Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #37

Title: Dodge the Sun
Genre: YA fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Little Bit doesn't have mutated possums or nursery-rhyming cannibals on her farm—only cows. Her predictable life changes when a deteriorating shield holding back the sun’s radiation forces her to seek the distant haven of New Chicago. Oh, and the infuriating mage, Garrett, forgot to mention she isn't a hero, or even human—he conjured her from a pet rabbit.

The anklet jangled against Little Bit’s leg with every step, an irritation she couldn't scratch at the moment. The full laundry basket occupied one hand while her other gripped the railing. The wicker handle balanced against her right hip, digging in with each stride. Creaks came from the wooden stair which wound in a spiral around the outside of the tower. She shuddered and kept her eyes fixed on the treads, careful not to look at the drop through the gaps.
The anklet caught on a protruding nail, pitching her forward and causing clothing to spill across the square landing of oak planks. She cried out and jerked the anklet free of the nail, then grabbed for the laundry, refolding shirts with sharp snaps.
She glared at the anklet while thrusting clothes back in the basket. “You did that on purpose.”
A wink of gold glittered in the morning sun. The chain of delicate gold links clasped around her ankle, mocking her with its fragile appearance. Little Bit frowned and reached for the anklet, then chewed her lip. “I’m sick of you.”
She squared her shoulders before taking the chain in either hand, feeling its strange heat burn her fingers. A sting as though a thousand nettles increased with each pulse of her heart.
“Come off!”
The tiny links refused to part.
With a gasp, she released it. Hateful thing. New burns crisscrossed over faded scars to cover her hands. She put sore fingers in her mouth. Garrett’s magic would never let her go.


  1. Great logline and opening! The last paragraph was especially delightful. I get a whimsical yet apocalyptic fairytale vibe from your logline that I hope carries through the rest of the book. More, please!

  2. I love the voice. Your first page was a pleasure to read.

  3. I liked your writing (a lot!) but unlike the others, the log line really threw me. Sorry!

  4. The logline feels stilted. Almost like you're talking about two different stories. The bit about not being a hero, in particular, seems not to jive with the rest.

    I like the writing in the first page, but it feels like there's too much detail here. I'm not really interested in the fact that the landing is made of oak, I'd rather know more about the MC and her mysterious anklet. Lovely feel to it though. :)

  5. The logline is confusing. It starts in the middle of an idea and doesn't explain where the mutated possums or nursery rhyming cows come from. I'm guessing the increase in radiation is the problem, and ordinary cows are desirable even if boring. Though funny, it's too oblique. Loglines are so hard to write.
    I enjoy this story so far and would like to read more, but I think the first sentence should be "A wink of gold glittered in the sun." Then continue with the anklet jangling, etc. You'll have to fiddle with this a bit should you decide to go this route, but a description of the anklet should be stated as soon as it's introduced. Little Bit is a gutsy creature, but I'm not convinced that Garrett should be the name of a wicked mage. Of course, maybe he isn't wicked at all. Keep working on this; it's a story well worth the effort.

  6. As Heartfelt says the mutated possums etc have to come from somewhere - Where? and Why? That needs to go up front in your logline. And explain who Garrett is.

    I thought the writing was sometimes awkward - the word anklet or a reference to it was in nearly every paragraph. Having said that I liked the quirkiness of the premise and the last line is a killer - in the best way.

  7. Your logline has some fun, fascinating ideas, but is a bit confusing - but who cares, because I LOVE that the heroine has been magicked up from a rabbit! Fantastic.

    Your first page is great too, the only thing I'd suggest is not having the word 'anklet' repeated so many times. Otherwise, this is very good writing and scene-setting.

  8. The logline does a good job at showing the quirkiness and humor I expect to find in your story; however, it doesn't do the job it's supposed to. In concise words, tell me the Character, Conflict, Decision, and Stakes. You can throw in a splash of setting and action to make it really interesting, but the random, conversational tone needs to change.

    As for the excerpt, I think, with a little tightening, it could be stellar. Like others mentioned, there is a little too much detail. Also, try to make sure you don't use the same words too closely together (anklet-as mentioned before, gold-twice in consecutive sentences).

    And no one else mentioned this, but I couldn't exactly picture where/how she was walking on those stairs. You wrote: "wooden stair which wound in a spiral around the outside of the tower...across the square landing of oak planks." First, I envisioned a castle tower--something akin to Rapunzel's or the rickety tower from The Sword in the Stone where Merlin stayed with owl. I can't tell if she's going up the stairs or down. At first, I thought down, which meant tripping would be frightening because she might tumble to her death. Then I thought up, because she had folded laundry in the basket and not dirty, so unless they have a clothesline between turrets, she must be bringing them back to their owner. But then she spills on a landing and I'm not sure if it's at the top, bottom or somewhere in the middle...which, admittedly, would be weird because spiral stairs don't normally have a landing in the middle, but I just couldn't tell for sure.

    I did really like your writing. :)