Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Your Thoughts On My Opening

Hi everyone! ^_^

I first want to say thank you for the comments and kind words. I knew the response was going to be good, but I never imagined it would be so phenomenal. Because of this, I would like to share the (first draft) opening I am currently using for my novel.

Before I comment on the things I'm uncomfortable with, I want to clarify that my novel is an Upper Middle Grade designated for boys 10 and up (or equal to the age range of Percy Jackson). I would like for you to pay close attention to the diction in the piece and determine if it's suitable for such a demographic, or "over their heads" as some say.

I would also like for you to ascertain if my opening sentence makes sense or is "good" in any way. I am not pleased with it at all and I really need a second opinion. The sentences I hate are bold.

All righty then, let's get started.

Bane Hollow and the Apocalypse of Judgment

Upper Middle Grade Fantasy/Mystery/Adventure


Valeous Rex knew it had to be done, yet no matter how hard he tried to remain focused, he couldn't help but admire the earth. 

Its people were weak but full of hope...

Its lands were rich and fertile...

Everything lived with vim and vigor--every life was filled with silver dreams...

It was such a pity--oh, what an aweful shame--that all of this was about to end.

Valeous looked at the man on his right. He was as bright as the sun, had two short spiraled horns and robed in sheer white with yellow, feathered wings spread wide. He, in turn, glanced at the Arseraph on his right, who did the same to his neighbor, and so it continued like dominos around the globe, until the Arseraph on Valeous's left looked at him at last.

"It is nearly time."

Valeous inclined his head and folded his arms. Anticipation surged through every juvenile bone in his body. Soon he would be unleashed and this precious planet would cease. But he had to wait in this suffocating blackness of eternal silence. 



Yearning...for the sign.

And then it came: earth's rainbow of blues, greens and whites turned from pink to orange, like metal over a flame.

Valeous fixed his white tie, loosened the last button on his black tuxedo and smiled. As quick as a comet, he dashed into earth's atmosphere with a thundering boom. He slit through the stratosphere and dove toward a roaring sea of fire. The Arseraphs at his sides pointed their fingers at the inferno and it parted to create a deep hole. He flew into its fiery depths, heat licking his skin, until patches of land came into view.

After a second or two, tiny bumps expanded into buildings, and Valeous came to a halt near a green statue of a woman holding a torch. He surveyed the helicopters that whizzed nearby -- at the people gaping at the fiery heavens with fingers held high. Funnels of flames were twisting down all over the sky, and he knew, right then and there, it had to end.

Valeous held out his hand, palm up, and said, "Atomos Fissum!"

A blinding silver flash swallowed everything in its light. When it faded alltogether, every life and object was as stiff as board: moving cars were stationary, the helicopters were pinned in mid air and folks were frozen with an expression of awe.

Valeous turned up his nose, absorbing his work with the deepest satisfaction.

All at once, the tornadoes dug their tails into the ground and sucked doors, cars and people into its rabid heat. The Arseraphs sped across the city, scooped the rigid bodies into their arms and flew them to safety. Then, as impressive as the twisters, the sea changed from a shade of light orange to deep red, and rose some fifty stories high, as if hoisted by an unseen hand.

BOOM! A sewer lid shot off, followed by another...and another, sending thick, ruby red water gushing into the air. Chaos boiled all around him, but Valeous simply hovered beside the Statue of Liberty, arms folded.

"Amazing, isn't it?" an Arseraph said, floating beside him. "He can't so much as utter a word, yet look at what he can do."


I actually like this one. Do you? Of all my openings this is the most imminent and mysterious--it makes me want to learn more no matter how many times I re-read it. I admit, it can be polished a lot more (like a WHOLE LOT), but at its very core, it is indeed a hook-y piece. 

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to help me. And I can't wait to read the comments.

Monday, 25 July 2011

GUTGAA Week 4 Novel Critique/Contest

Alas, all good things must come to an end. This blogfest has been a fun thing for me to do and I sincerely loved meeting all the lovely folks who participated.

For our last "hoorah!" we have to post the first 200 words of our novels. Three years ago this was difficult for me to do, because my first chapter wasn't quite "there' yet, but now I have a bit more confidence to share what I have been working on all this time. For me, I like to experiment with various openings and I concocted about six over the years. The opening of a novel is paramount to its success, and while I enjoy backstory in the beginning of a book (with nice writing and voice, of course) for my audience, reluctant boy readers, I chose one that gets right to it--no dilly dally; though, I do have some expository openings  that are equally as tasty.

T.D. McFrost

Bane Hollow and the Apocalypse of Judgment

Middle Grade Fantasy/Mystery

Valeous Rex strolled down Westminster Avenue on the most ordinary night he had ever seen. The sky was black and as it should be: a silver moon and many stars; busy folks bustled along on their merry way; the cool June air swishing their cloaks.

Nothing could possibly go wrong.

He turned into a crowded street and pushed a tinted glass door. A jumble of honks and pitter-patter rushed into the sound-proofed room. He released the door and walked on, as it closed a coin-sized fire ball whizzed past.

He surveyed the white linen tables scattered about and found one in the corner near the wall. Before he could loosen the last button on his black tux, a leggy waiter stepped beside him, took out a pad and asked what he would like to have...

"The usual," he replied.

“Very Well.” And the man left.

Valeous pulled the wooden chair and sat. He picked up a copy of the Daily Express near a tray of napkins, unfolded it and skimmed the headlines: London's Ailing Economy...Prince Harry Is A Bum…Almighty Hero Slays Boogeyman...

He blinked and read it again.

Almighty Hero Slays Boogeyman

Mr. Arthur Read is a psychologist and father of four. Despite his noble profession, he claims a Superhero saved him from the Boggeyman. What's more, Mr. Arthur says the Superhero was a boy.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the course of this blogfest (both old and new), you have no idea how much I value your company.

Now it's off to read some openings and make some new superhuman friends. ^_^

Monday, 18 July 2011

Farewell To Harry Potter

The Boy Who Lived...

To Hermoine...

To Ron...

To Neville...

To Ginny...

To Luna...

To Fred & George...

To Draco...

To Hagrid...

To Professor Mcgonogall...

To Snape...

To Voldemort...

To Dumbledore...

And to friends I'll never forget...

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Continuing The Story Chain...

Deana Barnhart's Gearin' Up To Get An Agent Blogfest continues with week two. Today we are each adding layers to an ongoing story. I'm supposed to: Give us some conflicting emotions the MC is dealing with.
My words are: planet, guitar, flower

Here is the input of the blogger before me: Juliana Brandt

And this is my addition to the story of Dio:

"Hey, there," Sandy said, as she wrapped her arm around me, "cheer up, it'll be okay."

I nodded, reluctantly--wishing right then and there I could turn back time. If only I could fly around the planet...

If only I could bring my parents back.

I remember the first day my dad taught me how to play the guitar. He sat me on his lap, wrapped his arms around me and said, ever so softly, "My baby girl's gonna be a star."

Yes. He always believed in me.

Never doubted.

Never fizzled.

Never once thought dreams were impossible.

Just like my mom...

"Have you ever wondered why a flower is sometimes closed?"

"No, mom," I had said. "Why?"

She bent before the rose and beckoned me closer.


"You want me to smile?"

"Yes, go on."

I did just that, and at once the petals began to unfold, revealing the sweet, delicate center.

"Wow! That's awesome, mom!"

"Flowers bloom in sunlight, they need it for many things," she had said. "Few of us have that light that transcends all understanding. You are one of them."

"Me?" I had said in disbelief.

"Yes, Dio, never forget that."

Now, as I sit here, about to embark on a new journey, I can't help but miss them so. Yet, even though they're gone...I know they're never forgotten.

"This is gonna be fun, Dio," Sandy said. "Cute boys, fashion shows, cute boys, clothes, cute boys--oh it's gonna be fun!"

I gazed at my lap and said, quite plain, "Yeah, it's gonna be fun..."

My heart aches, but an excitement bubbles in my tummy.  

Hop on over to Callie Kingston and find out what happens next! ^_^

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Seriously Cute Puppies And An Award!

My very good friend Michael C. Offutt bestowed this grand award unto yours truly. I cannot express enough how happy I am, and I want to say thank you Michael. Thank you so much.

Per the rules, I have to list five films, books or TV programs I've read or watched in the last twelve months. I must confess, I haven't done a lot of reading, but I have watched some amazing shows.



I know this came out a while back, but I saw it for the first time and enjoyed it thoroughly. I really don't like Samuel L. Jackson as an actor (shouts to damn much), but the lead (Hayden Christiensen) was as good as can be. Too bad the dude went from this:

                                To this:

Talk about letting go. Hope my bro can get in shape soon. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1

 A bit slow, as usual, but there is something about Harry Potter that, despite its boring parts, grips you entirely. It was the same with the books. I was bored out of my mind in certain chapters, but I pulled through because I wanted to know what was going to happen.

Here's to you J.K.

TV Shows

Summer Wipeout

ABC now has me glued to my TV screen every Tuesday at 8pm. I love watching those farts bust their asses on the Ninja Warrior-type courses. You should check it out--it's a blast!

101 Ways To Leave A Gameshow

The first episode where the blond got shot into the air like a rocket had me at hello. This show airs right after Wipeout, so I get a double whammy of laughs. Ah yes, to revel in the misfortune of is the way of the world. ^_^

America's Got Talent

I don't usually watch this, but one day I decided to and I saw the most amazing little bros EVA! They're a dance crew called The Art of Teknique and these 8, 9 and 10 year old boys can dance hip hop, break dance and krump better then most dance crews in the world! I was completely BLOWN AWAY!

Now I get to present the award to a few random people. I wish I could  give it to everyone, but it's gonna take me forever to type all those names and post 78 links. And let's face it...I'm lazy. LOL

Angelina C. Hansen

Barbara Kloss (aka Miss Lip Kloss)


Medeia Shariff

Kelly Hashway

And lastly, here's a little something for all you dog lovers out there. Ever since I was a little boy, I've always wanted a Siberian Husky. I LURVE them so much! They're handsome, regal and loyal--not to mention ferocious! Sadly, I can't raise one in my teeny little apartment, nor will I subject this beauty to a life of solitude, as I am hardly ever home. No, I cannot own a Husky at this time, but someday...

Have a great day my super-duper Superheroes!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Gearin' To Get An Agent Blogfest

The gorgeous Deana Barnhart is hosting this most stupendous blog-o-rama.

Here's how it works: Each week in July we are going to focus on the agent-grabbing elements (platform building, learning the craft, the novel and queries) in an interactive way.  I will give more detailed information about the individual weeks at a later date, but let me just tell you the end of each week I will be giving away CRITIQUES GALORE from some seriously talented people who have agreed to help me out in this department.  I can assure you, you won't be disappointed (*hint hint* think agents, writers with agents, published authors...see, you aren't disappointed are you?).

Today we're supposed to post the weirdest, dumbest writing question ever. Since I started this writing thing twelve years ago, I've had many unanswered questions regarding this industry. Now I know at this stage of them game I should know about them, and I do, but there is one that I simply can't shake:  What happens to my book after it's been sold? And how on earth do they turn a pile of paper into a spankin' new novel?

I have an idea how it works, but it seems every resource out there has an extra nugget of new information about this phenomenon. So, I want to know what's your two hundred cent answer?

And when you're done, stop by the other awesome bloggers and find out their crazy, stupid question.

1.Deana Barnhart2.Professional Critique Services
3.Been there, done that4.Lindy Legends and Other Such Nonsense
5.Novel Thinking6.Get Busy Writing
7.Nicole Zoltack8.Stephanie - Word by Word
9.Alleged Author10.Educationtipster: Kathy Stemke
11.Robin Weeks12.Alexia Chamberlynn are the unicorn of my dreams14.Alaska writer
15.The Ubiquitous Perspective16.Lora Rivera -- Inside Writing
17.Nata18.Margaret Fieland:Poetry and Prose
19.Big Five, Indies or Self-publishing?20.Andrea Mack
21.A.N Villasante: magpiewrites22.Shelly Brown
23.A.E. Martin24.Plot too complicated?
25.Meghan Kirkland26.Frost Lord
27.And Then She Was Like Blah Blah Blah28.Juliana Brandt
29.Jordan McCollum30.Just gotta ask...
31.Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing32.The Neophyte Writer
33.Laura B Writer34.Angelina C. Hansen
35.Hanging on to Wonder36.The Dreaded P Word not Plagiarism
37.Kate Larkindale38.Rachel A. Dillon - author-illustrator
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