Friday, January 20, 2012

January Test Run #8

TITLE: The Hourglass Bridge
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The room was an apocalyptic mess. Coby’s rats’-nest hair, scruffy uniform and muddy trainers were like camouflage amidst the chaos.       

“Who took my school bag?” he yelled, checking beneath his bed and finding only dirty laundry and untouched textbooks.       

“Haven’t seen it!” shouted his twin sister, Di, “but can you hurry up? Mum and Dad just left for work.”      

That meant only one, horrible thing: the bus would arrive any second. Coby knew this time was meant for last-minute fridge raids and hallway football, but it was always ruined by face-washing and teeth-cleaning and other things sisters think are important, but any 15-year-old boy knows are a waste of time. Determined not to waste this morning too, Coby abandoned the search of his room.      

“Lunch is made,” Di said as he arrived to scour the kitchen. He even checked the pantry, but today, unlike previous occasions, his bag wasn’t there.      

“I’ll help you look,” Di offered. Coby disappeared.      

You’re welcome. Di hurried away, silently composing the lecture she would never have the heart to deliver. Halfway to the living room, she froze. An antique hourglass was sitting on the bookshelf. It hadn’t been there a second ago.      

Di checked over her shoulder, certain she was being watched. The hallway was empty. She turned back to the hourglass. Something about it made her step forwards.      

“Got it!” Coby thundered downstairs with his bag.      

“Finally.” Di threw a last, panicked glance at the hallway clock.             

From its glass case, two solemn figures were watching her.


  1. Great start!

    In the second line of dialogue, I think you need a period where you have a comma. Think being the key word there.

    “Haven’t seen it!” shouted his twin sister, Di. “But can you hurry up? Mum and Dad just left for work.”

    The paragraph about not wasting precious time before the bus came kinda threw me. I had to reread it a few times, not sure what exactly isn't working. I guess I got stuck on the part about the teeth brushing and face washing, and assumed he was talking about his sister doing these things, which in his mind are a waste of time. But then rereading I thought, "well maybe its him doing the act, even though he thinks it's a waste." Anywho, maybe rephrasing would add less confusion.

    Love how the sample leaves us intrigued to read more. Why the heck is there an hourglass perched in the room, and who the heck are the solemn figures? Nice job!

  2. I like the tone and the descriptions that give Coby personality. But I think the 2nd sentence in the 4th paragraph is a bit run-on and could be cleaned up.

    Also when you switched from Coby's head to Di's, it stalled the flow. May want to check on your POVs.

    I was befuddled by the things magically appearing but would certainly read on. It's fantasy after all and things should be a bit mystical. Overall, a really nice first page, I thought.

  3. I played around with your beginning – hope you don’t mind. Keep or toss.

    Fifteen-year-old Coby Whitmore needed an, “Enter at Your Own Risk,” sign bolted to his bedroom door. His rats’-nest hair, scruffy uniform and muddy trainers (WHAT ARE THOSE? SHOES?) were like camouflage amidst the chaos.

    “Who took my school bag?” Coby yelled, checking beneath his bed and finding dirty socks, wadded up shirts, (laundry is good, but describing the laundry makes it more vivid) and unless textbooks.

    “Haven’t seen it!” shouted his twin sister, Di, who had just finished packing their lunches. “But can you hurry up? Mum [Mom] and Dad just left for work.” [Why does she want him to hurry up? Is she driving him to school? Usually sisters don’t ask brothers to hurry up, they tell them… “Hurry up, Mom and Dad already left, and we can’t miss the bus, again.” OR “You better hurry up. Mom and Dad already left. I’m leaving without you.” [Telling us it’s a horrible thing, is just that, telling us. Show us]

    Hope this helps. The order could be changed around or combined, i.e., Di packing their lunches. I found it too convenient for Di to notice an antique hourglass sitting on the bookshelf. Felt forced. I like your characters and I’m intrigued with the story, I think you can tighten it up and add more showing vs. telling. Some good stuff!