Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #9

Title: Replacement Reality
Genre: Light Sci-Fi

When Sam wins an alternate reality she doesn't want, she knows it means losing her mind and her connection to everyone she loves.  Sam must race against the clock and evade a man from her past to save herself.

I look down at the menu.  Happiness tonic.  Love shots.  Anti-anxiety smoothie.  Enticing, I think, but I don't like my food messing with my brain.  All I want is a little reminder of home: good old-fashioned pancakes that don't have an aftertaste of broccoli like the ones in the academy's cafeteria.  

Aiden follows everyone in restaurant as though he is Clark Kent, ready to come to my rescue when needed.  Annoying, I think.  Telling him to bug off wouldn't really be fair though since I am the only reason he is here.  Breaking rules isn't really his thing--especially for something as simple as from-the-box pancakes.

Aiden remains focused on the door when the cuff of my blouse beeps, indicating the arrival of my class schedule. I don't bother to look.  I haven't had pancakes for over six months now.  It's taken me that long to build up the courage to come here.

The waitress smacks her gum as she places a few glass bottles of syrup in the center of the table. "Well, aren't you a lucky one," she says as she points at the cuff of my blouse. "Last thing you need is a happiness tonic.   You must be thrilled.  I'm on the replacement reality waiting list.  Still nothing though.  Gotta work at this joint just to pay for all the therapy until I get it.  What I wouldn't give for a perfect past." 

Aiden's eyes snap back to our table as he grabs at my wrist for a closer look.


  1. I like the first page. I really liked the characterization imbedded in the pancakes. I'm not sure who Aiden is, but if hat is explained in the next page, I'm OK with the wait. As for the logline, I thought the second sentence was a bit too vague, but the premise is cool.

  2. I also thought the second sentence of your logline was too vague. I had a little trouble visualizing everything that was happening. I thought Aiden was following her around, looking for her in the restaurant, but then it seemed like he was sitting at the table with her. And how big is this thing on the cuff of her blouse if the waitress can read it that easily? Good luck!

  3. I agree with the other two commenters overall, and think maybe your scifi world needs a bit more explanation both in the logline and first paragraphs. You're alternating between introducing elements of this world and a very mundane IHOP sort of place with each paragraph. It's a bit jarring for me. Smoothing out your descriptions and honing in on one element would help the reader to stay oriented. For instance, you could spend some time talking about food specifically. Or just focus on Aiden and the restaurant.

    Overall, though, I totally dig the concept and I think I can see where you're going with it. You've got a very accessible writing style and some great ideas.

  4. I really like your idea of 'reality' hopping. Very cool. I don't read much sic-fi so I'm not sure what 'light sic-fi' means...for me, your whole concept is heavily science fiction! Right up to the class schedule on your MC's sleeve! Also, what kind of 'earth' doesn't serve pancakes all the time! Yikes! Again, cool idea.
    The jump from the 'I' in the first paragraph to 'Aiden' in the second confused me. Who is he exactly?
    If she 'wins' this reality, does that mean she MUST take it? What is the contest? Or is it more like a lottery/draw? Perhaps you could smooth out this detail.Also, why did she have to build up the courage to go to the restaurant? Where is it? What is at stake there?
    I'm interested. Very interested...
    Thank you!