Thursday, July 26, 2012

July Anything #7

Title: The Incredible Misadventures of Avery Mann
Genre: MG-Modern Fantasy First Page

The flower garden in Kensington Park made the perfect hiding spot for
three reasons. First, I’d never seen Max, the school bully, or my six
older brothers go anywhere near it. Second, it was on top of a small
hill, which allowed me to spot trouble before it got anywhere near me.
Lastly, it smelled a lot better than Ms. Crabtree’s compost heap—which
also made a good hiding spot, but required nose-plugs and goggles.
It might not be as impenetrable as Superman’s Fortress of Solitude or
high-tech as Batman’s cave, but it was my top-secret hide-out and
nothing could bother me—


A piece of paper dropped out of the sky and smacked me across the face.
Flick, flick, flick!

One of its ragged corners flapped in the wind, stabbing me in the eye.

Blinking back tears, I yanked the vicious thing off my face, ready to
rip it into subatomic particles, but then I stopped. No, way!
I pressed the squirming flyer against the ground.

Madame Magpie’s Magic Shoppe Grand Opening!
Amazing Magic Tricks! Great Gag Gifts! Unusual Novelties! Curious Curiosities!
Receive a free token for our fortune telling machine with this flyer.
One lucky customer will receive a $100 gift card!

Visions of vanishing boxes, flash powder, and levitating wands floated
through my head. I could buy a lot of magic tricks with $100.
I crept to the edge of the garden and glanced around. Max and my
brothers were nowhere in sight.


  1. This is wonderfully hilarious and opens in the middle of the important part. Good job! I like how she assumes she'll be the winner--very good age specific thing. After you say 'swat' is the paper dropping out of the sky again? It reads like we're going back in time after it swats her and then drops out of the sky. I think you could leave it at the 'swat' and cut out the first part of the next sentence.


  2. Thanks L.M Miller, I see what you mean about cutting the sentence down to:

    A piece of paper smacked me across the face.

  3. I love the "squirming flyer" description -- totally captures the sense of intention and magic imbedded in the flyer. If you take out the wind, it would make it seem more like the flyer is acting on its own power, which lines up with it "squirming" and being "vicious."

    Maybe like this:
    One of its ragged corners stabbed me in the eye.

    Also, nothing particularly wrong with "blinking," but if you want another choice that doesn't start with an ing word:

    I blinked back tears and yanked the vicious thing off my face, ready to rip it into subatomic particles...

    This promises to be a very fun story, compelling and intriguing.

    Best wishes,

    Butterfly Girl (Sarah)

  4. Sarah,

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions (especially the one about the wind), I'm glad you like this beginning. It's been years in the making and I only came up with it after reading Les Edgerton's HOOKED, which is a great how-to about beginnings. I highly recommend it, even if it is focused on adult and modern settings.

    The reason I chose "blinking back tears" vs. your suggestion is because I wanted to vary the sentence structure so that I'm not always using "I this/I that."

    Best Wishes,

  5. Wow, how exciting! I love that this starts with a burst of mystery and a whiff of magic!You have a wonderful imagination and this diffinetily reads middle grade!

    I haven't much to offer, except, I totally love the idea of "subatomic particles."

    One last thing (Blinking back tears, I yanked the vicious thing off my face,) I'm not sure about the word 'vicious' here. But I'm sure you will think of a better (more mysterious) word. :)

  6. Cali,

    thanks for the comments... I'll have to think of another adjective to use since others have mentioned "vicious" as being out of place. Good eye ;)

    Best Wishes,