Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #3

TITLE: The Bridge Maker
GENRE: Fantasy
When Linh discovers that dark magicians from an ancient, parallel world named Lau Dai La are searching for a magic crossbow to conquer Earth, she must locate it before they do, or they will kill her family.
She slammed her textbook shut. Something stirred inside Linh, some strong desire to break out of her mundane life and escape somewhere. Somewhere like a mystical world she had read from her fairies’ books where she could play with elves, fairies, and other magical creatures and not think about school. What’s the point of doing homework at home just to forget everything a week later?
She threw her assignments into her schoolbag, pulled out her notebook and colored pencils, and opened to a page to finish her horse sketch. Below the drawing, she wrote, For Mom. This would make her mother happy. She heard soft footsteps approaching the study room.

“Do you need help with your homework, dear?” Linh’s mother’s voice came from behind her chair.

Linh hesitated. “Ummm.”

“Oh, that’s such a beautiful drawing! May I take it with me?”

Linh turned around and nodded. Her mother thanked and hugged her, a hug so soft and gentle it warmed her heart.

“Can I ride horses again?” Linh asked. “I want to go back to summer camp.”

Her mother’s mouth drew into a straight line. “Not this summer.”

 "Please, please Mom?” Linh’s throat constricted like a twisted chain. “I want to become an equestrian.”
Linh’s mom fell silent for several heartbeats and stroke Linh’s hair. “I’m happy that you love horses, but it’s not a proper job.”
“But I spoke to girls older than me who work with horses there.”

“You’re too young to work, dear. You need to concentrate on school and get good grades.”


  1. Your logline seems interesting. Your first 250 words don't jump out and grab me (based purely on story) but they do introduce the MC well. Overall the writing is solid.

    I don't get why the mom is happy with the drawing though. I would have thought she would have been upset since the MC wasn't doing her homework.

  2. This sounds like YA fantasy to me. I was a little confused by the genre, expecting an adult MC. Your pitch did make me curious as to what this crossbow can do.

    Some things that stood out to me in your opening page:

    'She heard soft footsteps ...' is a type of filtering which adds unnecessary words. You could go straight to "Soft footsteps approached the study room."

    Horseback riding is not allowed, but drawing is okay. I'm not seeing the difference between these. Why is horseback riding outlawed? Is her mother afraid of her getting hurt? I think a little more detail here might be important.

  3. I'm curious about the age of your intended audience. It sounds like Middle Grade-were you intending this for ages 10-13? (Do older kids go to summer camp?)

    The query is great, but I think the first paragraph needs to be stronger. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I thought things slowed way down because of it. I hope this helps you!

  4. The logline intrigued me with the Asian names alone. I'm tired of Arthurian and Celtic fantasy realms.

    I got hung up on the magic crossbow as tool to conquer the world though. I'm familiar with the Ark of the Covenant and other objects that make an army invincible, but all I can imagine with a crossbow is it being really good at killing one person. I'm sure your story elaborates ... but for the logline, I suggest using "powerful artifact" for crossbow.

    I see a lot of telling instead of showing. You state that Linh wanted to break out of her life. Okay, but show us. Have Linh doodle elves and dragons INSTEAD of her homework (and THEN have her mom chastise her for it).

    Would love to read about non-European creatures! Keep at it!

  5. Ooops, it's a MG fantasy :)

    Thank you so much for all your comments, much appreciated!

    They've helped me in understanding why the first 250 words are not "hooky".

    I will take your feedback into account for the revison.