Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grab My Heart #3

TITLE: Seamus O'Roarke and the Summer of Swampfoot
GENRE: MG Adventure

When Seamus is set up to take the fall for a dognapping/theft ring, he must hatch a plan to catch the ringleader while avoiding bullying twins, a mean neighbor, and his sister, or his mom will be so disappointed she may never come home.

Seamus skidded to a halt before he slammed into the gigantic rock. With everything on his mind, including getting away from his thought-she-was-the-queen-of-telling-him-what-to-do sister, he hadn’t been paying attention to where he was going. Seamus took in the clearing the rock sat in. It was as if the rock had blasted from the sky, obliterating the trees around it in a perfect circle.

Maybe finding the rock was a sign. Seamus figured the top of the gigantic rock might be a good place to pitch his stupid, unlucky rabbit foot into the woods. Leave it to Seamus to end up with an unlucky lucky rabbit foot. Hoodoo piece of junk. Seamus clutched the hunk of dingy gray fur. He supposed it used to be white, before it was an antique. Too bad he couldn’t pitch his sister into never-never land right along with the foot.

But what if there was some truth to the good luck thing? Maybe his foot was just so old that most of the good luck had just plain worn out. Or, what if he threw it away and that made his luck turn from bad to terrible? Seamus secretly hoped a spark of good luck was left in the old thing, and it would bring Mom back home. He probably should keep it.

Seamus decided to climb to the top of the humungous rock. It could be the perfect place to spend his summer days alone. Alone, without his sister yapping at him.


  1. I liked this. I did find all the hypens jarring when describing his sister. Maybe phrase it as "getting away from his sister, who thought she was the queen of telling him what to do." Also, in the second to last paragraph, I would specify "rabbit's foot" when talking about his foot. But I would definitely read more, and I want to know how he got the rabbit's foot in the first place.

  2. I like how you start in the "thick" of the action. However, I think you could swap the first sentence of the second paragraph for your first sentence. "Maybe finding the rock was a sign" would be a much more intriguing first sentence. Your pitch should be condensed more. Give MC, conflict, and stakes. I realize he has a lot of conflict set against him, but maybe just pick one main one for the pitch.

  3. I love your title. You also have a great voice from the beginning, vivid and fun to read.

    One nit-pick: how big is a gigantic rock? I confess I initially assumed Sean exaggerated something which stubbed his toe, only to later get the implication this was a real asteroid. I also found myself more curious about the rock than the rabbit's foot and wanted more of that.

    Note to Authoress: My screenname on my submission form doesn't match, it was katydid, entry #2.

  4. This has the feel of a children's book, so bravo! I don't think you start this in the right place, though, and running into a rock may not be enough action to drive this story forward. It doesn't really tell us anything about our MC, where he is, or why. Maybe move back to his actual argument with his sister. This should help the reader get a better sense of the characters and setting. Good luck!

  5. I thought the pitch worked pretty well. What I wanted to know was why he was running. To what? Or from what? And where was he going? What was his intent before running into the rock? And if Mom is already gone, how can she become disappointed when he's blamed from dognapping? How would she know about it?

    You might also consider using his name the first time it's mentioned, and turn all the others into pronouns. He's the only one there and there's no chance of confusing him with anyone else.