Monday, September 10, 2012

Entry #28

Name:  Sharon K  Mayhew
Genre: Mid Grade Historical Fiction
Tagline:  Think World War Two meet the Boxcar Children.

1st 250 Words:
 August 1, 1941

“But I don’t want to carry a gas mask around with me all the time,” I said.
“It’s not a choice, Joyce, you have to.  Everyone has to, from grandparents all the way down to babies,” Mummy said.
I flung my gas mask over my shoulder, pulled out a kitchen chair, and plopped down.
“Well, I don’t think it’s fair that the war is coming to England,” I said. “That Mister Hitler is a real rotter!”
“I think everyone in the world would agree with you on that, Love,” Mummy said.  “You need to show Gina that it is all right and not fuss in front of her about carrying your mask.  Imagine how grateful you will be to have it, if something horrible happens.”
“I know how to make it less scary for Gina,” I said.  “I could make Dolly a little gas mask box.”
“That’s a wonderful idea!” Mummy said.  “Perhaps you can be making it that while I am getting the house ready in case the air raids start.”
 I found a matchbox, sticky tape, and some string in the odds and ends drawer.  I quickly made Dolly’s gas mask box.
Gina came in the kitchen carrying Dolly.
“Look what I made for Dolly,” I said. I held up the tiny gas mask box.
  “Oh, that’s perfect!” Gina exclaimed. “Now Dolly will be safe too.”
  Gina slipped the gas mask box over Dolly’s shoulder.
  “What are you doing Mummy?” Gina asked.


  1. Nice opening, I'm pulled right into the scene and anticipating what will happen next. Good Luck!

  2. Personally, I would have this line be your opening line: I flung my gas mask over my shoulder, pulled out a kitchen chair, and plopped down. But that's my only critique. I loved how smooth the writing is.

  3. I agree with Nicole. I think it would be a great start to open with that line, and then just change the next line a bit so it flows a little more smoothly with the adjustment by just getting rid of the "Well". Nice job.

  4. The tagline was great (albeit with a typo, should be "meets"). I definitely want to know what happens next. And while I didn't think it when I read it, I agree with Nicole and Jodie re: the opening line.

  5. Grr.. I just noticed that my comment published as unknown, I'm sorry. I'm Judy Mintz.

  6. I agree with Nicole. I think that is probably the best place to open the action. But the story immediately tugged at my heart. Well done.

  7. I'm always leery of floating dialogue, so taking some of the suggestions above might be a good idea. I liked that you SHOWed us what was happening, and rather well. Also, saving the cat right there in the beginning making the little gas mask box for her little sister, so that even though she was complaining to mom we know she's a good girl.

    I would read more.

    I'm #8 btw:)

  8. The tagline didn't really do it for me. Okay, we're pairing up a well-known premise with a well-known time period, but I wanted more. See if you can tell your story with your tagline, not just use comparisons.

    And I agree with others, start with "I flung my gas mask over my shoulder, pulled out a kitchen chair, and plopped down."

  9. Thanks everyone! I changed the first line to the action instead of the dialogue. Thanks for the advice on the tagline too.