Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #20

GENRE: YA Magical Realism

Learning that she's magic incarnate turns fifteen-year-old Crystal's religious beliefs upside down, but she has more to deal with than questions about faith and her soul when her boyfriend is kidnapped by a witch hunter and shamans snatch her aunt.

Our attic door is always padlocked, but now the stairs hang down into the hallway like a lolling tongue from a particularly dark and dusty mouth.

Before I can climb one step, a trash bag, and then another, lands at my feet.

"Oh!" I jump back in surprise.

Mom hurries down the stairs, a plume of dust following her. My mom, the attic ninja.

"Crystal! I thought you were getting ready to go to the library."

My chance to see inside the attic thwarted, I huff and cross my arms. "I heard you up there, and I wanted to see—"

"Can you take these bags to the kitchen for me?" She forces a smile and hands me the bags, then lifts the steps, closing and locking the attic.

Maybe she’s hiding my present up there. I turn sixteen on Monday. But that doesn't explain why she's never let me up there before…

I do as she asks and drop the bags near back door. Although bulky, the bags are surprisingly light. Wonder what's inside them.

I lean against the counter as Mom comes into the room.

"I'm sorry for snapping. You just caught me by surprise." She brushes her dyed strawberry blonde hair behind her shoulder, and dust drifts onto her shirt.

"What were you doing up there?"

"Just a little cleaning. There's so much junk up there it isn't funny. We're lucky the house hasn't caught fire, but at least I'm making progress."


  1. "The attic ninja". Funny! I think this is a great start, from the lolling tongue to mom sidestepping Crystal's questions. I tried to nitpick but couldn't find anything. Your logline and intro have cast a spell on me and I want to keep reading!

  2. I love your first sentence! The premise is intriguing. I would tighten up the beginning by combining the first three lines (leaving out the exclamation). And combining the next two lines since you're talking about Mom and then it's Mom that speaks. I'm not sure that a fifteen-year-old would "huff". It makes her feel a little whiny and young to me. I wouldn't use the ellipsis since you have a complete sentence. But other than those picky things, I really liked it and would definitely keep reading!

    (Would love any of your comments on mine-#29. Thanks!)

  3. Hey. I love the tone of your prose and the crisp pace. Dialogue feels natural. "Attic ninja" is great.

    But the logline left me scratching my head. I'm a big fantasy fan, so how magic is used is a big deal to me. Bare with me while I rant.

    "Magic incarnate" is sooo big, but a little vague too. It could be anything. Is she the source of magic? Is she just a big fountain of magic? Is she a gatekeeper? I need some perspective.

    Shamans AND witch hunters? Clearly her family is being targeted, but these are two vastly different groups. You could leave the shamanic aunty snatching out, and still have a powerful logline.

    That being said, I would love to read a story where a cavalcade of magic types come out to mess with your hero, and she has to deal with multiple types of magic. Don't know if that's where you're headed, but your writing's strong enough to interest me regardless.

    Keep at it!