Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #23

Genre: Upmarket Commercial Fiction

When a charming but aimless twenty-nine-year-old is carjacked at gunpoint at a fast-food drive-thru, his journey with the peculiar yet desperate stranger leads them both on a mission to convince the women they love that although you can’t change for someone, you can change because of someone. 

"You gotta go, Bro." Scott's hand was on the door jamb blocking Max Walker's entry to the one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment the two had shared for the past year — and shared intimately. The shotgun layout didn't allow for much privacy.

Through the doorway currently being obstructed by Scott's armpit was the living room with the futon that was Max's bed. At the opposite end of the apartment was Scott's bedroom, roughly equal in size to where Max slept. That Scott's bedroom had a door and the only bathroom wasn't a source of conflict until Scott's new girlfriend arrived. She resolved things by discovering the bedroom door had a lock, which Scott never used, but she did. Often.

Fortunately, the flirtatious repartee Max had cultivated with the barista at the café on the corner had rendered the "customers only" bathroom always open to him. Problem solved.

Max shifted his grocery bag to his other hand. His six-foot-two height allowed him to see over Scott's head and into the galley kitchen. There she was. Tara. The girlfriend. She was leaning against the short fridge with her arms folded across her chest. Though Tara's was not an unusual position in Max's presence, Scott's was.

Stifling Max's sense of humor around tension was like trying to stop a sneeze. "Guess I should be grateful you're 'sexiling' me in person instead of using that ratty wool hat," Max said. 

Maybe the nod to their shared history would lower the gate that was Scott's arm.


  1. I enjoyed the logline, but the opening didn't grab me as much. Not that the writing is off, it's actually quite good. It's just that nothing happens. Where the logline is action packed, the first 250 just feels like description, and I'm not invested enough yet to care about the layout of the apt.
    Another thought- using the word intimately in the 1st paragraph made me think the two guys were a couple. Might want to rethink that.

  2. I really liked the logline and if I read it on the jacket I would definitely read more. Also, I appreciate that this is a book from the perspective of a young man and not a young woman.

    However, the beginning seems a bit confusing. I had to read "Though Tara's was not an unusual position in Max's presence, Scott's was" a few times to understand what you meant. It seems to be a more complicated sentence than it needs to be. I think there are other more simple ways to get your points across.

    First, "— and shared intimately" is not necessary and is telling not showing. You can describe the shotgun apartment and show that they share it intimately, as you do in the following paragraph. I found, "the gate that was Scott's arm" not to add too much. You can just say, "lower Scott's arm." I am intrigued as to how the carjacking happens and what transpires after. Best of luck!

  3. Loved the logline, and the first 250 are well-written. I was eager to get to the action promised in the logline, though. Would it be possible to open the story with the carjacking, preceded only by a sentence or two about how Max has nowhere to go and no one who will miss him? Just a thought.

  4. I agree with the other posters, in particular about being confused about how "intimately" Scott and Max were with each other. But you are a good writer and I think the lively tone will be great for this kind of book. If I could also suggest some tweaks, I think making it clear who the main character is will help eliminate some of the confusion for the reader. Your style is so direct that we're not getting a sense of who anyone is: Max, Scott, Tara, the barista. I feel like we know them all equally and their names are peppered all over the place. If we could hang out with Max a little more, it might help. I agree with Stephen's suggestion about opening with a little teaser of the carjacking to help focus things.