Thursday, April 28, 2016

Are You Hooked? Middle Grade #35

TITLE: Blazing Frost
GENRE: MG - Fantasy

As the hybrid daughter of fire and ice dragon changelings, Sahsa’s perfectly content never knowing what scaly abomination she’ll shift into. But when her father’s clan kidnaps her mother, Sasha must uncover the reason behind the warring clans, before either side forces her to fight against everyone—including her family.

The idea of scales and horns horrified Sasha. Everything about being a dragon did. Not even the thought of flying could soften the blow of what she was about to become. And the more she resisted, the more her insides tore apart at the seams. She crossed her arms and leaned against the barn wall.

"Sasha, you have to shift," her mother pleaded for the thousandth time. "It's unnatural to keep denying the instinct."

"Instinct or not, I don't want dragon breath." She sighed. "What's the big deal if I never shift? Who's it really hurting?" But she knew the answer already. The longer she waited, the worse the pains would get. And the war inside her mind approached a point of explosion. Risk her life, or someone else’s. It was only a matter of time.

Her mother's eyebrows fell as she frowned. She blinked for a moment too long. When her eyes opened, water filled them.

“If you’d have grown up in a clan with other changelings, maybe you’d want this,” her mother said.

Sasha had heard it a million times before—be like the others of her kind, change into dragon form, learn to fly, speak telepathically. On the surface it all sounded so wonderful, until she’d learned about the immense responsibility those abilities required and the horrors other dragons had committed.

Not all dragons were bad, of course, but as a hybrid, she didn’t know what tendencies she might develop, including whether she’d spew fire or ice breath.


  1. I'm so hooked! I love dragons and this sounds like a unique take. You've packed a lot of punch in this opening and given us a great introduction into your world and insight into your MC and her problems with a well done interaction with her mother. I feel like I have everything I need to read on, and read on I would! Well done. The only nitpick I have is the last line of your logline -- forces her to fight everyone--including her family. Could this be more specific? Her family is already warring it sounds like. Maybe this could be something more personal to her.

  2. Echoing Traci, this is well-written.

    My one thought for a possible change is the last sentence in the first paragraph. The paragraph is all thought, then ends with an action. It's personally preference but I might move the action into a new paragraph or maybe have the action as a response to her mother's first line.

    It's well written, so there's not really anything else I'd suggest changing.

    The character's concerns about the unknown nature of her hybrid form seem spot on. It certainly would be a realistic worry and makes Sasha more real as a character as a result.

  3. There is nothing wrong with this entry and it was well written but it didn't capture my attention. I would like to see more personality to the writing. The parts where you tried using humor didn't seem genuine, it felt like you were obligated to use humor and was uncomfortable doing so.

  4. Nice work. Though I don't tend to go hard fantasy, I found the parent/kid dynamic likable immediately. Relatable to anyone ever parented. I also liked that she resists what she's supposed to do because she's afraid of what she'll do in that form - also completely believable.

    I thought you could be less tell-y in the "Instinct or not..." paragraph. You could cut those questions and it would be more powerful.

    Also, in the first paragraph "tore apart at the seams" threw me. I couldn't tell she was in pain until later. I just sounded more gross. Make that more personally painful for her and you're closer.

    Nice work. Keep tinkering!