Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #4

Genre:  Comic Fantasy

A misanthropic stamp collector wins a tour of his own pariah nation, sponsored by an overly eager Tourist Board.  But when his foreign pen pal, welder Natalie, joins him, nothing goes as planned.
        “Geography,” Chase Windborn chose with a smug smile.  He had his opponent now.  No one could beat Chase at his own game.
        “Geography it is!” shouted the emcee.  “All right, Mr. Poncey.  For one thousand Entros and a chance to win the grand prize, locate your hometown on this map.”
        All the color drained from Mr. Poncey’s face.  Only moments before, Entros undreamed of had been within his easy reach.  Chase had lost ground in the People category.  The score was tied, and now this had to happen.  Mr. Poncey gulped and began to walk unsteadily toward the map.  All of Entropia was watching.  It would be small comfort to him to know that the rest of Entropia would be in his exact predicament had they been on the stage.
        He began to trace small, searching circles all over the map.  Nothing seemed familiar to him.
        “You have ten seconds left, Mr. Poncey.”
        Mr. Poncey wiped the sweat dripping from his forehead and blinked rapidly.  He started to make a tentative stab, but changed his mind halfway and landed on the biggest dot, Entropia’s capital.
        “Oh sorry, Mr. Poncey, Obsolescia isn’t where you’re from now is it?  It looks like it’s up to you, Mr. Windborn.  If you can point out your hometown on this map, you’ll win not only another one thousand Entros, but the grand prize.  Can you do it, Mr. Windborn?”
        Chase tried hard to look magnanimous, but a wild smirk burst across his face as he all but ran to the map and jabbed his finger on his hometown, Mt. Cyanide.


  1. A very interesting premise and first page. However, I was confused by a couple of things:
    "Entros undreamed of" stopped me reading as I found it to be a confusing line. I wasn't sure if it was a typo or the name of the hometown?
    Also, it seemed like you bounced between the MC's point of view and the Mr. Poncey's. I would just stick with the MC to save any confusion.
    It had a familiar feel to it, perhaps because you mentioned that "all of Entropia were watching", so I immediately pictured The Hunger Games scenario in my mind.
    Other than that, I found it very interesting and I would definitely read on!
    Hope this helps somewhat!
    Good luck!!

  2. I agree with Karen - "Entros undreamed of" was confusing to me, too. I couldn't tell from whose perspective you are writing - is it supposed to be close 3rd peeking into the mind of Chase or omniscient and we get to check in on each of the characters? However, the premise is intriguing - I would like to read more and see where this goes. I, too, heard echoes of the Hunger Games but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The only other thing I would say is that it might take the reader a few pages to keep all of the new names and geographic locations straight. It can be hard to enter a new world at such a pivotal point before we, as readers, have any connection to Chase, Mr. Poncey, Obsolescia, or Mt. Cyanide.

  3. I liked the sound of the book from the logline, although I was a bit confused by the phrase "pariah nation."

    Like the other two commenters above, I also wasn't sure about "Entros undreamed of," and because of the multiple viewpoints I wasn't even completely sure who the main character is (I'm guessing Chase, because he's the first one mentioned and you use his full name, but I have to admit, I feel more for the confused Mr. Poncey than the smug Chase after the first 250). Also, I'm a bit confused at how people can't find their own city/town on a map - I'm pretty bad at Geography, but I can find my city pretty quickly.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. Thank you everyone for your comments. My earlier readers had never questioned my use of "Entros," but now I can see how it could be confusing. I was thinking--Europe/Euros, Entropia/Entros. I'll rework this, although a few lines beyond the 250-word limit, it becomes obvious. As for not finding a hometown on a map--it does happen to a depressing degree. And in Entropia (think "entropy"), it's the norm. The POV usually sticks with Chase, but a few chapters are from other characters' POVs. I admit now, the omniscient POV serves only to confuse when used at the novel's opening. As for The Hunger Games, I'm the only person on the planet not to have read it or seen the film, but I've read so many reviews lately, I feel like I've read it! But reading beyond the first 250 words of Entropia will show it to be a different type of story. Many thanks to all of you!