Sunday, May 27, 2012

May Test Run #3

TITLE:  Jumpers
GENRE: Horror

“Rain, rain, go away.  Come again some other day.”  The two girls’ half-sang, half-chanted as they held hands and skipped through the field on the way to school.  They stopped short when they came to the fence that separated the old red brick building from the woods.   

“Whatcha think?” Amy asked smiling mischievously at her friend.  “You want to go check it out?”

Lily stared at the dark woods.  Her stomach began doing all kinds of nervous little flip-flops at the thought of going in there.  It was against the rules, everybody knew that.  Bad things happened in there.  Children went in but never came out.  At least that’s what Marty had told them when Amy asked why no one ever played in there. Marty was the bravest fifth-grader she knew and even he didn’t go in there.  She looked at Amy and shook her head. “I’m not going in there.  You know what happens.  Besides it’s against the rules.”

“Rules schmooze.  I don’t believe what they say anyways.  It’s just a story the big kids tell us to try and ruin our fun,” Amy said as she climbed over the fence.  “Come on.  Let’s check it out.  We won’t go near it or anything.”

“Amy come on, come back.  If anyone sees you we’ll get in big trouble.”  She watched Amy begin tromping into the woods.  “Amy.  Please,” Lily pleaded as she looked around to see if anyone saw.

“You know what Lily, you’re a chicken.  Bwak bwak.”

“Am not. I just…,” Lily stopped and looked down at her feet as hot tears threatened to fall.


  1. what is it about nursery rhymes that are so creepy? nice beginning paragraph and the descriptions are really good. especially loved "marty was the bravest fifth-grader she knew and even he didn't go in there."

    i think you may want to work on some of the dialogue to make it more authentic to the way kids talk. they'd be more likely to make excuses why they can't go in there than to remind each other that it's against the rules.that being said, i do like the "you're a chicken, bawk bawk!" part and lily's half answering reply.

    what is the relationship like between these two girls? would lila want to impress amy? does she always do what amy says? does amy bully her into doing what she wants? can you show this somehow?

    hope these suggestions help and good luck with your book!

  2. I agree with the above. The prose is good, but work on the dialogue at the beginning to make it more child-like. Is the relationship between these two more pronounced in the next few paragraphs? Amy is the leader and Lila the follower?
    Since we only have 250 words I'm sure you build it up more in the pages after this.

  3. I think the concept you've got here is ripe for tension, but there's a few cliches sprinkled in, and a little too much back and forth between the girls. Tension would be more moving from emotion and what-might-happen rather than children identifying that they're scared.

    That said, I immediately want to know what's in there and whether the children's belief that otehr children have disappeared is true.

    Try grounding the whole thing in a touch more sense-detail, and giving perhaps a more solid reason for fear (naming a child that went in and didn't come out, perhaps?).

    HOpe this helps!

  4. I really like the tension and build up. Nice. Really cool concept of horror in a children's story...I've never read anything like that before. The first line sets a great mood, but I did wonder if it was actually raining/wet there. Maybe have the ground they are skipping over be squishy?

    Think the line (the bravest fifth-grader she knew) needs to be mentioned with the first time we are see Marty's name; otherwise, the reader is pausing and thinking if they should know this info or missed it somewhere.

    Since this line (It was against the rules, everybody knew that.) is mentioned earlier, I would switch up the dialogue so that it isn't repetitive.

    Really great last line. I did want to know a little more about their relationship tho...was Lily ashamed?

    Hope this helps!

    Happy writing :)