25 Words of Wonder Contest
I found another contest, but didn't feel comfortable giving my physical address because I've never heard of Gotham Writers (Don't scold me - I'm on the West Coast!)
The rules are that you have to write a 25 word story. And I thought 100 was hard (ahem Halloweensie. Haven't forgotten my promise by the way). But I did it -
Soooo, Instead of entering, I'm posting my would-be entry here (It's a Picture Book).
I know who...
Charred the cat
Poked a screwdriver in soap
Shoved Sister under the bed
And skateboarded through the azaleas…
Fred the Ghost Monster.
Just found Michelle's 1st Page Critique Blog hop. It sounds fun, and just what I need right now. I need help setting the scene, and letting the reader become vested in my characters before rushing off to the next scene. But any thoughts are welcome. So here's mine:
REVISED portions in purple.
Honey Wilson charged into position. Her heart raced faster than her feet. This was it. One more point for the win. Her best friend set the volleyball and Honey slammed it over the net with her famous spike force. The impact of Honey’s hand echoed through the gym. Honey shook her stinging hand, her eye never leaving ball. But the ball didn't move. It disintegrated into a cloud of dust and ash. Fire alarms blared. The pulverized ball had set them off. I popped it!
Shoes squeaked on floor wax as the entire game skidded to a halt. Players on the court craned their necks, their hands frozen in rebound position. Then someone screamed over the alarm, “A bomb!”
Honey stiffened, glued by fear. A bomb in the volleyball?
Panic triggered. Amid shouts and ball ashes, some girls dove for cover. Others bolted for the locker rooms and exits. Parents stampeded from the visitor's bleachers onto the court and the Ref blew his whistle. Coach Rose signaled foul, while the other team’s coach signaled time out. The alarm shut off mid-beep.
"What was that?" Honey's friend Kelly yelled, suddenly by her side. "Are you OK?"
Honey peered through a brain fog and nodded. She wasn’t hurt. Who would put a bomb in a volleyball?
No one. That didn't even make sense. She'd just popped it somehow. Maybe someone on the other team had done something to it. White dust fluttered from Kelly's dark pixie hair. Whoever did this was going to pay.
School Security flooded into the gym and began escorting players and parents out. German Shepherds ran their noses along the baseboards. Bomb-sniffing dogs. Honey shivered violently.
Opportunity to Take
I just won an awesome opportunity for the first 10 pages to be critiqued by an agent. Agents are the best at telling you why your work isn't submission ready. And this critique was no exception.
First, he told me my work was charming. Forgive me for not drooling over every word of compliment, but I'm oozing right now.
Then he told me my writing is rushed. He's right. I've been told this before, and obviously I haven't yet found that balance I need between building the scene and moving it forward.
The next suggestion he made was to "think bigger." To explain this, I have to tell you that in the first paragraph a volleyball disintegrates in Honey's hands. I want people to be confused, and Honey to be scared. And I keep asking myself, what would people in the real world - no magic - if a volleyball suddenly disintegrated into one of the player's face (namely Honey's BFF Kelly).
Now, I'm guessing people would jump to the conclusion that there was a bomb in there, especially when Kelly screams, "A Bomb!"
but some of my critique partners, as well as this agent, say that's not believable. OK, then, what is?
I had a fabulous time. And who knows? Maybe I've got a new picture book here.
SO, go over
AND Remember that promise to post a 4-year-old reading it? Well, hold me too it, but wouldn't you know it? The 4-year-old is on a trip with his family.
So next week. But in the MEANTIME - vote for your favorite on Susanna's blog...
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)