Thursday, December 8, 2011

Can You Guess my MC's Age? Contest

Today's Blog Entry is my contest entry for this groovy contest I just learned about on Julie Daines' Blog. Here's the link if you want to enter: Brenda Drake Contest.

Here's the deal: Post the first 250 words of your finished, or not quite finished, manuscript (any genre) to your blogs. This contest is about voice--whether or not your character's voice matches his or her's age. So if you mention the age or school grade in the first 250 words, please edit it out or block it out for this contest. Don't list the genre or title on your posts. If your 250 words falls in the middle of a sentence, continue to the end of the sentence.



So, can you guess the age of my MC?



The Seventh Annual Rogue Valley Barter Faire was my seventh time in the hell of working my parents’ booth selling organic mushroom burgers as a front for my dad’s pot business and his brother’s psychedelic mushroom business. The barter fair is something most of the kids from town look forward to all year. Unfortunately, most of us slaves, oh, I mean children of hippie parents living in the Rogue Valley dread the stupid thing. Not only does it mean tons of work for little to no pay, but it also means our parents will be madly rushing around and probably loaded on all kinds of weird drugs, forcing the eldest of us kids to keep everything together.
“Yeah, I’ll have a, uh, mushroom burger,” this dreadlocked guy said with a giggle. “Are those, you know, magic mushrooms?”
I rolled my eyes as I took his five bucks and handed him the burger.
“Well, these are shiitakes, and quite nutritious. You might call their protein levels magic, but yeah…see that rainbow Volkswagen van over there? I’d go talk to that guy.”
“Yeah? He’s got the ‘shrooms?”
I just shrugged and waited on the next customer. It was bad enough to have to point those losers in the right direction. I wasn’t going any further than I had to.
“Can I help you?” I asked the next hippie in line. This one was a girl with hair down to her butt and three kids under five pawing at her indian-print skirt.
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Any other feedback would be cool, too.  This is my current WIP.

Song of the Day:


39 comments:

  1. HA HA! I really love this! I'm guessing 16. She sounds young because she's annoyed with her parents but is mature enough to understand the whole "drug" thing going on around her. The voice is great and I really want to see where the story is heading. Very unique setting. Great job so far :) Oh yeah...the song is perfect.

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  2. This is a really fun start! I'm going to go 16, maybe 17 years. Old enough to take care of herself, and still having to live with the 'rents.

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  3. I'll say 16! (I don't remember if you mentioned her age during our NaNoWriMo chats, so I'm not cheating.) I love your first sentence! Your book sounds really funny.

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  4. I'm thinking along the same lines as the others. 16ish. This is a really fun beginning and your MC has some great voice.

    And thanks for the mention! :)

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  5. I think about 14. She seems to have some angst and some idea of what the world is like, but still pretty sheltered under her parents. I want to know!

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  6. 15, cuz no one else has guessed it, lol. And as for a critique, I found the first sentence to be really long. Maybe chop it up :)

    Sounds like an interesting read! Like really intriguing!

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  7. I think maybe 16. I was going to say older, like 18 but I think she's still at the doing as she's told stage :-)

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  8. I would say 16...she's got the attitude of a sixteen year old :)
    Julia

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  9. 16 is my guess. I really like the MC's voice--nice job wiht that.
    A couple of quick notes about writing: I would break up the first sentence. It's rather long and hard to absorb all of the info at once. Also, be careful with your first paragraph. It reads like backstory. I would begin the story with a quirky comment from the MC's regarding the hippie/people at the fair, putting us directly into the action.
    Good job and good luck! :)

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  10. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I don't want to give anything away, but I am feeling pretty good about your guesses. I totally agree with those who commented on my first paragraph and long sentence. This is my Nano novel, so it hasn't gone through any edits yet. At least I didn't bore you with 50 pages of backstory like my last year's Nano novel :)

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  11. I'd say sixteen since he's still listening to his folks. =) Good luck.

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  12. I'd say 16 or maybe 17. She seems pretty mature, but still living with parents and doing what they want her to.

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  13. Yeah, I'm guessing 17 or even 18, since she's been doing this for seven years. Hard to imagine her (I'm assuming) starting that job much below the age of 10...
    Funny stuff! I love your setting...

    -Deborah

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  14. I'll say 17. And I loved reading it! Would definitely keep reading; very curious about where it goes.

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  15. I guess 17. Maybe younger, though, judging by the voice and the fact that I think her parents would have no problem making their 9-year-old sell burgers... Cool beginning--it's very unique!

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  16. I'm thinking 17 or 18. Voice sounds a little too world-weary to be a younger teen

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  17. My guess is 18. The 'shrooms get me. Lol! This is a start!

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  18. Meant great start!! :) Are you on twitter?

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  19. The words used and some of the reactions to things made me think 14-15, but the fact that she's been doing it for 7 years and the "the eldest of us kids" line makes me think something more like 18 or 19.

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  20. This is funny. I'm guessing she is seventeen.

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  21. LOL... I loved this. I would go with 15.

    Just a comment about the first sentence, I felt it was a bit too long. Maybe you could consider shortening it into shorter sentences, or just inserting some comas. Otherwise I loved it. I'm curious to see what happens in the story.

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  22. Funny and fun to read. I'm going to guess 15.

    You have a new follower in me;) Hope you can drop by my blog.

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  23. I'm glad there was a Grateful Dead song for while we read this. I'm guessing 16 or 17. She's been doing it for 10 years, and I'm imagining her starting young.

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  24. There's some good guesses in there. Thanks so much for the comments and I'm glad you liked the GD song, L.M. Diane, sorry, I'm not on Twitter. With working, blogging and writing, I just don't have time to start a new obsession.

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  25. I'm going to say 18. She has quite an opinion, and a very mature outlook in a very "imature" world. She's also been working there for five years. Interesting concept.

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  26. I think 16-17. There is too much self reflection and sarcastic comments for her to really be younger. And if she was older than that, honestly - she would be a little too stuck up to be a 20 that still has to work for her parents. You know? She has a little too much pride to be older.

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  27. I'm guessing 15.

    (Posting for my alter-ego Emi Gayle :) ).

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  28. I'm guessing…17. Maybe 18. =)

    As for the excerpt, I felt that the opening sentence had way too much information—like I was having all this stuff dumped on me when I could be drawn in with what's already there afterwards. It's a showing vs. telling thing. Since you've shown all the necessary info with what she's doing, saying, and thinking in the present narration, I'd just open with a tiny bit of set up about dreading the fair, and then the first customer—her interaction with him gives me all I need to know.

    ex., "The Seventh Annual Rogue Valley Barter Faire is something most of the kids from town look forward to all year. But most of us slaves—oh, I mean children of hippie parents—dread the stupid thing. Not only…" And maybe add in somewhere that this is her seventh year. Not stating outright that she's helping run her father and uncle's drug sideshows gives a bit more subtlety to the customer interaction and keeps me interested and reading longer. =)

    Hope I could help a bit! Good luck! ^_^

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  29. Hi. I'm going to say 15, cuz she's been forced to grow up quickly because of her pothead parents. I agree with Amanda above. You tell us a bit much too soon.

    Interesting. My current WIP begun during NaNo is in three parts - the first is the hippie trail.

    Denise

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  30. What a cool set up! I'll say 16. She considers herself part of the "eldest kids" which to me seems like an older teen, but not an adult. I also thought that she was in her older teens because her brother seems a little more grown up, and assumed they wouldn't be much more than 4 years or so apart. Good luck!

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  31. Well, she's still helping out her parents, and she's snarky about it, so I'll go with 16.

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  32. I'm gonna say 15, and I agree, there's a lot of exposition in this for a first page.

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  33. Poor kid! I love her discontent though! I'm guessing she's...14?

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  34. Ummmm....my guess is 13 & it reads great so far. I agree w/ the "too much Back story" comments a bit I guess, but I took it in as a short story. Love the subject matter & setting, of course! Keep going sister!

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  35. My guess is 16. Great piece, by the way.

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  36. Your MC sounds intelligent, and there seems to be a hint of her being an older teen, since she's worked at the fair for 7 years running and has been given the responsibility of running the booth and taking customers' money. I'm going to guess 17.

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  37. What a great start -- I'd say 16. Love her voice and the situation.

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  38. Great start, the subject matter is different and I like that. I'll guess 18.

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  39. Um... I'm guessing 15. It's a great first page!

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