Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Page Shooter #12

Word Count: 50,000

Original Text:

Guys have been known to do some pretty dumb shit because of women. Take the Trojan war, for example--Coach Wilder, who’s also our literature teacher (budget cuts) is making us read the Iliad this year. Basically, before Homer’s story begins, some king gets pissed because this other guy steals his girl. And to make a long story short (which the Iliad does not do), all hell breaks loose. All because some gods want to settle an argument. Just goes to show, gods make mistakes, too. I should know. My brother, Jupiter, is one. A high school god. Or at least he was one. Which made me like a demi-god or something—no, more like Hades. The unseen one.

As of right now, I’m not sure what I am. Or what my brother is for that matter. Presently, he’s standing on the sidewalk on the cross streets of Main and Fourth—right outside Jabberwocky Hardware. And as me and the other guys on the hockey team walk past the Butterfly Café towards Dick’s Burgers, I don’t recognize him. But when I do, I notice is his feet before I notice anything else—or more accurately what’s on his feet. He’s wearing roller skates. Roller skates.

And the freakin’ skates aren’t even the half of it.

His legs are encased in black fishnet stockings. His muscles—muscles defined by years of hockey--look different—womanly—underneath the twisted nylon. Over his Stadium High gym shorts, he’s wearing a black-and-green-colored tutu.

With Suzie's Comments:

Um, I love this. Just have to say that to start.


Guys have been known to do some pretty dumb shit because of women. Right here, I know I love the voice. This first line made me sit up and pay attention. I've known some guys who did some dumb shit too.


I think this would be even more readable with some more paragraph breaks so that's why I've inserted them.

Take the Trojan war, for example--Coach Wilder, who’s also our literature teacher (budget cuts) haha, love it is making us read the Iliad this year. Basically, before Homer’s story begins, some king gets pissed because this other guy steals his girl. Excellent teenage summary :) And to make a long story short (which the Iliad does not do) awesome!, all hell breaks loose. All because some gods want to settle an argument.

Just goes to show, gods make mistakes, too. I should know. My brother, Jupiter, is one. A high school god. Or at least he was one. I love this introduction to Jupiter. For a second I was afraid he was going to be a real God.  I was happy to see he's a high school one and I'm excited to read more about Jupiter's fall from godhood if that's what's coming. Which made me like a demi-god or something—no, more like Hades. The unseen one. I like this, and I'm also guessing at this point that our narrator is also a boy. I wasn't quite sure, though I was leaning towards "boy" but now I'm more convinced.

As of right now, I’m not sure what I am. Or what my brother is for that matter. Presently, he’s standing on the sidewalk on the cross streets of Main and Fourth—right outside Jabberwocky Hardware. And as me and the other guys on the hockey team walk past the Butterfly Café towards Dick’s Burgers, I don’t recognize him. But when I do, I notice is his feet before I notice anything else—or more accurately what’s on his feet. He’s wearing roller skates. Roller skates.

And the freakin’ skates aren’t even the half of it.

His legs are encased in black fishnet stockings. Do teenage boys know what fishnets are? His muscles—muscles defined by years of hockey--look different—womanly—underneath the twisted nylon. muscles defined by years of hockey sounds out of voice for me--it sounds like something one of my parents would have said, but not a teenager. Same with womanly.  I'm not sure how old our MC is yet, but I think it might say his brother is wearing tights and his legs look girlie or something less well-thought out, if that makes sense. Over his Stadium High gym shorts, he’s wearing a black-and-green-colored tutu.

This is fabulous! I love the voice, and I'm so interested in the dynamic between our MC and Jupiter, and I can't wait to find out what girl has influenced Jupiter into wearing this get up. I'd definitely keep reading.

14 comments:

Riley Redgate said...

Um, wow. I want to buy this book.

Reagan Philips said...

I loved this. And my favorite line?

"And to make a long story short (which the Iliad does not do)"

Great.

lee said...

Hahahaha--I adore that voice. I was disappointed when it ended! Great job!

sara said...

Love it!

I'm curious whether there's a paranormal aspect, or if it's straight contemporary playing off greek mythology. If it's the latter, I don't really like the name Jupiter, it seems bizarre for a contemporary (small town?) setting and too on point for the set up, but there are enough nuggets to make me wonder if it's paranormal, i.e., "As of right now, I'm not sure what I am."

Also, I wish the notion of guys doing dumb shit over girls was dropped so quickly. I thought that was the main set up at first, but then it turned out to be a false start, which made me pause.

But whatever, that's all nit-picky nit-wittery on my part.

Love love love it!

sara said...

Um, I meant *wasn't* dropped...

Sorry!

Stephsco said...

I like the voice and laughed all the Iliad references and the Coach teaching lit (I had a coach fill in for a fashion merchandising elective in high school after the interns were fired for having an an alleged ffair with a student. Hello, book concept!)

I'm also relieved this isn't about real gods, just high school gods, which I hope is the case w/ rest of the story. Little perplexed if a guy's name is Jupiter, although in this day and age... if there's an explanation for it later, like hippy-granola parents or some kind of planet-loving connection, I think it can work.

Refreshing read!

Beth said...

The voice and humor are terrific, with some occasional wobbles, which Suzie pointed out.

The bit about the Iliad, where he says it's about some guy who's pissed because some other guy stole his girl, is great, but then in a seeming non-sequitar the narrator jumps to talking about the gods and their mistakes. While in the Iliad the gods do sometimes meddle in events, the story itself is really about the humans and _their_ mistakes. So that part struck me as an odd and almost irrelevant segue.

Buffra said...

I really enjoyed this. I thought that the MC's summary of the Iliad made sense when you figure it's a kid who might not have finished it (yet?).

The only thing was, I took it in a totally different direction than Suzie when she mentioned a girl's influence. I was actually thinking the brother had decided to be a drag queen or some such.

:-)

Jeff King said...

I agree with Buffra

Alex said...

This kind of reminds me of THE CHICKEN DOESN'T SKATE. Great book. and I do want to read on.

SARA, I don't think the "guys doing stupid things for girls" got dropped. Why do you think Jupiter is dressed in a tootoo and fishnets? Seems like something a girl is behind.

And I too love, would love, am hoping that, this a straight up novel about dudes in highschool, with no fruity sun bathing vamps or celestial, paranormal, and otherwordly characters ejactulating themselves into the story.

Bravo good person keep contemporary fiction alive.

Phil Hall said...

Am I the only one that thought the first paragraph needed reworking? It seemed...how can I put it...muddled and almost confused as to the direction.

Seems like a rehash of Percy Jackson.

David said...

2 words: Chris Crutcher. Read all his stuff if you haven't already, which you probably have. This sounds enough like him, which is like the best YA compliment I can give.

Meghan said...

Phil, I agree that this needs a bit of work. While I enjoyed the voice and would certainly keep reading, , I found the sentences a bit clunky. For example, there are too many places being thrown at us that I'm not sure where I'm supposed to look.

On a side (and very nit-picky) note, Jupiter is the Roman name for Zeus and Hades is the Greek (his Roman equivalent is Pluto)

Monika said...

Suzie, when will this book be published? I want to read it!

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?