how do I answer those questions without going into too much background detail?

Those answers are complex, and some would require introducing semi-background characters, which we know Miss Snark doesn't approve of in a hook. How do you know what to use and what to cut?

Anonymous said...

I hope you've done your research, talking with people who actually work on those ships.

One of my buds is a waiter on a line to Hawaii. He went through a month of orientation, special training for shipboard stuff, etc. before he got near the water.

As it is he's having an absolute blast and trying to talk more friends into joining him.

Kit Whitfield said...

I stalled on 'shakes up her elitism'. If she's a journalist planning to investigate bad working conditions, that sounded to me like she was concerned that both rich and poor got a good deal. That doesn't sound elistist to me, it sounds egalitarian.

Re your questions: 'working conditions' is easily solved - just describe them when you say that they're going to be investigated. Dangerous working conditions, poor working conditions, something like that. Has she heard a particularly interesting piece of gossip about an accident or piece of abuse on shipboard? If so, mentioning that could be engaging.

The other questions, I can't answer in detail because I don't enough story. But you could skip mentioning his father at all, and just say that Ryan's ex-fiancee turns up with lots of secrets about him that, if revealed, could prove to be a career-making scoop. Similarly, you could say that the secrets the fiancee tells make Adri question whether she can trust Ryan. Basically, if you want to avoid going into more background detail, talk about how the secrets impact on her relationship with Ryan, which is the main point.