I know that some of our youngest readers are starting to study for the bar exam this week.
Maybe this will help.
It's a good review of the elements of solicitation and attempt; in particular, as applied to attempted murder. It's not that long, and it's got a dissent, so you can see the various arguments that a person might make one way or the other.
But, according to the majority, what does it take for an "attempt"? Not much. Basically, just the tiniest thing. Just add a tiny little bit of movement (e.g., a downpayment) to a solicitation and, boom, you've got an attempt.
P.S. - Don't call Russell Wafer at the Lock, Stock & Barrel in Temple city if you want your sister whacked. Because that "John" dude he'll set you up with is actually a cop.
P.P.S. - That last part probably won't be on the Bar.