Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hangover Round 2 Entry #15

GENRE: YA Magical Realism

Wishing doesn’t make it so — Azra does. Turning sixteen opens the door to Azra’s Jinn ancestry and her new life as a genie. But when she skirts the rules, she is forced to choose between the safety of her family and the boy she loves. See, when genies are involved, there’s always a trick.

A chisel, a hammer, a wrench. A sander, a drill, a power saw. A laser, a heat gun, a flaming torch. Nothing cuts through the bangle. Nothing I conjure even makes a scratch.

I had to try. But the silver bangle can’t be removed. It’s what releases the magic coursing through my veins. It’s like being infected by a virus. And it’s going to kill me. I know it.

I slam my newly acquired accessory against my bedroom closet leaving a rounded indent on the wood door. The pristine, gleaming metal of the bangle mocks me. For the rest of my life, I’ll go where I’m told, perform on command, and do it all without question. Screw that.

I race into my bathroom. 

Click. Click. Click.

I turn on the faucet and watch with satisfaction as the red tips of the long, manicured nails that supplanted my formerly short, round ones overnight swirl around the basin and disappear down the drain. 

Snip. Snip. Snip.

A blanket of dark espresso hair surrounds my feet. I’ve sheared off the four inches that are new since yesterday and then some. The color, which morphed from mouse to mink while I slept, is an exact match for my mother’s. It can stay. The sheen helps the chin-length bob I’ve given myself look halfway decent. 

Seriously, how was I supposed to explain the sudden change in length? I’m not the type of girl to get hair extensions. I don’t want people to think I’m the type of girl who would get hair extensions.


  1. I love your concept. This is a book I would love to read. But I think the genre of this would be urban fantasy, not magical realism. I always get confused with those two genres, but I'm pretty sure magical realism is more realistic and wouldn't include a girl turning into a genie. Also, your logline is good, but it's supposed to be 1-2 sentences.

    I don't think you should start the novel off with listing those tools. You could flip the sentences of the first paragraph around to make it sound like this: "Nothing cuts through the bangle. Nothing I conjure even makes a scratch. Not a chisel, a hammer, a wrench. Not a sander, a drill, a power saw. Not even a laser, a heat gun, or a flaming torch."

    I didn't find anything wrong with the rest of the excerpt. It's written very well, and I would definitely read on.

  2. Logline:
    What are the stakes for her decision? I think this logline reads better as a query paragraph than a logline. You could shrink this down a bunch, just make sure to include the stakes. Loglines should have Character (16-yr-old, part-Jinn, Azra), Conflict (skirts the rules – maybe explain what she did wrong), Decision (choose between the safety of her family & the boy she loves), and the Stakes (?).

    The last line is clever, but doesn’t help the logline. Again, good for a query or book cover. I do like the premise and am curious as to what will happen to Azra.

    This has good voice and is interesting. I’m not sure the long list is the best way to start, but I kept reading. I liked what Leiann Bynum suggested as a new start, and it keeps the list...although I might shorten it as it could become redundant.

    Did she really need to ‘race’ into the bathroom? That seems a bit overdone/forced.

    And this is just me, but I dislike it when stories make lots of sounds and then explain what caused those sounds. Some MG books I’ve read aloud to my kids have been so ridiculous with the sounds…both variety and quantity…that even the kids begin to roll their eyes. I’m not saying to take it out from here because I like it here, just be careful it isn’t a trend that carries throughout the entire story.

    I really liked this and think you have a promising story here. Thanks for sharing & good luck!

  3. I like the premise and would read on. I didnt mind the tool list, but found it too long.
    there are too many of the paragraphs that begin with I, which makes it alittle clunky, so can you mix it up a little?
    Can I suggest the "it can stay" changes to "that can stay" and that "screw that" gets its own line?

  4. Very interesting premise. I agree with Leiann about your opening sentence. The list is distracting without it being in context. I like the immediacy of the writing, but becareful not to over dramatize. While you're writing for teens (who tend to be dramatic by nature) they seem to be intolerant of it on the page.

    I'd love to read more.