Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are You Hooked? #14

TITLE: The Amazing Adventures of Heroic Man's Brother
GENRE: Humorous Superhero Fantasy

My fingers quivered with excitement as I plugged in the last thumb-sized, plastic piece and stepped back. Yep, that did it. After four years of nonstop, grueling—but at times invigorating—work, my masterpiece was finally complete. And finally—oh thank God finally—I could prove my genius to the C.E.O. of Electrifirm and get the hell out of the mailroom once and for all.

Raw energy bolted through me as I stared at the array of tiny substations splayed out on the electrical power grid model on my bedroom desk.

Tomorrow was the day. Tomorrow I’d do it. First thing in the morning I’d walk right up to my boss with the model and demand he show it to—

“Norm—dinner!” Mom’s voice wafted from the bottom of the stairs into my bedroom.

But first there was dinner to attend.

“Coming!” I shouted.

The scent of steamed fresh vegetables never smelled so succulent—okay, it was intermixed with the heavy, foul odor of red meat—as I hopped down the stairs two at a time—the first time I’d done that since I was eleven or so. No doubt about it. I felt like a child again in light of my amazing accomplishment. Tomorrow was the day my life would change forever, and at the ripe-old age of twenty-four, no less. It simply felt too good to be true.

But the euphoric feeling immediately plummeted to the wooden floor at the sight of my brother’s massive, muscular figure at the dinner table.


  1. This is light and fun. I'd like a better set up for the last sentence, though. Why would he be surprised or depressed to find his own brother at the dinner table? Unless his brother is also the CEO of Electrifirm, it doesn't tie in.
    Great start, though.

  2. I was hooked by the title! And the beginning doesn't disappoint. It establishes character, voice, setting, and a touch of plot. Great job!

  3. I really enjoyed this piece! The title drew me in and resonated with the last sentence here.

    I'm very interested in Norm's relationship with his brother. You've made me sympathize with the hero's younger (?) brother, and I need more.

    Well written. Good luck on your continued revisions.

  4. You do a great job of setting Norm up for failure. Already I'm rooting for him, but there's a sense of impending doom. What I'm not liking are the em dashes. Using them sparingly is fine, but you have so many on one page that it's distracting.

  5. Nice hook and twist with the last line. I was a little confused with the first paragraph, but once you explained what he was building it made sense.

    “Norm—dinner!” Mom’s voice wafted from the bottom of the stairs into my bedroom.”

    I’m not sure about the choice of the word “wafting”.

    Both the voice and the writing are excellent. This is a genre I enjoy and I would definitely read more.

  6. This is really cute, and the title is pretty funny, although I think it may be a little too over the top! (But that's no big deal, since titles are often changed anyway.) There were just a few minor issues that I noticed.

    I don't think you need the comma after 'thumb-sized', and you definitely need one after 'thank God'. And I would cut 'But first there was dinner to attend.' since that's obvious, and I don't think it adds anything humor-wise.

    In the second to the last paragraph, the three dashes can't work, because you have to have one pair of dashes to set off a parenthetical phrase, and having another at the end makes that unclear. The first two are fine (setting off his comment about the scent of the meat), but I'd suggest just making 'the first time, etc.' into a separate sentence to avoid the issue; you could say 'It was the first time...'

    And then at the end I would cut the word 'wood' -- although I'm all for descriptive details, it feels out of place there, and I think the phrase 'plummeted to the floor' is stronger without it.

    This looks like lots of fun though, and I can just imagine all the contrasts and conflicts between our nerdy narrator and his hulking brother who's probably his polar opposite!

  7. I'm not quite hooked for this one, yet. I am intrigued for sure with an adult living at home and this deep need and desire to prove something so want is quickly established.

    For me there were too many adjectives that cluttered up sentences and I'd hack many of them away to streamline things and let the words do more work. I was also told a lot rather than seeing things play out organically. Like I was told about the brother being massive rather than feeling the narrator run into him. I was told he was twenty-four rather than being introduced to him as an adult living at home in a scene with his parents or others. I'd love to see the awkwardness of an older guy living at home rather than be told so much from the outset. But the overall idea and hook I am into.

  8. I thought it was fun but, to me, it read middle-grade. The MC might be talking about adult things, but it seems to be said the way a MG kid would say it. Maybe work at making the MC sound more like he's 24?