Wednesday, March 18, 2009

11 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Crime Sketcher Case Files
GENRE: MG Mystery

It didn’t take long for Matthew Howell to turn his teacher into a witch. It was easy for him since she already looked like one, with her pointed nose and stringy black hair. His pencil scraped the paper as squiggles turned into hands and legs. The clothes came next, then he added a broom and a pet spider. A few extra shadows made her nose even longer.

Matt shivered as he looked at it. It was only a cartoon but it was his teacher, Mrs. Riley, staring up at him from under a witch’s hat.

Then a hand snatched his paper. It was Mrs. Riley's hand. The real Mrs. Riley.

"What is this?” she said.

“I…uh…well....” Matt watched his teacher look at the cartoon version of herself. If she noticed it was her face on the paper, he was in big trouble.

Mrs. Riley studied the paper and put it back down on his desk. “Matthew, you are supposed to be writing words, not drawing pictures.”

“Oh, well…,” he began, but the words caught in his throat as his teacher bent toward his desk. A few knotted strands of her hair touched his desktop. They reminded him of a black web, though this one was attached to the side of her head. He wondered if she really did have a pet spider at home.

She took a quick glance around the room and then spoke in a low voice. “Try to get the nose right next time. Now get to work writing, Matthew.”

27 comments:

Chris Eldin said...

Really like the voice in this one! Does the teacher really get turned into a witch? This sounds like a lot of fun!

:-)

June said...

Oh, how funny! This is really enjoyable and I love the play on how he "turned her into a witch". Nice spin by not having her get angry with him, I really want to see what comes next.

puzzlehouse said...

Great first line, great close. I'd definitely keep reading!

WaskaWriter said...

Nicely done and great humor. A kid drawing his teacher as a witch, then getting caught? Perfect middle grade hook!

Liz Wolfe said...

I liked this one very much. Especially how he scared himself a little with the drawing and his teacher's reaction.

Tess said...

I liked this as well. It's funny and interesting and I'd read on in a heartbeat. Fun MG stuff. Good luck!

Rick said...

I liked it. Sorry I can't offer anything more constructive than that!

Megs said...

Ha. This has a goosebumps feel to it, until I got down to the ending part, where it set up a side story. Like the teacher gets the witch comparisions a lot from imaginative kids, but is really a nice person, etc. :]

slhastings said...

I recognize the title from the blueboards.

Anyway, this has a great voice, nice flow, humor, and suspense.

Nice job!

H. L. Dyer said...

Yes, hooked. Very cute voice here.

Jeannie said...

The little details of this opening were wonderful - I could see the witch drawing with the pet spider. And the drawing tells me so much about Matt's character.

I would definitely keep reading. This sounds like a lot of fun.

PCB said...

I like this - but I think you should focus on the strength of your dialogue...and cut out some unnecessary description. For instance: "His pencil scraped the paper as squiggles turned into hands and legs." I think as MG fiction, you could just say he drew hands and legs, and everyone would be onboard.

sonja said...

I like the pencil scraping paper-- leave it in! Very nicely done. Great reaction from the teacher, as well.

Philomena said...

Well, I'm hooked. I loved how he got creeped out by his own drawing, and the detail of Mrs. Riley's hair brushing the desk is genuinely creepy. The last part made me laugh out loud. This sounds fun, and I'd definitely turn the page.

KLHunsicker said...

I love the tone and pace of this piece. I would definitely read on. Super job.

macaronipants said...

I'm hooked! This is a great example of me having no idea where the story is going and not giving a fig. I'd keep following because the voice is so strong. And I figure it must have something to do with the sketching, which is great. Good job!

Lori said...

Cute! The voice is perfect for an MG, and I love Matt’s perspective, as well as how the teacher responds to the drawing. Good work! I’d read on!

Laura Keete said...

I agree! Great visuals, fun read. good luck!

McKoala said...

This is sharp and funny. A great start.

Samantha Elliott said...

Just glanced through and saw this first line. Brilliant way to make a commonplace scene (a kid doodling in class) really catchy and interesting. Bravo/a!!

Susanne said...

I love this. I think my impossible to please 14 year old son would love this. Great feel, good pace. I want to read more!

Lisa and Laura said...

Great voice and a fun premise. I'd definitely keep reading.

Plus, rumor has it that agents and editors are salivating for good MG boy books. I'm jealous!

Dorothy said...

Oh, Yeah! I'm hooked for sure. Excellent writing. It moved along so well, I saw the boy sitting there drawing, feeling his not wanting to be caught, and when he is, I'm as confused as he is. Maybe she really is a witch! Why else would she offer advice oon how to make her look more like herself next time? On with it. I want to know more.

I think this looks like an extremely readable MG mystery. Good luck getting it published. Needs a few zany illustrations, too.

Cat said...

Love it! Hope it gets published, will buy

lucent1 said...

This is certainly fun. I have read more than a few mg books wherein the teacher is a witch so am hoping this brings a fresh perspective to that story line. Well written. Good luck!

Secret Agent said...

Yes! Great premise--nice to have a cool adult/teacher for a change. Absolutely into it. Nice job!

SA

Jamie said...

You had me at "get the nose right next time." I loved that. Definitely hooked.