Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #16

Title: Dragonfriend
Genre: YA - Epic Fantasy
Born with a lame arm, Munjin’s family of beet farmers thinks he is useless. A dragon-sighting, however, heralds his true calling as a mage. Unfortunately, the sorceress that takes him as apprentice fears the dark future she sees in him, and limits her teaching. His only friend is a dragon named Flew-Across-The-Bent-Wing-Lake-But-Fled-From-The-Giant-Crow, who can change into a girl his own age. “Lake” needs him to help her take down a runt god that killed her brother. If Munjin can survive his magical training, and deal with his growing feelings for Lake, then he just might find a way to save Lake, and all the young dragons, from the predatory godling.

The lazy afternoon sun shone down on three boys with hate caked under their fingernails. The soft breeze, full of the fine autumn aromas of pine and cut hay, could not remove the scent of their prey. Like the harvest scythe, the trio left broken stalks in their wake.

“Munji …”

Munjin stiffened as his name floated over the grass and rattled the length of his spine. He knew the voice—Silas—and it packed his belly with the mincemeat of dread. Not the biggest of the Kolva brothers, or even the meanest, Silas possessed an unerring ability to find Munjin when he was alone.

Munjin pushed himself up from the tree trunk he had been dozing against and awkwardly adjusted the sheepskin hat that might have fit a larger boy. The vivid feeling of his dream, of soaring through the clouds, almost choked him with missed promise. He wanted to return to slumber and fly away from the cruelty of Silas Kolva.

Munjin cut his gaze to the nearby creek as it burbled past him. He preferred possible drowning to another round with the village’s premier bullies. Silas, leading his fellow bruisers, strode toward him through the high grass. Like wolves, the Kolva brothers traveled in packs. Five of them together made a savage fist that hammered unlucky dogs and lone boys.


  1. Logline: Feels like information overload. It sounds like an interesting story - and I can see where all those details will come into play in the full-length novel - but it seems like way too much for a logline.

    1st 250: I'm not a big reader of epic fantasy, so I may just not be familiar with the style, but some of the prose seems a bit overwrought - "packed his belly with the mincemeat of dread," for instance. Again, this may just be my unfamiliarity with the genre, but it drew my attention away from your story and towards the mechanics of the writing.

    I noticed a POV shift here - the first paragraph is in the POV of the bullies, then it shifts to Munjin. I thought at first it was intended to be Munjin observing the bullies, but then you have him waking up when he hears his name. If it's a 3rd person limited narrative, you may want to look at that. Also, the first sentence mentions three bullies, whereas your last sentence says there are five.

    As always, this all just MHO, so please use or disregard as you see fit.

    1. Thanx, A.M.P.

      My logline is bloated. I'll have to work on that.

      I have read my first page a thousand times, and not once did I pick up on the POV issue. Wow.

      I love the mincemeat line but if it pulls people out ... ahh, murdering the darlings is so hard.


  2. A.M. Perkins pretty much covered what I was thinking. The "mincemeat" really pulled me away from the story. I liked the "hate caked under their fingernails" line, but got confused, thinking it was our MC we were first talking about. The POV shift needs work, as stated above.

    And yes, the logline. Simplify! Cut out the 12-word dragon name, for instance. The only name you probably need is the MC's. You've definitely got an interesting story, and one I would want to read, but you need to cut your logline to about a third of what it is.

    I'm no logline queen myself, so good luck with that! And I do really like your story. It just needs a bit of editing, no big deal. Keep it up!

    1. I'm seeing consensus here.

      Trim logline. Dump mincemeat. Improve POV.

      Thanx, DJ.

  3. Your logline reads more like a synopsis. It seems like you are having trouble deciding on what aspect of the plot to focus. Don't worry so much about packing in details of your mc. Instead concentrate on the stakes and plot. He has to do this or this happens.

    First 250:

    I was confused about whose head I should be in in your opening page. The sentence with 'could not remove the scent of their prey' made me think the first page was in the POV of one of these three boys. Then the next part makes it clear they are not the POV character. It was misleading.

    'Mincemeat of dread' stands out and not in a good way. On the other hand, 'hate caked under their fingernails' was brilliant.

    1. Consensus confirmed.

      It'll suck whittling my sub-plots out of future loglines, but if I must...

      Thanx, M4L.

  4. Thanks so much for commenting my entry (#3!)

    I have to agree with the commenters about simplying your logline. See if you can shorten it to approx. 35 words describing the protoganist, conflict, and what's at stake.

    I didn't understand part of your first sentence "with hate caked under their fingernails." What is hate caked? I googled it but couldn't find an explanation.

    I also have to agree with the others about "mincemeat of dread" because it brought me confusion.

    There is solid writing and personally, I would read further but that's because I love fantasy!