Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

WORMS, BLOOD PUDDING, AND A SWASHBUCKLING ALBERT EINSTEIN (mg fantasy)


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 DJ McP

DJ McP

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:19 PM

 I'm considering changing the title to SPENCER SPENCE AND THE ETERNITY WORM--I like the other one but it seems too long. Any thoughts?

 

 

 

New Version Thanks for comments!

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly.

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 

 

 

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five no ten boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  



#2 LilySpradling0425

LilySpradling0425

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 36 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS South

Posted 25 April 2016 - 09:14 AM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly.

(space here)

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no, ten--boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  

This story sounds really interesting! (A note: I'm writing this critique under the assumption that this is the beginning of a story.)

 

I would suggest being "in the moment" a bit more with the scene: I feel as if things happen rather fast without the reader getting a chance to settle into the story. There's a lot of intriguing information (and humor, too!), but maybe so much stuffed into the first few paragraphs that it's difficult to process all at once. The opening sentences, establishing that Herr Doctor has died five times in a month, is definitely enough to hook the reader. Maybe have a very quick "mini-scene" in the Holler Dollar of him scrambling for his supplies. No need to stretch it out a lot or put in a ton of new action or dialogue; just a bit.

 

But really, good work. I think you've got a fascinating story premise and a fun writing style. :)



#3 annabella

annabella

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 135 posts
  • Literary Status:agented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 25 April 2016 - 02:04 PM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. (I think this line could be reworked for impact. The really cool part is that it's the 5th time that month! Maybe: For the fifth time that month, Spencer Spence's great-grandpa died. It was 4:36 PM exactly on Halloween.) Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless mirror, then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar (If this is a store, maybe add the word 'store.') three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! (what's this?) He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five no ten (no ten?) boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  

 

Definitely a unique beginning! I like the combination of the dark edge and the whimsical edge. Well done :)



#4 iainburnett

iainburnett

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 56 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 25 April 2016 - 08:23 PM

Funny! I like your writing style.

 

For general critique, it seems like you combine scenes within paragraphs, and stretching it out could let me differentiate between the now and the memories. I'm very visual, so the way I like to work is to create a movie in my mind and each time the camera shifts, its a new paragraph. Hope that helps, but otherwise just keep doing what your doing.


Any help appreciated on my work in progress, THE HOMESTEAD PROJECT.

 

Query - http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/

 

Synopsis - http://agentquerycon...cience-fiction/


#5 Gibber

Gibber

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 496 posts
  • Literary Status:agented
  • LocationUS Northwest
  • Publishing Experience:Tooling around in fanfiction until shit got real.

Posted 27 April 2016 - 01:24 AM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless mirror, then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand (Awesome detail.) and raced out of their trailer. (I love this. I love everything about it. I wouldn't change a thing.)

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. (But you just said he stayed dead at least three days. Which makes that the minimum. And then you contradict that with the 43 minutes.) What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five, no ten boxes of Nerds. (...where'd he get the money for that? Did he slip Herr Doctor's wallet? Because that would be amazeballs.)

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. (I giggled out loud.) Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon (I'm not sure it's a good idea to name drop these companies, especially in the same sentence, you accuse them of theft. Sounds like possible grounds for a libel lawsuit.) for stealing his technology. ("Technology" is too vague. Was it for the remote control? Or the voice-activation?) Spencer plopped Herr Doctor (I just love that he calls him that. Like, I don;t know what relation this kid has to the guy, but it's fascinating and I would absolutely read more.) in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  

This right here is my kind of protagonist, the adorable, demented little shit. I love it. He's so morbidly positive. And I love the casual, "Oh look, grandpa's dead again" schtick.It really sets the tone for the whole thing. Kudos.



#6 Bill in Memphis

Bill in Memphis

    Veteran Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 566 posts
  • Literary Status:published, self-published, unagented
  • LocationUS South
  • Publishing Experience:Best selling author of The Last Brigade series: Standing The Final Watch, The Ghost of Voodoo Village, Standing In The Storm and Standing At The Edge. Also author of the 2018 Darrell Award winning Sharp Steel, plus the #1 Amazon category bestseller Jurassic Jail, and The Last Attack, Unsuck Your Book and 2019's Killing Hitler's Reich.

Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:27 AM

MG is definitely not my thing, but I'll give it my best shot.

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. I have no issue with the word 'Exactly.' However, using an adverb right off the bat could put doubt into the mind of a reader/editor/agent. I would say that if you're going to leave it in, then 'precisely' is a better choice. It was Once again, I have no issue with 'was', but for some professionals it's a red flag of passive voice. Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly And now the adjective 'prickly'. Third potential red flag in the first paragraph. grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless Huh? I get the image you're shooting for, but that comes across as cramming a made up word where it doesn't fit mirror then 'Then' is a flag word for a lot of editors. Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old Same thing I do, too much description. Leave off 'old' and just go with 'knobby' hand and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight As you advised me, and you were right, eliminate unnecessary modifiers such as 'straight.' for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was 2nd use of 'was.' I wrote a blog entry about editors/agents whining about the use of this word, while the shelves are crammed with best selling authors who use it tne times per page. Nevertheless, it's preached as a 'no-no' and you might want to limit it to one per page. a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, I would eliminate one descriptor a styrofoam Trademarked name. I would just use 'foam'. Styrofoam is actually used often as an example of trademarked items nobody knows are trademarked. Under Fair Use you could probably use it without a problem, but why risk it? Halloween H capital necessary? eadstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five, no ten, boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Another adverb Herr Doctor was 3rd 'was' still dead by the time he got back. Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then 2nd 'then', which it seems is a real buggaboo for a lot of agents/editors lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, a bit jumbled, might want to clean this up his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon YIKES!!!! I strongly suggest you check fair use for those trade names. You can use trademarked names under certain circumstances, but I highly doubt you can suggest they stole something without getting whacked with a lawsuit.for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like I use 'like' and have no issue with it, but some editors/agents apparently don't like it. Just FYI a corpse dancing the tango.  

 

Great premise, great start. The quality of your writing is apparent. My concern would be an agent/editor/publisher seeing the concerns I listed and thinking it might be too much work to get the manuscript ready. If you're like me, you can't afford a professional copy editor, so you have to do it yourself, and I am NOT a copy editor. However, if you can afford $500 or so, I would hire a good editor in a second. I wish that I could.

 


Follow me on twitter @jointhebrigade1

 

Please visit my website and blog at: http://thelastbrigade.com/

 


#7 ViviMont

ViviMont

    Vanessa V.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 340 posts
  • Literary Status:published
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:47 AM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. It was (his)Herr Doctors (It could be just me, but reading this I kept thinking it was a typo. Like her doctor's fifth time dying instead of someone's name) fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under (Here it sounds more like a name, and a good time to introduce it)Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. (LOL <3 love that) He stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand and raced out of their trailer. (Awesome!) 

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween (Might not need to be capitalized. Though Styrofoam should since it's a brand.) Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five (Hm, not sure if a comma or an em dash would go here) no ten boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. :) Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  (Ha! Love this visual.) 

 

(Overall I think this is amazingly well-written and beautifully spunky. I love it. Best of luck to you!) 


I hope I've been helpful in some way. If you have the chance, I'm currently looking for all the help I can get on my first 250 of Elementalist. Thanks so much and may the words be with you!
 
Look for me on twitter. :) @@AuthorVV_Mont
 
 
Beyond The North Star: First 250
Beyond The North Star: First 250 of 2nd Ch. (Different POV)

[topic='Beyond the North Star Query']http://agentquerycon...ar-revision-15/[/topic]

 


#8 Milady

Milady

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 101 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 29 April 2016 - 11:56 PM

New Version Thanks for comments!

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. Nice.

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless My spellcheck is telling me this isn't a word. It could be lying. Fogless doesn't really strike me as any sort of interesting description, though - would one expect the mirror to have fog on it? mirror, then at Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” Snap daddy? What does that mean? He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. If he was going to make any money off Herr Doctor's death, he needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s dying. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no, ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man, the first guy in town with a man bun was working the register.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Elva Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.)  

 

 

You've definitely got a nice voice going here. I do feel like I was bombarded by a lot at once, though, especially by all the names and titles. If you look back over just these last few paragraphs, there's almost a dozen proper nouns (Herr Doctor, Hollar Dollar Dollar Store, Mr. Man Bun Man, his school, etc...). I didn't really have time to process any of it before more was thrown at me. The short sentences seem to have something to do with it too, although that may be just your stylistic choice and a matter of personal preference. 

 

It's definitely entertaining, and a very cool style, but I think toning it down wouldn't hurt.


If you have time, any feedback would be much appreciated!  :wink: 

 

WRITTEN IN THE STARS(YA sci-fi) 

 

Query


#9 qzcoach

qzcoach

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Self published a non-fiction book. Just completed a novel and am actively seeking an agent.

Posted 30 April 2016 - 12:04 PM

I won't be too specific, there are others who have done that better than I could.  I will say it's interesting and quirky and has my attention.  If you can maintain that playful tone throughout the story, I think it would be great.  Forget the precision of words, this is entertaining and makes the reader want to know what's happening, how a person can keep coming back from the dead, and why the middle school boy is stealing from his local store.  All of the elements, in my opinion, of a light and fascinating story.  Great start, I would buy it today if it was available.



#10 lowegradefever

lowegradefever

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 109 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Unpublished

Posted 30 April 2016 - 05:53 PM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. I love the name Spencer Spence - and the opening is definitely the right idea. But I missed "again" the first time through, which you really need. Maybe rephrase as others have suggested to get a bit more punch out of it?

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. I think you need a bit of setting detail at the beginning of this paragraph to ground us - otherwise, it's a bit too abrupt Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes. I think this sentence should immediately follow your first. As in, the second sentence of your MS - it will give Spence a bit of a voice and an immediate concern - allowing your reader to experience the immediacy of the trip. By the way, could you just skip the mirror, fog thing and get right to the fact that he goes to the Holler Dollar Dollar Store (another incredible name - well done)

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) You have some great stuff in here - but it seems out of order. Keep snipping and finding that flow. Hit the ground running with Spencer and what he needs to do - and what's in his way. The faster you can get there, the better.

 

One more thing, and this is most likely just me, but I can't read "Herr Doctor" without thinking Sylvia Plath, and Nazis. I'm not sure you want that reaction (that is, if it's not just me - I teach Plath's poetry so I'm not automatically a universal voice - check with other readers).

 

Good luck!



#11 Caroline2016

Caroline2016

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 10 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationCanada

Posted 03 May 2016 - 09:12 PM

The beginning is very engaging, since the reader is wondering how a guy could die multiple times. I like the humorous tone & fast pace - it really gives you a sense that the MC is in a rush to get what he needs while his great-grandfather is still dead. I have to agree with one of the comments about the use of "Exactly" after the first sentence. Usually when I say "exactly" as a one-word sentence, I mean "you're exactly right", but I get that you meant "at [exactly] 4:36 pm." I would go with that phrasing instead, or maybe if you want to emphasize that the MC is taking note of the precise time his great-grandfather dies each time, you could say that he noted it was 4:36 on the clock & entered it in his notebook or wherever he's keeping details of this strange phenomenon.
Sounds like an intriguing story!

#12 Deeba

Deeba

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 178 posts
  • Literary Status:agented, industry insider
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:I am an editorial assistant at Disney Publishing Worldwide! :)

Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:01 AM

I read a lot of MG, so I think the tone is spot on for a young character. I don't have the same knitpicks as everyone else. MG is a different category in the sense of you don't really need to have too much detailed inner narration. Anyways, here are my thoughts:

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. (1. If you want emphasis on the fact that his great-grandpa dies and comes back to life, instead of again, you can say "for the xth time this week/month/ever". It gives it a playful tone and also the reader knows this is a common occurrence by its frequency. 2. I don't have a problem with exactly. But, if you wanted to give Spencer Spence more voice, try switching up phrasing like "On the dot" or "Right on time". Makes it more playful so the reader knows for sure it's not a serious, sad thing.)

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. (Might be a little confusing for kids thinking this is a different character. Solidify that this is his great-grandpa's name. Also, if you took my comments to the "again", you can cross out this line and it goes straight into Spencer checking for breathing. Flows better with action.) Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. (Great! Kids 100% notice noise hair on old people) Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer. (I might be a younger reader, but I don't know what "Snap daddy" means exactly... don't know if kids will either)

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money. (I love everything about this. It's very playful and authentic to a kids thought process)

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) (Nice ending for this 250. I'm expecting to see the story continue with Spencer shoplifting and going back to his great-grandpa. Nicely done!)


Deeba Zargarpur

Instagram: deebazargarpur

Twitter: @deebazargarpur

Email: deebazargarpur@gmail.com

 


#13 xkime

xkime

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 43 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest
  • Publishing Experience:I've queried agents in the past and have been unsuccessful, but I didn't shred my novels enough first. I got impatient too fast.

Posted 08 May 2016 - 07:48 PM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. WHOA! Great opening line!

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer. I wouldn't use the word "fist" twice, also I'm not sure why anyone's eyes would be fishy? 

 

] I'm confused. Is this supposed to be the first 250 because at first it seemed like it was set up like a query? 

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Is Dollar supposed to be twice? store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man what? This name confuses me.Maybe just Mr. Bun Man? was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 

 

 

First of all, thanks for looking at my query! Second, my overall impression is confusion, but I like it. Does that make sense? You've got me hooked, no doubt. I want to know about Herr Doctor dying over and over and why Spencer is putting on a show. BUT. The writing seems a bit cloudy about what's going on. I do think the writing about when Spencer is going to the store needs to be tightened up. 

 

Also, great job with the MG feel!! Definitely came across right away that it was MG and not YA. Overall I think just a bit confusing but I would turn the page! Good job and good luck!!



#14 Jennifer D.

Jennifer D.

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, agented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 08 May 2016 - 08:54 PM

New Version Thanks for comments!

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly.

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying to die that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor usually stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for just forty-two and a half minutes. "Holler Dollar Dollar Store" is hilarious.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no, ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money. This list definitely makes the reader want to know what's about to happen, particularly the tiara.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man-Bun Man (I'd hyphenate this to make it more clear -- great image) was working the register and primping his man bun. (I think it's funnier if you just say "man bun" once.) Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 

 

This is really funny. Great MG voice, the details are spot-on and engaging. My edits are just suggestions to improve the flow a little bit. 

 

Thanks for reading mine! :)

 

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose, careful not to scrape the prickly grey nose hairs sprouting from each nostril. He stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s glazed eyes before shouting “snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby old hand and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar three blocks away. He needed supplies for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! He had to hurry. In the past, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days. The last time he only stayed dead for forty-three minutes. What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a styrofoam Halloween Headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five no ten boxes of Nerds.

 

Luckily, Herr Doctor was still dead by the time he got back. Spencer set his loot outside the trailer then lugged Herr Doctor outside as well along with Herr Doctor’s latest invention, his super-secret, “don’t touch on pain of death,” voice-activated remote control. Herr Doctor had a lawsuit pending against both Apple and Amazon for stealing his technology. Spencer plopped Herr Doctor in a Hello Kitty! beach chair and stuck the fake lily between his teeth like a corpse dancing the tango.  



#15 ya_km

ya_km

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, unagented
  • LocationUS West Coast

Posted 12 May 2016 - 12:22 AM

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. Wow. Well, that caught my attention.

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. I love this, but I agree with Deeba; it may take younger kids a while to get that Herr Doctor = Spencer Spence's great-grandpa. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. This is a cute and quirky detail. I really like it. Spencer He? stared at the fogless mirror, (comma) then at Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes Cute~ before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. This is a great name. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no, (comma) ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man Hehe. I like this too. was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 

 

I love the quirkiness of this book. You captured a really great voice. It feels like it's been a long time since I read MG, but this seems to be entertaining and completely different from other MG books.

 

I've noticed that other people have recommended adding setting or background, but personally, I didn't see a problem. Personal preference, maybe?

 

Hi, thanks so much for your help on my 250 words. I hope I helped at least a little, but since I'm not an MG reader or writer, I'm not sure how valuable my opinion is. :)


Please help me out with my first query here: http://agentquerycon...a-contemporary/

 

Thank you,

ya_km :)


#16 lynn_vroman

lynn_vroman

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 141 posts
  • Literary Status:published, agented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:TAINTED ENERGY, YA fantasy, Untold Press (November 4, 2014)
    LOST ENERGY, YA fantasy, Untold Press (February 3, 2015)
    SUMMER CONFESSIONS, YA LGBT contemporary, Untold Press (March 10, 2015)
    FRACTURED ENERGY, YA fantasy, Untold Press(Summer 2015)

Posted 12 May 2016 - 06:16 PM

Loved this!

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly.  Perfect first line!

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly gray hairs sprouting from each nostril. ←Awesome description! Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead, fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist-bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar (Is Dollar repeated on purpose?) Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes. ←Ha-ha! Nice!

 

What Spencer needed a plastic white lily; from the Hollar Dollar (You don’t need to repeat the store, as it’s inferred from the above paragraph where he’s getting these things) was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara; a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?”; and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money. Suggested using semicolons to split your list, as the punctuation used can make it a tad confusing.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck (love!). Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun. Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.).

 

Great beginning! I don’t read much MG, but this definitely sounds completely interesting, and I’s read on! Strong voice!

 



#17 Comicazy

Comicazy

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 137 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 19 May 2016 - 12:53 AM

New Version Thanks for comments!

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly. (I read somewhere that one word sentences are a no-no.)

 

It was Herr Doctor’s(I'm assuming that Herr Doctor is the great-grandpa's name?) fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale (signs of) breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 

I don't have too much to say on this. MG isn't really my field, but this seems to read pretty well. Thanks for your comments on mine, and good luck to you.

 

Comic



#18 DJ McP

DJ McP

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 48 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Midwest

Posted 30 May 2016 - 07:36 AM

I'm considering changing the title to SPENCER SPENCE AND THE ETERNITY WORM--I like the other one, but it seems too long. Any thoughts?

 

Spencer Spence’s great-grandpa died again on Halloween at 4:36 pm. Exactly.

 

It was Herr Doctor’s fifth time dying that month. Spencer held a mirror under Herr Doctor’s nose to check for any tell-tale breathing, careful not to scrape the prickly grey hairs sprouting from each nostril. Spencer stared at the fogless mirror then Herr Doctor’s dead-fishy eyes before clapping his hands and shouting, “Snap daddy!” He fist bumped Herr Doctor’s knobby fist and raced out of their trailer.

 

Instead of running for a doctor, Spencer headed straight for the Holler Dollar Dollar Store three blocks away. Spencer had to hurry. He needed props for his next Extravaganza of the Dead! if he planned on making any money off Herr Doctor’s temporary corpse. Normally, Herr Doctor stayed dead for at least three days, but the last time he only stayed dead for forty-two and a half minutes.

 

 

What Spencer needed from the Hollar Dollar was a plastic white lily, a fake rhinestone princess tiara, a cardboard Halloween headstone with a cool epitaph like “I’m ugly because worms ate my eyeballs. What’s your excuse?” and five--no ten--boxes of Nerds. What Spencer didn’t have was money.

 

Spencer stopped at the entrance to the Hollar Dollar and spat on his fingers for luck. Mr. Man Bun Man was working the register and primping his man bun.  Instead of money, Spencer had the lightest fingers in all of Thomas Adison Middle School, home of the Fighting Lightbulbs (the school was one typo away from being named after the most famous inventor of all time.) 






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users