Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First 50 Words #22

TITLE: Hunted Humans

A marble sizzled with blue sparks under Wyatt Parker's desk. Then the color vanished. The strange object wasn't there before recess. He crawled beneath the gum-covered desk and hoped none one would notice him. When he touched the smooth glass, the marble buzzed and glowing clouds swirled inside.


  1. I'm guessing the marble is what transports him in some way to the SF world in your book, which is a cool concept. However, I'm thrown right away by the fact that he crawls under the desk (hoping no one would see him) to pick it up. Why doesn't he just reach down and grab it? Maybe slip it into his pocket for inspection later when he is alone?

  2. Just my 2 cents, but I'd like a little more intro before we dive right into the inciting incident. It feels a little forced to me otherwise.

  3. A few things jumped out at me. "The strange object wasn't there before recess" should be "The strange object hadn't been there before recess," and you've got a small typo in the next sentence, "none one" instead of "no one."

    Also, I agree with therealtwinmom and Girl Friday on both counts. I'm not buying that the MC needs to crawl under the desk to retrieve the marble, and we could probably use a little more lead-in before we jump straight to the marble. It's something you could play around with, anyway.

  4. I agree with the previous comments. There's a lot of description here but none of it directs us to the issue. I'd like to know is he shocked to see the marble? Has he seen one before? Does he want to hide it because he knows what it is? I know would most likely draw attention to himself by getting under a desk in class.

  5. I agree with the other posters on their comments, however, I do want to add that even with those small issues, this one caught my attention as something I'd be interested in. Play with your intro and see what you come up with. Finding the perfect intro seems to be harder than writing the entire rest of the book!

  6. I'm a snob for good writing and this isn't quite there yet. You could do a lot to build up this scene by tightening up your flow. I find it choppy. Not hooked.

  7. It's interesting but it needs more work. Perhaps start with Wyatt looking at the marble, rather than with the marble.

    The gum-covered desk implies a desk covered in gum, and I know that's not what you mean. Be specific and say several wads of gum were stuck on the underside of the desk, or whatever the case may be.

    As others have said, how can you crawl under a desk and not be noticed.

    And why is he touching the glass? WOuldn't he pick it up quick so no on noticed it, so he could keep it for himself?

    Perhaps rewrite that you are saying what you mean, and so that what is happening is clear and accurate.

  8. I also would like to see some of these sentences combined so that the "flow" is smoother!

  9. I agree with most of the other commenters. Great concept, but I was a little confused as I was reading it. I am assuming he is in class? Are there other people around? Did they see the marble sparking? When the color vanished was it still sparking?

  10. Hi,

    I disagree with a lot of the statements. I like it. There are a couple of picky things with the writing, but it draws me in.

    For me, the first sentence is perfect.

    I wouldn't call it a strange object. Look for words describing a small, round thing to have a synonym for marble.

    Kids crawl under their desks at school, hoping that no one will notice them, but the desk is not gum-covered. I loved the swirling clouds in the tiny orb. Maybe it is a portal, but we don't know yet. It could be something else.


  11. What if the marble is distracting Wyatt from his lesson and he's trying first, to see what it is and second, to pick it up, all without being noticed. It would add tension and suspense and make us feel what Wyatt's feeling.

    I like the concept and would like to know what happens next.