GENRE: MG Fantasy
When her grandmother is betrayed by a fellow witch and kidnapped by magic-hating vigilantes, twelve-year-old Cassie's only hope is a handful of witches sworn never to use their powers against others. Cassie must convince them to find the traitor and fight the enemy – with or without magic – to rescue the only family she has left.
The clouds were acting weird. Really weird.
When Cassie and her parents left the city the clouds had been normal: blobby shapes that, if you squinted just right, or turned your head a little, lazily morphed into a one-eared bunny or a lop-sided turtle. But now they were definitely misbehaving. Cassie didn't need to squint or tilt her head at all now. And there was nothing lazy about the way the clouds were moving. They were forming shapes, quickly and precisely, like a cartoon character blowing smoke rings. A crow. A bat. A coffin.
“Mom, did you see that? There's a skull in the sky!”
In the front seat, Cassie's mom didn't even glance up from her laptop. “Uh-huh,” she replied.
“No, seriously, Mom, you have to look. It's weird. I think maybe it's a sign. Y'know, like something bad is going to happen at camp...”
“Nice try, Cassie,” her dad said. “But we're not turning back. You're going to camp.”
“But...but...would you at least look? There was a coffin, too, and other creepy stuff. I'm telling you, it's weird. It's gotta mean something.”
“Cassie, we've been over this. There's no such thing as signs,” Cassie's mom answered, still staring at the screen. “Clouds are just collections of water vapor and ice crystals - there's no deeper meaning involved. Enough of your nonsense. I really need to study these notes...”
Sounds like a fun premise! Regarding your logline, I think you're missing the phrase "who have" between the phrases "handful of witches" and "sworn never." I think you can also remove this phrase to tighten: "fight the enemy – with or without magic – to."ReplyDelete
Regarding the excerpt, I'd remove the first sentence. It's vague, and I think the next sentence works well to pique our interest - we wonder what the clouds look like now if they used to be "normal."
I think the first paragraph rambles on a little bit, too. You can probably tighten/condense it a lot more to get the idea across and make the story move faster. Here's my revised first paragraph:
"When Cassie and her parents left the city the clouds had been normal: blobby shapes that if you squinted just right, or turned your head a little, lazily morphed into a one-eared bunny or a lop-sided turtle. But now they formed creepy shapes real quickly and precisely, like a cartoon character blowing smoke rings. A crow. A bat. A coffin."
I like the rest of the excerpt and would definitely keep reading.
I really like this! The first sentance actually really grabbed me, but I agree that the writing could be tightened a little bit. The first paragragh does seem to ramble a little bit and I like the suggested rewrite above.ReplyDelete
Overall, great job. The logline didn't grab me, but the beginning of your story definately did.
I remember this from another contest, and I still love your opening 250! The logline didn't really stand out to me, although I'm not sure why. I agree with the other poster that you're missing "a handful of witches who've sworn never..."ReplyDelete
Good luck! I really like this one! :)
I think I remember reading this somewhere else, too, and I remember it because it was so good. Your opening lines draw me in, immediately make me curious as to what's going on. The only thing offhand I might change is Cassie using the word "creepy". For some reason it doesn't seem like a word a twelve-year-old would say. Maybe use "weird"? I think the logline could be tightened, as I found myself having to read it and then re-read it carefully. I also wonder if the grandmother is the only family she has left, what happens to her mom and dad? Or are the people in the opening scene really her parents? Are these the questions you want to plant? Great job and good luck!ReplyDelete
I was fine with your opening sentence and thought your dialogue was well written. However, I agree that the first full paragraph could use some tweaking or restructuring. Besides that, I enjoyed it and would definitely keep reading.ReplyDelete