Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #40

GENRE: YA / Adventure
Frost Somers is literally burying her memories of Preston the Heartbreaker when she unearths a time capsule stuffed with blackmail-worthy-Facebook-fodder about a mysterious death cover-up and a map leading to a real buried treasure drawn by a student who committed suicide – one problem: it’s from her parents’ graduating class.
“Maaaaaaaaa!” my voice could shatter ice but, as usual, she doesn’t hear me - ME, her only kid, the only thing that should really matter in her boring, middle-aged life.

“Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a!”  I yell out again, stumbling to the floor, books flying, my stupid curly hair sproinging into my eyes and my mouth. I’m sobbing so loud that even my hot tears are afraid to run down my face.  I hate that!  Dry crying always seems so fake. And I, Frost Somers, am not a fake.  Most of the time anyway.

Finally, Mother-of-the-Year, Madison Somers comes running in from the garden … a.k.a. her Golden Child.  She rarely raises her voice, says it’s undignified, but believe me when I tell you, she is screeching as she runs toward me.  “For goodness sakes, Frost!  What’s wrong?  The neighbors must think I’m murdering you!” 

Lifting my head from the floor, I face her so she can see the actual misery of losing Preston Ring III, the guy I breathe for. “News flash, Mom, they probably think you’re killing me every time they hear you singing in the garden!  Trust me! They’re used to weird and disturbing noises coming from this house. Don’t worry about me! Just go back to your precious weeds!  I’m sure they’re dying to hear your next off-key chorus of ‘Help Me Rhonda!’”

Ignoring my totally on-target comments, as well as my apparent grief, she plops down on the floor next to me and pats her lap, “Put your head right here and tell me what’s wrong with my best girl.” 


  1. Interesting premise. I'm not sure "Adventure" is the right genre. If there's a murder or a mystery to solve, it could be suspense, thriller, or just mystery depending on the level of intensity.

    I like the opening and Frost's voice except for the heavy sarcasm. It seems to me that the "news flash" is way too long and contradicts her misery by being so flippant.If she's so miserable that she's sobbing, would she really bother to go there with her mom? Plus, her mom is shown as caring: She runs towards her, screeching, puts Frost's head in her lap and tells her to explain. And that completely contradicts Frost's telling us (repeatedly) that she only cares about her garden. So I think you need to bring that into balance.

    I would keep reading, but if the serious bitterness towards her mom continued, I would have to understand why it's justified to continue. Just my opinion! Good luck with it!

    (Would love any comments you have for me-#29. Thanks!)

  2. I agree with Stephanie above. I think the flippant language is sort of funny, but when I realize she's crying/wailing and not just working her mother, but truly unhappy and angry, on the floor, I don't trust the character. If this continued, I also would want to know why she is able to be so flippant and sarcastic to her mom, if she's truly that upset. If Frost is intelligent, as she sounds, and does this to her mom, in a lovely, funny but testing way, I could understand this, but I need to understand that first. I hate this phrase but I'll use it--that being said--Frost DOES say "I'm not a fake", "Dry crying always seems so fake" (it is, right?)--if she is being a drama queen, a little self-awareness would go a long way towards understanding her attitude.
    I really like the logline--interesting premise, and I like that a time capsule would contain fodder from Facebook--writing humor is really a feat, and I would guess there's lots more to come. The voice is well developed and interesting, but I was always taught the importance of gaining, at least initially, empathy and caring for your main character--at least initially you don't want to test the reader too much (I should listen to myself here!). Anyway, really interesting prose. Natural and snappy. I like it a lot.

  3. I think the idea for this is great, but I also think Frost's sarcasm needs to be toned down. In most successful novels, the MC is usually one we can warm to. Frost comes across as being difficult, and if this were to continue any empathy for her would disappear. Her mom might not win any awards, but in your 250 she comes across as caring, so any sympathy would be with her.
    I think you've got a great idea here, and with some tweaking of Frost's character which I'm sure is fine later on, this could be an excellent opening. I like the potential quirkiness of the characters and the premise of the story. Good luck with it!

  4. I absolutely love the logline, but agree with the others on not liking Frost's character all that much. How old is she? She seems really immature here, which makes her hard to connect with. At the moment, I'm honestly more interested in finding out more about her mother than her, being stuck with such a bratty, melodramatic child. The plot itself sounds so interesting and unique, though, I'm sure you can figure out a way to make Frost ore likeable. Good luck!

  5. Very interesting premise!

    So, I like the logline, but in my opinion, it needs to be broken into two sentences. I mentally ran out of breath reading it. It's very well-written, otherwise.

    As for the first 250, I agree with the above comments. I need to like Frost in order to continue reading beyond this first page, and it's hard to do, especially in how she talks to her mom, who clearly does care about her and not just her garden, as Frost states. She also tells her to go back to her "precious weeds" after wailing for her to come in. Why call for her when she's this miserable, just to insult her mother and tell her to go back to her prized garden?

    I think if you can make her more likable, and maybe explain why she's this way towards her mother, you'll have readers turning to page two.

    Good luck!

  6. What a catchy title!

    In your opening, I'm having trouble using the tone to tell me how serious an issue is at hand. The sproingy hair is a cool detail, but using it makes me assume that we're looking at an over-reaction and not a real problem.

    I do agree with other commenters that Frost seems unnaturally hostile. If she needs to be negative, you can tone it down a lot and still accomplish that.

    I think that the logline is interesting, but I'm not leaping to why it's more of a problem because the victim went to school with her parents. I can see how that would make the story more interesting and probably easier to solve, but not necessarily why it makes it more of a problem.

    I hope the comments will prove helpful.