Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #39

TITLE: Jasmine Jones and the Slightly Heroic League of Misfits
GENRE: MG Fantasy

When an eccentric twelve year old girl discovers she’s a magically created clone of a tyrannical dictator, she joins an unlikely group of misfits on a mission to defy her destiny and save a living metropolis. 

It’s not like I set out to be an evil dictator. 

I didn’t spend weekends building a doomsday device or plotting world domination. Truth is, I spent most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. Three days before I took power was a typical example—it was a warm Friday afternoon and my classmates were on their way to a relaxing weekend. Some strolled home in groups, laughing and organising sleep overs. 

Not me. 

I was hiding in the music room store cupboard before the final bell stopped ringing. I waited a long twenty minutes then snuck out to the old gum tree. I leapt up the branches like I’d been doing it for years (and I had), and surveyed the school grounds.   

I pictured my surroundings as a giant chess board with enemy forces poised to attack. I wished it was Monopoly, the real estate thing sucked but I loved that little silver dog. Or there was Clue but—

“Help,” someone yelled from below. I squinted through the branches to see a blonde kid collapse against the Library wall. I cursed, wishing I’d left a minute earlier. 

“Someone please help,” he mumbled, obviously not going anywhere. 

I checked the area again before lowering myself down.

“Hey,” I said, hitting the ground a few feet away. 

The kid’s head jolted upright. He was thin, and way too long—like a giant stick insect in shorts and a t-shirt.  

“I know you,” he said. 


  1. This sounds like fun!

    I think something you might consider is incorporating the age of the protag right up front. Kids want to know how old the protag is so they can try to identify with them (and the sooner you establish that, the better, since readers might think you're starting this story from the actual dictator's perspective, not the clone's). Something like "I didn't spend every weekend of my twelve years of life building a doomsday..." could be a nice place to put it.

    Something else to consider - the protag uses some words that don't sound like a twelve-year-old. Like would she refer to her peers as "classmates" or would she say they were on their way to a "relaxing weekend." These sound like terms adults would use. However, if she's an incredibly intelligent diabolical twelve-year-old, then I can personally buy it, but if that's not your intent, then I'd be aware of the terminology the protag's using.

    Another question - why does she hide in the music room cupboard? To stay out of trouble? What trouble? I was a bit confused by her motives, which took me out of the story a bit.

    Lastly, if the blonde-haired kid really needs help like he said, would the first thing he says be, "I know you"? That sounds like something for later, after the protag's helped him.

    Overall, this really sounds like a fun story, and I'd personally read on.

  2. I liked this story and would read on. I really like the premise and I like the voice. I did find it a little confusing, however. What made the blonde kid collapse? Is the protag a super-hero? That's kind of what it sounded like to me in the opening lines - the protag is hiding in a cupboard, then leaping into a tree, then jumping down to aid someone. Was that your intention? When the protag is in the tree picturing enemies in a chess game, are we to assume there are villains around the protag is on the look-out for? To me I got the feeling of super-hero. I loved the line about Monopoly and the silver dog (I guess I can identify with that, as the silver dog was always my favorite) and I like the description of the kid looking like a stick insect. But should the description be he was thin and tall, instead of thin and long? I really like the comparison though. Good job! I would definitely read more and wish you the best of luck!

  3. You had me smiling from the first line. I like the voice of the dictator, and think she can get away with using adult words and phrases. I would like to know her name very early in the text. Perhaps you could include it after "Not me"? E.g. Not me, Alice Grace Nana Bonaparte, dictator in the making. (Or whatever her name is)
    I was a bit confused by her hiding in the cupboard. It seems out of character, but perhaps it's a matter of word choice, and she could be lurking or concealing herself. Hiding makes me wonder if she's scared of something.
    Also, why does the kid need help? And shouldn't she help him before they start talking?
    Like the insect simile.

  4. I agree with everyone else...sounds like a super fun read. The adult language didn't bother me because she seems like she's smart. Didn't understand the hiding in a cupboard or the climbing the tree. I like your descriptions though and enjoyed how her train of thought wandered. I, personally, am fond of the silver thimble. :) oh, I did think the blonde kid's question/ actions seemed not to match with her first observations of him.

  5. I like the sounds of this!

    As for your logline, I think it's good, but I would consider changing the general "twelve-year-old girl" and using the protagonist's name, "When eccentric twelve-year-old Jasmine".

    As for your first 250, I'm not particularly confused by her sitting in a cupboard, then climbing a tree, but it's always good to explain why she does that. Yes, it's a little strange, but aren't twelve-year-olds quirky like that? I often sat on the top shelf of my closet for no real reason, just cause I liked to. As for the blonde boy, I agree with the others. Why would his first words to her after calling for help be "I know you"?

    I think you have a good start, just needs some clarification and tweaking.

    Good luck!