Wednesday, October 29, 2008

25 Drop The Needle TENSION

TITLE: Molly Gumnut’s Little Critters
GENRE: Children’s Chapter book

Molly wants her mother to buy her a bunny rabbit. When she sees two guinea pigs in a rural store and hears a man saying he is going to buy them to feed his snake, she tries to save them.

“Calm down, Molly. What do you mean?”

Molly slapped her hands on her waist. “Some nasty, mean man is going to buy them and feed them to his snake. I heard him talking, but the lady won’t sell them to me. She said I have to bring a parent.” Molly grabbed hold of her mother’s hand and pulled. “Hurry, Mum!”

Mrs Gumnut sighed. “Molly, I’ve told you, you’re too young and to have a pet.”

Realising the only way to get any action was to act like a baby - Molly threw herself on the ground and kicked her legs about. “I don’t want those guinea pigs to die!” She wailed and punched the floor.

“Oh, Get up, Molly!” Her mother pulled her up by the hand. “You’re nearly seven, not three. We’ll go to the store. I need a few things anyway.”

Wiping her eyes on her sleeve, Molly followed her mother to the car. Arriving at the store, Molly ran to the counter towards the young man. “See, I’ve brought my mother with me to pick up my guinea pigs. I left a two dollars deposit yesterday.”

The man looked at Molly, then at her mother. “I’m sorry, but a man came in and bought them. I didn’t know about your deposit.”

“NO! NO!” cried Molly as she banged her little fist on the counter. “They were mine!” Tears streamed down her cheeks. “That horrid man will feed them to his snake.” She sobbed and stamped her foot.


  1. Oh, Molly Gumnut...I fell in love with this character last time around.

    I feel her conflict here. It's a good example of tension. Good job.

    Just a couple of tiny, tiny things...As far as I know, the preference is toward (without the 's'). (I told you ... tiny things.)

    I also don't think you need the "little" adjective in the line about banging her fist on the counter. It clutters the sentence, and we know Molly is little.

    I look forward to more of Molly Gumnut. Good job!

  2. This is too cute. I love her!

  3. Oh, goodness, will the snake actually get to eat those poor guinea pigs?

    For a children's book, I would say this is quite a bit of tension. I can see the big eyes now as they envision the fate of those poor piggies.

    Good job!

  4. It's Molly Gumnut, again! Such a wonderful character.

    Yes, there is great conflict and tension here. What will happen to those poor little guinea pigs?

    Good job. :)

  5. Ah, Molly. Love this character. Yes, definitely I feel the tension in a lot of ways - the tension about the g.pigs, the tension between Molly and her mum and the store guy. Minor thoughts: I didn't really care for the line "" because it seems a bit rational for Molly's mind state plus it feels a bit telling. I like the idea more that she means the temper tantrum. Also I don't know about "little fists" - I go back and forth on it. I like the image, but then it's in Molly's POV so would she think of her hand as little... But anyway, I love Molly and love this story,and this is a good, tense scene.

  6. If I was still a kid I would devour this book. Molly Gumnut sounds like a good read.

  7. Yay! Molly's back! (She seems to have developed a fan club around here in short order.) :-)

    From a small child's perspective, I think this would be quite tense indeed. What a horrifying fate awaits those poor guinea pigs unless Molly can do something to save them!

    There's always tightening to be done in one's writing, but this story manages to be sweet and tense at the same time. Nice!

  8. Why would Molly refer to her mother as Mrs Gumnut? If we're really in her POV, she'd refer to her a Mom.

    Also, Molly comes across as a really unsympathetic character. All she does is scream, cry, and throw tantrums--not really great lessons that parents will want to pass on to their kids.

  9. Thanks everyone for the comments so far. You're all awsome.

    Molly is a brat of a child who loves animals and will do anything to save them. She's naughty, cunning and dissobedient. My aim isn't to encourage children to be naughty, just to make the story interesting enough so that they will read.

    Hopefully some children will learn some information about the care of animals. I have quite a number of Molly Gumnut chapter books. They all have different animals.

    Your comments all help.

  10. This is well done, but I'm not sure if I'm tense.

    I don't like any rodents, and it's odd the guy would buy guinea pigs to feed his snake, when the little white mice are cheaper...

    That said... for the age group this is aimed at - they would definitely be tense. Plus, they would have seen the earlier chapter and oogled over the gps with Molly.

  11. Sponge, the man bought all the white mice in the rural supply store, but when Molly heard that he was going to feed them to his snake, she tipped them out and they escaped out the door. He also wanted the two guinea pigs.

    People do actually feed guinea pigs to snakes. Just ask a snake owner. I think it's evil.

  12. This was great--really enjoyed it. The only thing that drew my attention away from the story was Molly using "horrid." Seems like a strange word for a 7 year old.

    (and I have to add this because it totally make me crack up, despite it being off topic--the word verification for this post is 'pubes'. I'm easily amused...)

  13. Love this! Molly's character is certainly an attention-grabber.

    Good tension, too. I don't want those guinea pigs to die, either!

    Not sure Molly would use the word horrid? Maybe, though, she's like my sister-in-law who's grown up around adults and uses their large vocab all the time?

    Good job here!