Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #24

TITLE: Snodgaard and the Moustache of Power
GENRE: MG Humourous Fantasy Adventure

Birthdays didn't matter in Nomanfel. Life began on Moustache Day--one year from the day the first hairs appeared on a boy's (or girl's) upper lip. Snodgaard had waited thirteen long years for this day.

The morning sun glinted off the axe as Snodgaard lifted the blade over his head and said, "Mighty Snodgaard wields his axe and the wood trembles at his power." Swinging it down, he hit the corner of the log. The log flew sideways and smacked his mom's favourite pig in the snout. The pig squealed, then planted its fat rump on the hunk of wood.

Snodgaard scowled. How could he focus on chopping wood when his first Moustache Day was ruined? Today should've been the best day of his life. He and his friends should've been feasting on pickled eggs, jellied cod, and candied eel. The villagers should've been bringing gifts of moustache wax and moustache combs of various sizes.

But no! His Moustache Day party had to be postponed all because of the stupid moon. No one, unless they were brainless, crazy, or an idiot sausage maker would go anywhere during the full moon.

Snodgaard wrestled the log away from the pig, mud squishing under his feet, and set it on the chopping stump. He slammed the axe down onto the wood. The blade sunk into the log. Snodgaard lifted the axe and the log came along with it. He shook the axe. Banged the wood on the stump.


  1. Creative world building! I had to laugh---the names, the holiday, the food...and an angry teen with an axe.
    I'd have to read on. : )

  2. I'd keep reading, too! I want to know why it's dangerous to go out during the full moon, and I LOVE the names you've chosen.

    There are little things you could tweak. For instance, I'd change "He slammed the axe down onto the wood. The blade sunk into the log." to "He slammed the axe down into the log." But your character's voice and the world you've created are great.

    Good luck!

  3. This is ridiculous in humorous fashion and I love it. I'm intrigued by this "Moustache day" and just what is wrong with going out on a full moon. I'm buying this crazy world. I would say the last paragraph lost the energy that the previous paragraphs. They were a bit choppy (ironically, but no pun intended :) compared to earlier, so I would consider connecting some of the sentences as a previous poster has mentioned, like the last two lines. Still, I would want to see where this goes.

  4. I liked this too. It made me laugh.

    My only comment is that the last paragraph loses a little steam. I think it's the repetitive nature of; wrestling the log away, setting it on the chopping stump, slamming the axe, blade sunk in to the log, lifted the axe, shook the axe, banged the wood on stump. Perhaps some summary would tighten this sequence up and lift the energy of the paragraph.

    Given the nature of fairy-tales in general, I'm very interested to know if banging the wood on the stump summons some kind of sleeping gremlin. In other words, I want to know what happens next. A very good thing.

  5. I'm interested to see what happens next. I like the idea. I especially like that girls get mustaches also.

    I also like the food references. I like food in stories, though I'm not clear on why sausage making is bad.

    It would be nice to have a bit more premonition of the impending bad thing that is coming (unless postponing his Moustache Day party is the bad thing). Though I understand that 250 words isn't much.

  6. I like it! Very cute, I'd definitely keep reading because I can see you are going to take me on a fun ride with a likeable MC. I agree with a comment above - last paragraph read choppy and journalistic. I'm sure you are going somewhere with the set-up, but we prob. don't need so much of it.

  7. If life begins a year after the first mustache hair grows, what's life like before that?

    Then his 'first' mustache day is ruined. My question is does this mean there is more than one Mustache Day in a person's life, and how can that be if Mustache Day is celebrated a year after the first hair arrives, since the first hair would only appear once?

    The villagers should have been bringing gifts, etc. If the whole village celebrates a person's Mustache Day, is this then a village that celebrates a lot, since not everybody would be celebrating Mustache Day at the same time. They could very well have to celebrate someone's Mustache Day every day, depending on how populated the village is. Perhaps it needs to be a person's family and friends who celebrate it, the way we celebrate individual birthdays?

    And if this is a traditional celebration, then there must have been others before Snodgaard who's Mustache Day fell on the day of a full moon, and provisions must have been made for such cases.

    It's a fun idea, but I think it perhaps hasn't been thought through enough.

  8. I like this very much--like the girls getting mustaches as well as the boys. Love the names and the world and the pig getting hit in the snout--love that his mother has a favorite pig.

    I'd want to see more but I'd want to know pretty fast what was going to make this different from The Chronicles of Prydain and How to Train Your Dragon. We love these stories, but what's fresh about yours? That's what I'd need to know.

  9. Sorry it took so long to get a critique for you. I absolutely love this story beginning! This is so out there, and yet it has it's own logic to it that you can't help just get sucked into. You've introduced the rules of an entire world in just a few short paragraphs, plus you've made an interesting character and gave him a problem right off the bat. The only thing I would change is to get him off cutting that log and get more into his problem. Nicely done! Will be waiting to read this someday!