Saturday, October 16, 2010

First 250 Words Blogfest

My contribution to Elle Strauss' first 250 words blogfest...has been removed for revisions.  Thank you for your input, everyone!


  1. Nice MG tone. Great set up of situation and loved meeting Persephonie right away. I'd watch on the over use of adverbs, especially 'quickly'. "Ouch!" assumes a yelling situation, so you don't have to state that he yelled, necessarily.

    Thanks for joining in!

  2. I got a bit distracted by the adverbs ;) but I just love the sound of this!

  3. I want to know more about Molly and what your MC's condition is. Is she handicapped? I'm a YA writer and not MG, so this might not be accurate, but I feel like there are too many !!!! Love Persephonie's personality too. She seems really fun and cool.

  4. I loved how fun and quirky this is. Others have already commented on the things I'd work on. With that said, I'd totally turn the page. It really does have a great voice! :D

  5. Y'all found me out. I do like my adverbs and !!! If I understand correctly, I need to move more emphasis or strength into the dialogue, and that way, I can leave out the adverbs and !!!

    Yes, my MC has a physical handicap that will keep her from running to escape the camp. Has this concept been overused or is it not appropriate for MG? I don't speak about pain, just inability to walk far or run.

    Thanks for leaving comments!

  6. I like your story it starts off interesting right away and I think MGs will love it too. I love Molly and immediately imagine she's a Border Collie, not sure why?
    I agree with the toning down on the adverbs and !s, but I tend to have a lot of those in my early drafts, easily fixed :-)
    Is the protagonist an adult? I'm guessing yes because she mentions driving, but I'm wondering if it's possible to make her younger to appeal to the age group you write for? If not, it's okay, Molly will win them over.

  7. Tee hee, Persephonie sounds quite funny. I felt for the main character, that it was all rather surreal. I must say, it sure wasn't what I was expecting when I started reading, and I got to the red eye and went, "What the...?" LOL

    A couple of comments: I'd love you to work in the main character's name and sex; I assume it's a girl? Also, I read your comment above, and I didn't really get that she was handicapped - I actually thought she tripped over the dog :) You could perhaps clarify that one a bit.

    Great job, thanks for sharing.


  8. Hi,

    Great opening!

    The final edit and a little honing will wack the naughties on the head. After all, we're all guilty of favourite words better left out. ;)


  9. I think this is great!! It really pulled me in...but the opening paragraph..I'm sorry, it just does not work for me. :( Has she opened her eyes and the room doesn't look how she remembered when she went to sleep??? You might need to reword a bit so the reader knows exactly what you want them to know. I'm kinda confused about where she actually is. How old is she, if she can drive?? The tone, to me, seems like it would be a younger girl, not a 16+. And I think you can cut some of the dialog tags.

    Hope this helps!! Good luck!!! :)

  10. I agree with what has been said about the adverbs. Also, maybe a little more of the MC's emotion when she first hears the click. Instead of 'What was that?' show us how she reacts by what she does. Did she whip her head in all directions searching for the sound? Did she freeze in bed, too afraid to look? Know what I mean?

    Having said that, I do love MG books with other-worldly visitors. My 11 year old loves them too, so your concept is one that is sure to be a winner! Great job!

  11. Thank you for your feedback. You've given me a lot to think about. I've been "on the fence" with several items. One being, should I rewrite the book into third-person? My MC is currently 17. The story actually started with a quick flashback memory of her HS graduation the day before, where we learn her name. Might have to bring some of that back. Need to rethink the MC's age, too. I could go as young as 14 and make it Jr High graduation, but then she'd be riding Greyhound, rather than cross-country tripping herself...

  12. Like Stephanie, I'd like a little more set up. It's hard to invest when we're confused. I don't need to know tons up front, but some anchoring details would help tremendously, so we have a sense of where, when, who--at least a little. If you go more sparing on the exclamation points, your MC will sound older.

    It seems like there's an interesting premise here, though. Good luck!

  13. I was a bit confused by the beginning, but the room changes drew me in. I did want to know the MC's identify, though. Perhaps Persephone could address her/him by name?

    You note that this is a "lower MG Sci Fi" story and it definitely feels MG. With that in mind, really think about the MC's age. Lower MG is 9-12 year-olds, and protagonists in that genre are usually closer to the reader's age. A 17-year-old protagonist puts you in the YA category.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hmmmm... I'm confused because my 8-yr-old beta reader had no trouble with the MC being 17. Wouldn't mind calling this a YA, if I could keep it clean enough for an 8-yr-old to read. I definitely need to rewrite the first two pages to read more smoothly, and provide more who what where.

    I'm going to go bold, and start with, "My name is (MC) and this is my story.".

    Time to do a find and replace and remove all the !!!, too.

    Thanks for the feedback. Y'all rock.


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