Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Test Run #2

TITLE: My 7th Grade Life in Tights
GENRE: MG Humorous Contemporary

My downward spiral into the land of purple nurples and arm burns started when the sixth grade teachers announced an open call for talent show auditions.
Magic sets were dusted off, guitars restrung, jokes written and rewritten. For me, though, I didn’t need any of that.
Because I’m a dancer.
Okay, hold on, lemme explain something first. I’ve never actually been to a dance class. I pitched the idea to my mom and dad back in fourth grade, and after a few hours of crunching numbers they told me I could either choose to enroll in Sunnydale’s Elite Dance-SPLOSION after school academy or go the next ten years without lunch money.
It took me a full week to make up my mind but in the end I decided I’d never even make it a week at the academy without a lunch in my belly. Even if the school cafeteria’s spaghetti sauce was 99% grease and the tuna casserole smelled like day-old fart.
Besides, that academy was no joke. They had a reputation for being the toughest dance school in the state. In fact, rumor had it that Abby Lee learned her best stink-eye face from the head of the Dance-SPLOSION academy. I probably wouldn’t have survived there anyway.
So… like I said, I’m a dancer. Sort of. No official training but I’ve watched and rewatched every single episode of SYTYCD, DWTS, Dance Moms, and I’ve spent over one hundred dollars of my hard-earned allowance over the years buying every teach-yourself-to-dance DVD I could find on eBay.


  1. Although I'm unsure, I am guessing the character here is a boy? If you can, don't make the reader wait too much longer to know for sure. I can't connect if I don't know sooner.

  2. I like the way you start. The first sentence is interesting and draws me in. I want to know: what do purple nurples have to do with a 6th grade talent show. *gets popcorn, sits on edge of couch*

    Then you start to meander about and the next three sentences are completely unrelated. You finally settle in to telling me a story about how your MC is, but isn't, a dancer. It feels like a preview or a commercial. *hates commercials, changes channels, but still eating popcorn.* My point here? What was it? Yes, I remember, you need to get to your point faster. You hooked me at the beginning, now reel me into your story. *shakes head a his own use of cliched fishing metaphor.*

    I think you are close to hitting a good the voice for this audience. It has a friendly energy, and at times, feels very 5th, 6th grade. But the language/voice is not consistent. For instance: "lemme explain" and "I pitched the idea."

    My honest opinion is that you need to go back to the drawing board on this and plot out exactly what you are trying to accomplish in the first two or three paragraphs. You need to introduce your character (check), but you also need to give the reader the sense that you are taking them somewhere and I don't get that; as a reader, that frustrates me.

    I want to like this because it starts out well, and I love the voice, so keep at it. : )

    Best and Goodluck.

  3. Thanks for the comments! This is from a WIP that I'm playing with and since I posted this, the beginning has changed so much--and thanks to the comments above!

    It needed an overhaul! :D