Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Test Run #1

GENRE: MG Fantasy

If there was an award for creepiest boiler room door, Hillcrest Middle would win it hands down. The trophy would just be a tall rectangle that looked a little wider at the top than it should and be made out of rusted grey metal and smell like the back end of a dead fish.
Every school had a door like that. And apparently there was something in the make-a-school rule book that said the door had to sit at the end of a hall, stay locked all year long, and ooze about a million gallons of strange and disturbing.
Asher’s school took that rule very seriously.
He tore his eyes from the door and took out his books for first and second period, shoving them in his backpack. Nothing was going to keep him from enjoying today. Especially not some weird boiler room door. Asher could feel it. Today was going to be good. Today he was the Big 13. Officially a teenager.
It was also the anniversary of his dad’s death. Six years to the day. Sure, that part royally sucked, but at least it was starting to get a little easier.
Sort of.
Asher’s eyes drifted down to the small blue pin fastened to the tongue of his right Chuck Taylor shoe. A size six actually fit him better, but the extra half made him look a little taller. A little older.
He moved his foot and let the light catch the picture of the fist holding the hammer. 


  1. I feel like there's a bit of a disconnect between the description of the door and then Asher's actions--I want a little more prelude between the door and Asher tearing his eyes away from it. Otherwise, this is really strong. Good luck!

  2. I agree with Julia. Maybe all you need is a comment about how did he manage to draw the locker next to the creepy door 4 years in a row. That should move the reader's attention to the locker, books, and the rest of the scene.

    The last line on the page threw me off. Is the picture on the pin on his shoe?

  3. I really like the tight writing! Maybe too much info about the door without reaction & feelings about it. It's obviously an important day to him in more ways that one...didn't get the best visual of the picture on his shoe, but have a feeling there is much more fun to come!

  4. I was stopped in my treks on the third paragraph, as I was reading the first two I thought the story was going to be in the first person, I don't know why but it just threw me.
    I'm also not sure what the last line meant? I'm sure it'll become clearer later, perhaps there's a way to clear that up so it fits in the first 250...just a suggestion!

    Good luck!

  5. The first two sentences really had me hooked. Great first lines!

    I do feel like there are a few too many emotions/tones going on in this scene and I'm feeling disconnected from the character as a result. Asher's voice comes across as humorous and slightly curious, with attention to detail. I'm intrigued about the door and I want to know more. But then he discusses his father's death almost flippantly and it kinda throws me a bit.

    Maybe introduce his dad's death later? Provide some emotional buildup to that moment so that the reader can see that he's distraught/conflicted/trying to cope but they don't initially know why.

  6. Awesome comments, everyone! This is a brand new opening I decided to play around with. My original was completely different. I think what I lose is some of the character development with Asher with this new beginning. It does get us to the action a bit sooner, but I still want to find a happy medium between the two.

    Thanks again!

    I'm off to lurk around in the other entries' first 250!