Tuesday, July 13, 2010

5 #94 Melissa Hed (MG Fantasy)

Angela Fortunata woke up with a thump and a whack. What woke her, what had woken her every morning for the past two years, was pain. She had fallen out of bed again, thumped her head on the floor, and whacked her outstretched hand on the open drawer of her nightstand.

Angela lay on the floor, nursing her wounds until she heard the screech of her alarm clock. She winced as she stood up and reached to silence it, reminding herself for the hundredth time to change the alarm setting to music.


  1. I just wrote a really lengthy reply and then accidentally closed the window. It is so not my morning. I feel Angela Fortunata's pain.

    Basically what I'd said was I love her name and I'd love to see where this goes. Right away I feel a connection to Angela (and not just because my morning kind of stinks too).

    The main thing for me is that this feel too over written. It doesn't have to take so long to tell us she's fallen out of bed. For me personally, I don't like to read about a thump and a whack without knowing what it is. My mind starts guessing and everything I guess is wrong. I think it would read better if it went right to it.
    Angela Fortunata awoke on the floor of her bedroom with a sting in her hand and a pound in her head. She'd fallen out of bed and smacked her hand on the dresser. Again.

    something like that

    Also, I can't picture someone nursing wounds from falling out of bed. You can show us what she does, rather than tell us she's nursing wounds. Perhaps: Angela lay on the floor covering her eyes with her aching hand.

    I think you've got a great voice here. just need to tighten up the writing a tiny bit. Good luck!

  2. Hi! I like the opening. I like starting with action. I feel like I don't know what's going on exactly and neither does Angela because she's just waking up. I would take out the second mention of thump and whack. I think we all get the general idea of what happened when you say she fell out of bed. I would also nix the alarm clock detail. You can show us that the sound annoys her, but I want to know what made her fall, not that she's planning on changing her alarm sound. :) I really like the first two sentences though.

  3. I do like that first sentence--very catchy--but my first impression was that someone was walloping on her, like her mother or a pesky sister or brother. But that is resolved as I read on. Hmm, I'm having trouble with the logistics of this...if her nightstand drawer is open and her hand whacks on it, her head would have a hard time thumping upon the floor. Why wouldn't her head hit the drawer? At the very least, her hand would whack first, which would tend to wake her up, and then she'd hit the ground. I suppose if her blankets were tangled around her it would cause her head to hit before her hips or some other part of her body, but I tend to think she'd land on her hip and focus on that rather than her head. Unless her head hits something else on the way down. You might try an experiment--fall out of bed numerous times and see what happens. Tee-hee.

    And wow, that really says something about her forgetful or distracted personality, if she falls out of bed for two years and still hasn't changed the alarm to compensate. (And she only tells herself the hundredth time to change it, out of 365 x two years??)

  4. I was getting ready to reply when I realized that L.J. had suggested everything I was going to. :D

    I am interested to find out why Angela keeps falling out of be - so good job there. I'd definitely keep reading.

  5. Thank you L.J., Lisa, Carol, & Cole. Your comments are insightful. It sure helps to have another person's perspective. I labored over those sentences and just knew something was off, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. You've helped me immensely.

    LJ - I'm glad you like my MC's name. It's ironic, but it fits her. She's a klutz, and she's just beginning to realize that she's a psychic medium. Growing pains all around.

    You are SO right about this paragraph being overwritten. It really doesn't flow as nicely as the rest of my novel. I so appreciate all the feedback here.

    Lisa - thanks for the advice on stripping the language down. I agree.

    Carole - your advice on falling out of bed reminds me of Cynthia Lord's advice at the 2009 SCBWI-NE conference. In researching a scene for her MG fiction book _Rules_, she ran around a parking lot. She told us writers to go do our research. On that note, did I mention that my book is fantasy? Do I really need to fall out of bed? Just kidding. It's actually good advice. I'm willing to try it at least once. Hopefully, I'm a pretty quick learner. :)

    Cole - yah, what she said! :) Spoiler alert: Angela falls out of bed every morning just as her dream boy pushes her off a cliff. Her mission is revenge, which is kind of difficult when you're a klutz.

    Thank you, each and every one.


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)