12.29.2006

HH Com 598

When Abby discovers her fiancé is having an affair with her sister, she flees to rural France where she throws herself into a gourmet-cooking course with renowned chef, Antoine-de-Berniere, in an effort to re-invent herself as somebody interesting.

Building her self-esteem among people she’s never met, Abby is drawn to Miles Cornish, a BBC documentary maker filming the reclusive Antoine for a show back in England. She’s soon pouring her heart out to him between pastry sessions, but the past is proving difficult to shake off. Her fiancé, Patrick, flies out for a showdown closely followed by her sister, Violet, begging forgiveness. Abby’s parents turn up, keen to get in on the act and her best friend shows up for a holiday with her baby twins. Unaware that Miles is filming everything Abby is shocked on her return to England to discover that she, not Antoine, is the star of his documentary. Unexpected offers of work start flooding in and on the surface life becomes an exciting whirlwind, but Abby feels betrayed. Miles is nowhere to be found, Antoine is furious, she doesn’t know who her friends are anymore and Patrick is more interested in a photo-shoot with Hello! magazine than in rebuilding their relationship.

Looking for a reaction Abby reveals a secret about Antoine, which spectacularly backfires leaving her back where she started – heartbroken and alone. (he's an alien?)

Can she pull herself back and start again, or is being 'interesting' more trouble than it’s worth?

I love the premise here; I'm probably going to love the pastry, but this hook isn't vivid and bouncy enough for the kind of voice I'd be looking for. Part of it is you've got too many people in the soup.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

She'd have to sign a release before anything would EVER be shown. So would her fiance and all her relatives. Not to mention that Miles must be one fast-talking little peon to convince his producer to approve a change in a commissioned documentary.

dt said...

One of the things we have to remember is that Miss Snark's opinions, while professional, are subjective. I thought your hook was LOL funny.

Virginia Miss said...

This looks good, but the hook needs work. It takes too long for us to find out that Abby is starring in the documentary.

Here's a suggestion to compress your first two paragraphs into one, and begin a second:

When Abby discovers her fiancé is having an affair with her sister, she flees to rural France and takes a gourmet-cooking course. Building her self-esteem among people she’s never met, she’s drawn to Miles Cornish, who’s making a BBC documentary about the chef. As she pours her heart out to him, her fiancé arrives for a showdown closely followed by her sister, her parents, and her best friend with her baby twins. Unaware that Miles is filming everything Abby is shocked on her return to England to discover that she, not Antoine, is starring in his documentary.

Abby feels betrayed. Miles is nowhere to be found and Patrick is more interested in a photo-shoot with Hello! magazine than in rebuilding their relationship.


Then you need to add a succint statement of what choice faces her.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Sounds really cute!

Maybe as a "hook", it just needs some tightening.

Inkwolf said...

About the release: no doubt all the students in the class were asked to sign one, as they'd be in the background of Antoine's spotlight. :p

Not my kind of book, but doesn't sound bad.

Anonymous said...

OK, am I the only one bothered by Building her self-esteem among people she’s never met? That makes no sense whatsoever. If she has never met them, how is she interacting with them? I assume the author means never met before, only recently met, or some such.

Anonymous said...

This is cute. A fresh premise, too. I'd read it and I hope that Ms. Snark asked for pages.

Anonymous said...

I like the premise too and I sympathize with you on the too many characters thing. It's tough to fit 'em all in. Good luck with this.

Anonymous said...

A--bby
A--toine

And signing release papers aside, Miles stepped way outta line. What he pulled was unforgivable.

Have Abby deck him and the other guy flat, then open her own eartery. Self-esteem is restored by a lengthy application process involving dozens of very cute waiters.

Michele said...

I loved most of this. Perhaps just cut the bit between "documentary" and the last sentence?

jude calvert-toulmin said...

I haven't read all the entries, but this is the first one I've read that has got me really interested. Love it.

Angus Weeks said...

The premise is full of comic potential.

Miss Snark is right, though, the voice in your hook is flat. A seemingly humorous plot, explained in too pedestrian a manner, which would give an agent doubts about the writer's ability to pull off the humour in the book itself.

Give it a little bit of bounce, as I'm sure you do in your book. The idea itself is great. Do it justice!