Monday, January 21, 2013

Bouncer Post #62

Genre: MG fantasy/light sci-fi
Word Count: 35,000


When twelve-year-old George Pruwell finally gets admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing, he has big plans of making his family proud, especially his big brother Alex the Terrible. Unfortunately, George is anything but villainous. So to secure a slot in the school's best roster of classes and prove himself worthy of his family's wonderfully terrible villainy name, he takes on a nearly impossible assignment: defeat Captain Perfecto, the world's best superhero.

Now, George has to figure out how one too-nice-villain-in-training can defeat the most impressive superhero of all time. And when Perfecto turns out to have some big problems of his own, George must choose to either follow his shameful but strong instincts to help the superhero or crush him and go down in history as the most villainous Pruwell ever.  

Despicable Me meets The Incredibles in this 35,000 word manuscript for kids who love capes and comics. I am a former English and reading teacher and I currently write short stories and articles for standardized assessment companies, for grades 3-12. Sadly, they don't let me write about superheroes and nifty villainy tools, so it is not nearly as much fun.

First 250:

If the Pruwell family villains were a perfectly coiffed head of hair, George Pruwell would be the cowlick that kept on sticking out no matter how much spit was firmly applied.

The George in question peered out the window wearing his Mastermind Magnifying Goggles. With those bad boys on, he could see the yellow centers of Ms. Wutherford's daisies clear across the street. But George was far less interested in the daisies than in having a front row cyber-seat to what would hopefully be his first truly successful villainous trick.

He zeroed in on his tripping trick, next door to Ms. Wutherford's house. His stomach twisted when he spied the tripwire stake poking out from between the leaves next to the sidewalk. Obviously, he had not done as good a job as he thought.

George chewed on a thumbnail and debated whether or not he'd have enough time to run across the street and fix it. Rule Number One of professional High Villainy: Don’t get caught. He turned his gaze to the north. Mike Kahn was coasting down the sidewalk on his skateboard as he did every night. Nope. George was out of time.

It was a sweet board, especially for a Regular Public Citizen, or R.P.C.’s as they were known among villains. George's board was better, with jets in the back for quick escapes if –no, when!–he became a Villain-in-Training. He was sure the letter would come any day now, but getting at least one trick done right would make him feel better about his odds.  


  1. I just wanted to say that your bio cracked me up! Best of luck to you.

    Sarah (#45)

  2. Thanks Sarah! :) Good luck to you as well!

  3. I love this idea! I'm a huge fan of superheroes and the idea of super villains is really interesting. I think you have a great query and opening pages. I don't have much of a critique to add. Good luck with this :)

  4. Adorable! I have an 8-year-old who would eat this up. Great query.

  5. I adore this concept, and your first 250 sucked me in from the very first line. Love all the superhero/villain names, too.

    Good luck to you :)

  6. LOVE your first line! I think my kids would love this and I would love reading it to them. Good luck!

  7. This sounds like a really fun book. It has a fun feel while still dealing with the serious concept of trying to fit in and meet family expectations. Good luck!

  8. I love this. It's fun and the writing is tight, and it seems like something with broad market appeal. I would pick it up in hopes that is has its own fresh twist that does differentiate it from the few other notable "failure at super villainy" stories (e.g., despicable me, dr horrible...). Assuming there *is* a unique twist in your novel, I would love to see it alluded to/mentioned in the query.

  9. Love, love, love this. All of it, query and first 250. Would love to read this when you get published. Oh - best comps ever in your query!

  10. Now this is my kind of read -

    Coming from me, I'm a comic book artist and an self-proclaimed geek. This is what I live for!

    Your query is awesome - I know the MC, I know his goal, and I know what he's up against. And it's all done with a fantastic voice. Your voice even rings out with your bio blurb at the end. By the query alone I can already tell that this is a book young readers would eat up. Reluctant reader heaven! (and a guilty pleasure for me.)

    On to your first 250 - the first paragraph was a winner in my eyes. Loved the description of the MC and it's so well written. I can't really say much more, I enjoyed the first 250 so much I'm aching to read the next 250.

    Let me know if you're ever looking for a crit partner!! I'd love to read this!

    Good luck!!!!!

    -Copernicus post #43

  11. How Fun!!!!

    Great query and your 250 are wonderful...I wanna know what happens next!

    Good Luck!!


  12. Thank you, everyone! I've been on a day trip all day with my family, so I haven't been able to respond since this morning. I really appreciate all your comments! :)

  13. Copernicus, thank you for your really kind review and I'm delighted you also see it (so far at least) as something that would appeal to reluctant readers. :) That was one of my goals!

  14. I loved this! It's so creative and awesome! My entry (#56) is actually about a female teenaged superhero, so when I read this my first thought was "CROSSOVER!!!", but then realized that probably wouldn't happen. Haha! I really did love it though. Your query was fantastic and your first 250 was great too! Love, love, love it!

  15. Well, I'm happy to say that YOU'RE IN! I think your query is super polished and gives me a great feel of your book. I think your first 250 are solid (my only teensy-nitpicky thing is to lose the first sentence and take us straight into George's head for a more unified POV). Seems like otherwise the voice is right on, and I can think of a lot of young readers who would get on board with this. Only other thought: 35K seems a bit light for a fantasy requiring world-building. At any rate, I'm excited for you and wish you good luck!

  16. Oh! Yay! Thank you! I wondered about that first line, too...until recently it was only in my query. Perhaps that's where it needs to stay then! Thank you for the feedback on the first line and the world building! And thank you, Bouncer AsYouWish, for the "You're In!" :)