Saturday, June 25, 2011

Critique Time

Here is a wonderful contest I hope you can join!
This contest is only open to YA, Middle Grade, memoir, pop-culture non-fiction, and women’s commercial fiction.

So here's how the contest will work:
  1. Be sure your work fits into one of the following genres: YA, Middle Grade, memoir, pop-culture non-fiction, and women’s commercial fiction.
  2. Sign up on the link below.
  3. On June 25th, post your title, genre, word count and the first 250 words on your blog for critique.
  4. From June 25th through June 26th, hop around to the other contestant's blogs and critique their first 250 words.
  5. On June 27th, come back to Shelly Watters blog and post your final entry on my dedicated contest entry blog post. Be sure to include:
    1. Your email address
    2. Title, genre, wordcount
    3. Your polished first page (250 words) Don't stop in the middle of a sentence.
That's it!

Victoria will read all of the first pages and select one for a full request (which will include at least a partial critique). She will also request partial for the runners up that she selects!

Contest rules:
  1. You must be a follower of Shelly\s blog and/or Twitter
  2. You must spread the word, via twitter, fb, blog post, whatever.
  3. Your work must be complete.
  4. Your work must fall into one of the following genres: YA, Middle Grade, memoir, pop-culture non-fiction, and women’s commercial fiction.
  5. You do not have to participate in the critique portion of the contest, but why would you miss the opportunity to polish that baby until it shines before Victoria reads it?
Monster's Maze
25,000 words
by Halli Lilburn

 Mid Grade age 9-13

 “I’ve got super bombs and I’m going to pummel you!”  Shane dove onto the lawn firing a nerf gun and spitting out laser blast sound effects.
“Yah well I’ve got the shield of death and anything that hits me bounces back at you.”  Jared grabbed a nerf ball and threw it back.
They didn’t notice Constable Jason Buchard pull up to the yard on his bike.
“Your mom home yet?” he yelled to get the boys attention.
“Cool bike!” Jared said, “I brought my BMX so we can do stunts at the park.  Hey Shane! Wanna have a race down the hill?
“Yah!  That would be rad. No, she’s not home yet.  I hope you’re not gonna cook us supper again...” Shane said, dropping his gun and grabbing his bike.
“No! No, I just wanted to thank her and Petra and you... again.”  It was then that Shane noticed a package of wrapped flowers sticking out of Jason’s backpack.  “Can you tell her to call me?  When she gets home?”
“Hey, is this the guy who almost choked to death yesterday and your mom saved his life?  That would be so cool if your mom started dating a cop.  I thought she hated cops because of what happened to Brody.” Jared blabbed on as he buckled on his helmet. Leave it to Jared to bring up topics that shouldn’t be discussed.
“Yah, uh, See ya later, Jason.  I gotta go.”  He turned to hide his red face, shoved his helmet on and raced out of the yard.

So what do you think??


audrey2011 said...

I like the relationship between the boys. It feels very true to life.

From this, I can't really tell who the main character is.

Also, how old are they? If they're older than 10, their dialogue seems almost childish... Also, "rad" is a little dated. Try "sick".

The paragraph that begins "hey, is this the guy" is sort of confusing. Who is he talking to, and what does he mean?

Regardless, this is very interesting. I like their relationship :)


Lori said...

very real conversation with young boys, however the names... Jared and Jason, two J names makes it difficult to keep them straight.

Tami Absi said...

I wasn't bothered by the two Js since one was the police officer. ALso, I'm assuming the main character is the son of the boy who was saved by the police officer. I liked this, but I do agree the tricky part of writing for YA is keeping up with current jargon. It seems to change weekly with the next sitcom.

Tom Hoefner said...

Some formatting things: when posting on a blog, or in another online single-spaced format, leave a space between each paragraph to better differentiate where one ends and another begins. Read it over again carefully; you missed some quotations and capitalizations. I agree with the above; "rad" is done. "Sick" is better (but apparently already on the way out...) I like the interaction, but I think you need to give this another flyover, make sure it flows and is punctuated/capitalized as you want it to be. Oh, and "Nerf" is a brand name and a proper noun; as such, it needs capitalization. Keep it up, good work, don't let 'em get you down! - Tom H.

Check out my first 250?