Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #30

Genre: MG Fantasy
Work Count: 57,000


Birthdays shouldn’t be this tough.

But ever since his dad died, Asher thinks they’d be a heck of a lot better with him around. On his 13th birthday his mom gives him a pretty unusual present. An old pin that belonged to his father.

And that’s when everything changes.

Strangers start showing up at his school. Objects begin moving around on their own. Mysterious creatures keep lurking around every corner.

And when Asher gets chased into a world called Eden Worn through his school’s boiler room, he finds out why. It’s because his dad’s not really dead. He’s being held prisoner by Lord Balor. A madman who wants something of Asher’s. Something Asher doesn’t even know he has: the key to using the magic from the ancient Stones in Eden Worn.

Asher has to make a decision. If he leaves Eden Worn, he’ll never see his dad again. But making a deal with Lord Balor could mean the end of both worlds as he knows it.

Nope. Birthdays shouldn’t be this tough.

First 250:

Asher ran his thumb across the blade.

It was sharp. Really sharp.

The light reflected off the edge and the steel sliced right through it. He smiled. Even the light didn’t stand a chance against the weapon in his hand.

His eyes narrowed and he leaned in for the attack. His heart pounded in his chest. He raised the blade and took a deep breath.

“This better work.”

And then he struck.

Asher dragged the razor blade down his cheek. A trail of freshly shaved skin appeared beneath the thick layer of shaving cream. This was way easier than he thought it was gonna be. He put the blade under the running water to knock off the bunched up foam and went in for round two. He pulled the blade down again. A white-hot pinch of pain seared his chin.

Asher sucked in a sharp breath and dropped the razor in the sink. A bead of blood welled up under his lower lip. The sting was a whole heck of a lot bigger than the tiny cut. He splashed water all over his face and watched the shaving cream swirl down the drain.

He looked at himself in the mirror.

He was sorta hoping to see a difference in the spot he just shaved. But he didn’t. It looked just like every other part of his face.

Hairless and unmanly.

The drain burped the last bit of foam down leaving the suds-covered razor behind. He picked it up and washed it off. Just holding it reminded of his dad.


  1. Very nice! If it were my query I'd change "start showing" to "show", "begin moving" to "move", and "keep lurking" to "lurk" as this would make it less passive. I loved the surprise of weapon becomes shaving implement becomes momento -really cool. The "gonna" and "sorta" irked me because they felt out of place in a narrative that otherwise doesn't feel bumpkinesque. Otherwise awesome!! Good luck

  2. Awesome feedback! Thanks for the input!

  3. Great job on your query. I really like your premise. One minor nitpick I thinks these two sentences "He’s being held prisoner by Lord Balor. A madman who wants something of Asher’s." Are actually just one thought, otherwise the second part is a fragment.

    I'm torn about your first 250. While I like the descriptions and I can see where you are headed with his dad, I'm not sure if this is quite the right place to start your story. Also while the looking in the mirror can be a bit cliche, I liked what you did with the hairless and unmanly remark. Regardless I would read on to see where you were going because I'm intrigued by your premise.

    Good luck with your entry :)
    Jamie #36

  4. I like the premise but I agree with some of the others. In your Query I think the shorter sentences would be better combined. I like the idea of the weapon being the razor and the first shaving experience. I think you may have left out a word at the end of your last sentence. I do like the idea and the possibilities.


  5. Jamie: Thanks for the input! It took me forever to settle on this beginning. My first draft stalled forever. It took until about page 20 for the action to get started. Now we see it right at the beginning. Obviously it comes after the first 250 but it's there. That inciting incident happens right after he leaves the bathroom.

    Billy: I think combining certain sentences would be a good idea. And you're right! I totally forgot 'him'. Which is weird because it's in the manuscript... And that means there is only one explanation. Word gremlins.

  6. I love the concept! Your first 250 really worked for me. At its core, it sounds like this story is about Asher and his dad, and you really pull us into that loss with the scene about the razor. As long as you get to the core of the plot soon after, I think this is a poignant, thematic way to open. Good luck!

    Monica #26

  7. I really enjoyed your first 250!

    As a matter of personal preference, I'd suggest dropping the word "pretty" before "unusual present" in the query.

    Good luck from entry #20!

  8. I think all of this is great! Your query really drew me in, and so did your first 250 words. I honestly don't have anything critical to say. I just really enjoyed this! I would keep reading.

    Best of luck!


  9. Ok, this was really fantastic.

    I love the query and the first 250. Honestly I can think of anything I'd change except that if this ISN'T in fact the first 250 of your novel (did I read that right in the comments above?) ... then I for one think it should be! It's a great place to start.

    Carissa -- #24

  10. This is a fantastic opening scene! What a great way to start a book, you'll get every person who opens to page one to head to the check-out counter. You use something as simple as shaving and the imagery makes it seem harrowing and emotional. Really nice job.

    Tracy --#10

  11. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Monica--this beginning to me FOREVER to get right. Soon after this scene, the "un-normal" really starts rearing its ugly head.

    Chrissy--Good suggestion. After reading it both ways I think you're pretty totally right. :)

    Stephanie--Thanks! I'm off to check yours out now!

    Carissa--this is definitely the first 250. After about 20489329^2 revisions, anyway.

    Tracy--I really appreciate it. This whole idea stemmed from losing my dad not too long ago so I totally feel what Asher's going through during this scene.