TITLE: Sherlock Bones
GENRE: Middle Grades Novel
"Aaaawoooo! Aaaawoooo!" Wilson was not only a loyal companion to Sherlock Bones but also the siren for their police vehicle. Detective Bones' long ears and droopy cheeks were flapping outside the car window as he steered over icy patches of road.
"Scccreeeeech-ch-ch!" Wilson yelled as they slid sideways into a parking lot filled with flashing blue lights and blinding snowflakes.
"That's quite enough sound effects for now. Wilson, go distract the Chief while I concentrate on the crime scene. I must sniff the stench of death while the body is still fresh," Bones, the famous bloodhound, announced as he descended from the vehicle and flung on his trademark plaid cap with earflaps and matching cape. He began snuffling the area inside the yellow tape while a bulky shape lay strangely still underneath a sheet as white as the surrounding snow.
Detective Silas Wilson was a Scottish terrier and it was difficult to tell him apart from the road as he leaped down onto a patch of black asphalt. "What happened here, Chief?" Wilson switched on his recorder to document the facts of the case.
"Well, it appears that a male German shepherd was hit by a car around ten o'clock tonight," Chief Doyle said as he scratched behind an ear with his hind leg.
"Were there any witnesses?" the Scottie inquired as he watched Sherlock lift the sheet to examine the corpse.
I like the idea of a dog hero named Sherlock Bones. A lot of fun could be had with this. I especially like "I must sniff the stench of death..."ReplyDelete
This piece has passive writing (were flapping, began snuffling) and overuses prepositional phrases beginning with "as." The writer should cut the telling, too (Detective Silas Wilson was a Scottish terrier...)
I wondered why the sidekick is not Dr. Watson.
I really like the concept here but the writing needs work. I had to read the first paragraph several times in order to figure out who made the first sound and who was driving. I'm still not sure. It says Bones's cheeks are flapping outside the car while he is steering. So his head is out the window but he's still driving the car?ReplyDelete
Also, I was a bit confused by Wilson starting off with a dog sound and then breaking into full English later. I think you need to spend more time making it clear that these are dogs...dogs that speak like humans.
Begining with action: great. And I agree, your concept is cool. I think kids will really like this. Your writing needs to be tighter. Hack away and then you'll get more story on the first page.ReplyDelete
I agree with above commenters. And I think the concept is Awesome!ReplyDelete
Good luck with SA!
This is a cute concept and I love the imagination you've put into it.ReplyDelete
The beginning paragraph was just a tad confusing to me, only in that I couldn't figure out how he was driving with his head out the window. I got the sound effects of the siren and the brakes, though.
You do need to watch those pesky passive sentences, too. It's easy to not see them when you're so familiar with the work.
Good luck. I'd keep reading.
I really like the idea of a Sherlock Bones character, it's very cute and has a lot of potential. I also wondered why his assistant was not named Watson or Doc, or something similar.ReplyDelete
However, the writing is a bit confusing and I had to re-read it a couple times until I figured out what was happening. I'm still not certain if the dogs are driving an actual car...
I do think you have a great concept here, but the writing needs work, the dialogue didn't draw me in, and neither did the presented mystery.
Funny and great concept but the writing needs some tightening. Also having Wilson act very dog-like in the opening paragraph and then talk like a person later is a little confusing.ReplyDelete
Yeah, great concept. Some weak was and -ing verbs, but all that is easily fixed. I'm hooked.ReplyDelete
It's a fun concept for a younger audience. I don't think I've seen Sherlock Holmes done with dogs before either. I agree with Desirae that Wilson should be at least Doc so it's more similar to Watson. I like the dog mannerisms that are woven into the action.ReplyDelete
I agree with Cathio...the dog mannerisms woven in with the mystery make this a fun read. I wonder if it's more like an older chapter book than middle grade, though? Good luck to you!ReplyDelete
Must say I love the story line! It's unique! I can't wait to find out how this dog will handle the intriguing and cooky character that is Sherlock. As for writing style, it needs a little tweaking but it's much better than most. I actually enjoy the Watson character. I don't know why commenters want him to be Doc or Watson... Wilson is similar enough to get the point across... ;)ReplyDelete
Overall, a pleasure to read.
Love this! Way to go on concept. Just polish up the writing - I agree with above commenters. My son would absolutely keep reading!ReplyDelete
I confess to having read this before the contest, but I enjoyed reading it again!ReplyDelete
The one line that jumped out at me as needing some editing was Sherlock's first line of dialogue -- the tag on that line is really long, and seeing as this would be at the young end of MG, you don't want to trip up a kid reader right off the bat.
Really like the detail of the setting and the dogs' actions.
I agree with all of the above commenters... but I feel like a dog MC is way too young for a middle grade audience. Maybe as a chapter book? I'm most familiar with YA though, so I'm not positive.ReplyDelete
I kind of agree that the dog detective idea sounds like a chapter book, but you start off with a dead dog. A dead talking dog, I'm guessing. Disturbing stuff for this age group. Does he have to be dead? It looks like I'm the only one bothered by this so far, though.ReplyDelete
I don't see any passive voice... ears can flap, but maybe other commenters don't care for the verb tense. Maybe "long ears and droopy cheeks flapped" instead? At any rate, small details easily fixed.ReplyDelete
Fun concept, clever details. I'm hooked and I'm sure a clever 2nd/3rd grader would be too! Good luck!
I love anthrofiction, and I enjoyed the concept here. I think it needs some work, writing-wise, as I was a bit confused right off whether Wilson was also a dog or if it was just Bones (until you mention Wilson is a terrier).ReplyDelete
So, I like the idea here (taking the Sherlock Holmes mythos and recasting it with dogs) and a bit of smoothing out will make it a great opener. :)
I agree with all the others - I like the idea but the writing needs a little more polish (less non-said dialogue tags etc.) I was also confused by how Bones was steering if his head was outside the window. I'd prefer this if you started with the third paragraph and cut the sound effects line. I loved the Chief scratching behind his ear as well :-)ReplyDelete
I love Wilson - he cracks me up! I'm not a fan of writing out sound affects, because I think it forces the child to 'hear' what the sound is rather than 'hear' it for themselves. For instance, instead of saying "Aawoo," you could write a line that says how Wilson makes an ear-piercing sound like a siren and then describe Bones' reaction. (I'm not going to write the sentence for you, but I hope you get what I'm trying to say.)ReplyDelete
Between the dialogue and description in the third paragraph, I was lost in the abundance of adjectives. Definitely trim it or break up into two or three sentences.