Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #28

TITLE: The Tree of Us
GENRE: MG Coming-of-Age

Connected through the South American orphanage where they first meet,
three 13 year-old girls form a bond through a shared journal that
travels across the Americas and brings the girls closer to each other
and to the truth about the circumstances of each of their births.

Secretly, Mari had doubted that the package would arrive. She stared
down at the box covered in colorful stamps waiting for her on top of
her bed. Someone had written "frágil" in red magic marker to the left
of Boston, Massachusetts. Mari didn't know why she hesitated in
opening it. With her fourteenth birthday just days away this was the
perfect gift.

Mari called herself a realistic dreamer whenever people asked her if
the glass was half full or half empty. This was almost like saying,
"it depends," a phrase that Mari inherited from Dear Old Dad. Although
she and her siblings Matt and Sarah complained that, "it depends"
often really meant no, the truth was that her chances were about 60/40
just not always in her favor.

In the case of an after school photography class she wanted to join
the previous year, "it depends" meant yes after a two-month long
campaign to convince her parents that she was serious about this new
hobby. Winning an argument against her mother, a well-known litigator,
was no easy feat. Now Mari never left the house without her silver
Pentax K1000 film camera.

Mari had been pleasantly surprised with the series of photographs
from her recent trip to Colombia. She developed the film six weeks ago
when she returned from visiting her orphanage there. Her teacher said
they were her best work yet but she hesitated showing them to the
other students because then she would have to talk about being


  1. I'm intrigued by the premise you set up in your logline...a cool twist on the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants idea. The first paragraph is similarly intriguing and then you completely lose me. Way too much "telling" in the next three paragraphs. You just threw tons of information about Mari's family and past at the reader that we're not ready for yet.

    Let us hang out with Mari for a little bit and see how she acts before we find out absolutely everything about her. I want to see Mari open her present! What's inside of it? Who wrote on it in a foreign language?

  2. I thought your logline was too long. I would break it up into two or more sentences to pack more of a punch.
    I agree with the above comment that your premise is reminiscent of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". I would agree also that there is too much 'telling' in your opening page, I think the last three paragraphs could be worked elsewhere into the MS and move the opening of the package closer to the beginning of your MS...if that makes sense? Focus more on her excitement on receiving the package, what's inside etc.
    Good luck! :-)

  3. I found the log line intriguing and it certainly promised a very readable story for me, but the following paragraphs also felt a little like loglines with no real connection to the MC. Something exciting needs to happen to move the story forward - the opening of the package would certainly encourage the reader to turn the page. The importance of the package suddenly seems to get lost in the following paragraphs, which are well written but perhaps placed too early on in the story for the first 250.

  4. Your logline hooked me, it sounds like a fascinating journey-- friendship, travel & mystery. I do like the idea of breaking it into 2 sentences, maybe after "...travels across the Americas."

    You set up a great spot for tension in your opening with the wrapped package sitting on her bed. As a reader, I'd like to see Mari deal with opening that journal right away. We can learn about her family as the story goes on, but the journal is like this shiny toy I want to see immediately! :) Plus we'd get to learn more about her friends and that is very intriguing.

  5. I thought the logline was okay...maybe a bit long, but not bad. The first paragraph was okay, too. The rest? Telling and boring and not important to me yet. Like others have suggested, show her opening the package get the story moving.