Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hangover Round 2 Entry #5

GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

The Spell of the Black Magic Key unleashed the powers of darkness to wreak havoc on mankind. It’s now up to Bartholomew Berman to defend the world against the key. If the powers of the key aren’t stopped, all that is sacred and kind will find its end… vanish like the dinosaur.

I could hear madness all about me and I knew it could hear me too, for we were one with each other now. I could feel it all around me, in the air, slowly creeping in with the sunset. I suppose I knew now why there was always this fear inside me. I must have known this day would come, the day when darkness would enter. I felt it deep inside my soul knocking to get in, leaving me wondering why life always seemed to be that way. For just when you thought it was safe to just be… that’s when darkness would slip in unnoticed; then it was there… then it was there. Perhaps I let the night slip deep inside my soul, allowed it to enter…welcomed it to my world? But it wouldn’t matter now for I knew it had come. Perhaps I had even embraced it, wanted it; dared it to find me? Like the recurring dream I had each night I knew there would be no escape from this madness, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Our world was ours no longer, darkness and destruction was all that was left of a world that once was. Our world had changed, as swift as a mere second in time… it simply ticked no longer. We were all certain now of our ill-fated end, as madness rained its fury upon us like the damned that we became -- that we were! I would have no choice now but



  1. The logline has all its parts but feels like it could be shortened.

    The Spell of the Black Magic Key unleashed the powers of darkness; to keep all that is sacred and kind from vanishing like the dinosaurs, (12-yr-old?) Bartholomew Berman must (what does he do to defend the world against the key?).

    The excerpt:

    Don’t let the word count let you stop in mid-sentence. It’s okay to go a few words over. Either finish the sentence or leave it off completely. Also, the formatting may be just because it was a copy/paste issue, but it looks like it is one ginormous paragraph, which is hard to read and makes breaking it down into sensible meaning almost impossible.

    On a whole, this doesn’t read like a middle-grade story. The voice seems dark and depressing, which can work for a middle grade but not to the extent currently exposed. There is also A LOT of telling going on, and internal thought. And yet I really have no idea what is happening, what is about to happen, who the MC is, what the story is about, or anything. I feel almost completely lost. The first few pages shouldn’t focus on the back story but rather what the MC is facing at that moment. You can work the back story in later.

    It sounds like an interesting fantasy story but I’m not sure it’s meant for the MG crowd. Change the telling into showing and reconsider your target audience if you opt to keep the tone so dark.

    Thanks for sharing & good luck!

  2. You've got a good grab in your log line but it seems weak because it isn't focused. Try something like this by starting with your main character, his obstacle and what happens if he can't overcome it.

    Bartholomew Berman must defend the world against the Spell of the Black Magic Key that unleashed the powers of darkness on mankind. Unless Bartholomew can thwart the powers of the key , all that is sacred and kind cease to exist.

    You're opening scene is confusing. What does madness sound like? If you are writing to MG they need someting more concrete. Find a better way to relate your character's desperation at his world being overtaken by the power of darkness. Then let us see that he has a plan, the determination to overcome/change/obliterate this darkness so that we are willing to go along on his journey rather than getting bogged down in his despair.

    Good premise- dial the focus in.