12.15.2006

HHCom 2

Title: The First Step

Fresh out of court ordered re-hab, fourteen year-old Allyson Crandall is determined to be a smarter addict. She's going back to her life of drugs, guns and cons, and she's not getting busted again.

The one thing jacking up Allyson's plan is her murdered best friend, Miranda. She wants Allyson to find her killer. Miranda won't leave Allyson alone. She wakes her up in the middle of the night, makes rude comments about her taste in boys, and interferes with her drug deals.


Desperate to get rid of the cranky spirit, Allyson sets out to solve the murder. With Miranda's ghost by her side and a stolen Glock in her hand, Allyson follows the threads from rural Arizona to the complex drug networks of Phoenix.


Good writing. Crap plot.
The ghost with an agenda is old news.
You need something new and fresh here but I'd keep my eye on you for good stuff.

17 comments:

Rashenbo said...

While not new and fresh to Miss Snark, I think it's interesting. I like the pace and the tone of the hook. I think it gives a good idea of the plot and it makes me think I'd probably enjoy the writing. I'd probably open it up and look at the first few pages to see how it starts. That's what I tend to do when I'm standing in the bookstore browsing new books/authors I'm not familiar with.

Anonymous said...

"the ghost with an agenda is old news."

Wish I could write like that, LOL...

...dave c.

Mig said...

I found a disconnect between the first paragraph about the drug addiction and the plot in the next paragraph about the ghost and the murder mystery. Might be better if the former were shown to have some relevance to the later.

Anonymous said...

I like it!

M. Takhallus. said...

I believe Miss Snark is in error. This is probably sellable as a YA paperback original if you throw in some fashion and some PG-13 sex. Find a kidlit agent.

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of this one. The mix of classic ghost story, detective story and a modern, tough urban protagonist sounds interesting.

Back when I was a slush reader, I'd have read on.

HawkOwl said...

I was loving the fourteen-year-old determined to be a smarter addict because that's so true. Then you go and spoil it all with some crap-ass fake plot about ghosts and fourteen-year-old drug addicts solving murders. As they say: what-EV-er.

Undercover said...

The problem with 14 year olds is that they can seldom roam the country without some parental/authority interference.

And kids with guns can be a hard sell these days.

AnonnaMiss said...

I have to say, I could really see this being on the shelf in the YA section, and this hook would ensure that I would at least look at the book to see if the writing was good. Sure, ghosts with an agenda have been done before, every plot's been done to death, but I think this one adds enough of a fresh twist that it sounds intriguing. And I think that there are agents out there who would be intrigued by this.
And I absolutely love that this story isn't about some goody-two-shoes teen who wants to catch criminals and save the world.

M. Takhallus. said...

Undercover:

Parents are easy to dispose of fictionally.

Anonymous said...

The protagonist's addictive urban edge makes this marketable in my humble opinion.

However, the abrupt, choppy way the ghost is introduced is a red flag for me on the writing.

No offense, but I've been reading you a long time Miss Snark and I think you have a bias against ghosts in any shape or form.

A-non-in-a-million

Anonymous said...

I'm having problems with two things here. First, a 14 year old that insists on doing drugs is going to have a hard time focusing and getting around. Second, I hate ghosts too because they know everything, they know what to say, they leave the right clues, etc.., I'd rather see the protagonist work out their own problems.

Anne said...

I like it, too. I'd like it better if Allyson was sixteen. Fourteen seems too young. I may be naive.

Virginia Miss said...

I like this premise as well as the writing. It doesn't look fresh to Miss Snark but I see much worse on bookstore YA shelves. I agree with anne that I'd like it better with an older protag. Good luck, author!

Benja Fallenstein said...

I find it interesting and I'd read on.

I think that this might work better if you added something about what makes the crime and/or the chase interesting, though. Right now, you have an interesting main character and a mildly interesting ghost, but nothing about the plot.

But whether you revise it first or not, I agree with some of the commenters above: Send it out; this doesn't suck.

colin said...

anonymous - have you ever seen a 14 year old on drugs? Or, let me rephrase that - have you ever seen one OFF drugs (if you include Ritalin)?

It depends on the drug, I suppose, as to whether or not they'd be able to find their way around.

I like the "smarter addict" hook, but I would replace the "ghost" with a stronger reason for the kid to solve her friend's murder...simple friendship, perhaps?

Also bear in mind some drugs can give you paranoid fantasies - in this case, she's the *only* person in the world who can solve this murder and everyone's out to get her.

Hypergraphia said...

This is EXACTLY the kind of book my 12 year old loves and I love reading YA fiction so it could be fun. It bothers me, a 14 year old addict, but that's probably because my oldest is 14 (shudder)