Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 2012 Test Run #6

TITLE:  Butterfly Girl
GENRE:  Upper MG (magical realism)
What in the world?  Madison rolled onto her side and shoved her hand against…
Ouch!  What she was lying on was part of her!  She sat up and whipped her nightgown over her head.   
Wings!  The spell worked!
She threw off the covers and ran to look in the mirror above her dresser.  Leather-like wings jutted out from between her shoulder blades and hung almost flat against her back, golden brown, with shiny green dots and swirls along the edges. 
Gently she unfurled them, first together, then one at a time.  Each wing opened and closed in sections, folding together like a fan. 
She pinched herself hard.  No, not dreaming.   
3 weeks Pre-Wings…
Madison drew a sharp breath and didn’t let it out for a long moment.  The writing on the postcard made her heart race.    
To Miss Madison Michaela McCoy-Lee. Each M oversized and curving high, like the hills of a roller coaster.  Happy Birthday!!!  I hope your 12th is the best year ever!  Hugs and kisses… Love,  Mimi. P.S.  We’re performing in Oregon this year – I’ll come for a nice long visit. 
Sure you will. 
She flipped the postcard over.  In big gold letters along the top of the card:  Ringman Brothers' Traveling Circus, with a picture of her mother, Mimi, waiting to be shot out of a cannon.  A wide swath of green covered each eyelid – stage make-up.  Usually her mom didn’t wear much make-up.  Or maybe she did, now.        
Madison folded the postcard in half, then shoved it into her back pocket. 


  1. Really well written. I'd love to read more.

    My only criticism - and it's because the rest is so original - is "the writing on the postcard made her heart race." Racing hearts are a cliche.

  2. I think the writing is smooth and engaging. There's action right away and the reader has a floor to stand on.

    The only thing I think you need to fix is the cliche Julie mentioned and the first line. I think the story would be strong if you omit the monologue and just simply start with, "Madison rolled onto her side and shoved her hand against…"

  3. I love it! I would just omit the word "shiny" in the description of the wings, just because it can sound a bit like it's trying too hard. Otherwise, good job!

  4. I love the premise, the wings, the circus, the distant unreliable mother. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of breaks in the time stream on the first page. Other than that, i love the writing and the setup. Good job.