Thursday, April 28, 2016

Are You Hooked? Middle Grade #34

TITLE: How Ty and I Saved the World
GENRE: MG - Sci Fi caper

Cousins Reggie and Ty disagree about whether aliens really exist. When aliens actually arrive in Spokane, the boys realize they have gotten way more than they asked for. When the aliens run amuck, shrinking a neighbor girl, Charlie, the kids know they have to fix things. But how?

I set the colander on my head and adjusted it so that I could glare at Ty. This whole idea was his and it was just plain stupid.


"That's good.” Ty stood back to admire the tin foil “antennas” he'd added to the colander's legs.
"Define good." I peered at myself in the mirror. I looked like you could plug me into a three-way socket and blow some serious fuses. Maybe black out half of Spokane.

"Quit being negative, Reggie," Ty said. "This is going to work."

Colander, green wig, matching face paint. Ty had mined the Halloween closet as well as the kitchen to come up with this getup. I had lost the toss, of course, so I had to wear it. I looked weird. We were supposedly going for alien. I cocked an eyebrow at him.

“Seriously, dude,” Ty said, “you look awesome.”

My cousin Ty is like that. He gets caught up with stuff. Then he eggs me on until I get caught up, too. You want to know, most of the trouble I've gotten into in the past eleven-plus years has been thanks to him. This dare wouldn't even have made our Top Ten Crazy Dares list. Not then, anyway.

Like a lot of our stunts, it had started with an argument.

"Wouldn't it be awesome to meet a real alien?" Ty had asked. It was summer vacation, and he'd been watching way too much of the sci-fi channel. He has cable at his house.

16 comments:

  1. You had me at "caper". I like how much you packed into your log line. I knew before I read a single word of the first page that this would be funny. And it was. The voice and situation felt very MG, with the MC on the cusp between self-awareness and ridiculous stunts. Great details and dialog all the way through. My only suggestion for revision would be to re-examine the end, where you begin a flashback. It stops the action you've just (wonderfully) set into motion. All in all, I enjoyed this greatly and would totally read more.

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    1. Thanks for your comments. It all helps.

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  2. I agree about the caper. This sounds like a great one! Adjusting the colander so he can glare is so vivid. The voice sounds good to me. If anything, I noticed the verb tenses seemed a little more complicated than necessary. "I had lost the toss,"--I lost the toss might work. "This dare wouldn't even have made our Top Ten Crazy Dares list."--I wasn't sure when this list fell in story timeline. Then another time shift at the end. Is it possible to simplify so that the tenses are simpler? Might make it even funnier than it already is. Fun!

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    1. Thanks so much. Tense tenses, for sure.

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  3. First off, I liked this and would continue reading. I have no real complaint. I liked the voice. I like to look for things an eleven year old would never say, references to Mayberry RFD for instance. I questioned briefly the line “I looked like you could plug me into a three-way socket and blow some serious fuses. Maybe black out half of Spokane.” But decided that this works, assuming the kid is kind of smart and geeky, which I assume he is.

    In the blurb I would say that the girl does not need to be named, but more importantly, why do the kids think they have to fix things. I’d simply run the other way, myself. What draws them to be heroic?

    Thanks for the fun read

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    1. Thanks. Blurbs are always tricky.

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  4. Loved this! You might not need "3-way" socket, but the bit about blacking out Spokane was perfect.
    Not sure about "eggs me on" as being modern kid, but the Dares list was also awesome.

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  5. Loved this! You might not need "3-way" socket, but the bit about blacking out Spokane was perfect.
    Not sure about "eggs me on" as being modern kid, but the Dares list was also awesome.

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  6. I really liked this entry. Everything about it had me hooked. The humor was organic and the voice spot on. Good entry. I would read on.

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  7. Could be fun to have "Wouldn't it be awesome to meet a real alien" as your first line.

    Nice work on the voice. Feels like two buddies hanging out and getting creative with their time.

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    1. Thanks. That's what I was aiming for.

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  8. This sounds like so much fun! And your voice is spot on. The only thing I noticed that you might want to change a bit is the 3rd to last and 2nd to last paragraphs feel like all telling a bit too soon, and I think you could use your voice and humor to show this and it would draw the reader in even more.

    Best of luck as you move forward with this!
    Jamie - Entry #35

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    1. Thanks. It gives me something to think about. Now how could I....

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