Sunday, July 24, 2011

First 200 Words for GUTGAA Blog-Fest

"The Lion Within"
YA Science Fiction


First 200 Words submitted for review based on Deana Barnhart's awesome Blog-Fest!


Bugs peered at Renna through the shower curtain as if waiting for something to happen. Renna ignored them. She wouldn’t miss the uninvited guests when she and her dad returned to California in three weeks.

The heat of the Kenyan sun warmed a bucket of water. It streamed over her head through a spout. The shower would only last a few minutes, and her long mane of hair took the most water to clean.

A monkey screeched nearby. Renna counted to five. Like clockwork, a series of “shut up,” was shouted throughout the village. The monkey kept right on screeching, tossing in a few hoots and chortles. Now that she knew she’d miss, especially when sitting at a desk listening to high school teacher’s drone on and on about nothing interesting.

The water ran out right after the last soap suds were rinsed from her hair. After two years in Africa, she had the timing down to the second. She grabbed her towel and proceeded to tap the shower curtain to remove her admirers. All but one, an insect the size of her pointer finger, left without hesitation. Renna tried to flick it off multiple times but it wouldn’t budge. 

19 comments:

Sharon Bayliss said...

I love it! Great sense of place and voice.

Vicky Bruere said...

Hi Rachel, I love your first 200 words and wouldn't change a thing. The main character is very strong and your reference to her hair being mane-like is a nice subtle hint at things to come. I can't wait to read this book - hope someone picks it up soon!

Alleged Author said...

This is an excellent example of sensory description. Now I want to know what the heck is going on with that bug!

jamieayres said...

Great job, no red pen here:)

Lori M. Lee said...

Like everyone else, I loved the sense of place. Great way to set the scene and introduce us to Renna.

Christina Mercer said...

You know I love your story ;-)). The bug thing is quite a hook!

JRo - Jaye Robin Brown said...

Ditto - I'm wondering how it's going to become science fiction - I guess it must be the bug!

amy kennedy said...

I'm simply going to say what everyone else did! Great sense of place and character. I'm hoping more things happen in Kenya before she returns home.

Angie Cothran said...

Like everyone else I also loved this. You give us such great concrete details, I felt like I was there.

I must be dense because my one thought was--Who is Bugs? I thought it was a person at first. That thought didn't last long, but it was my first. Who is this perv Bugs? :) Maybe be specific about what kind?

Great job!

amber said...

I really liked this :) I spent some time in a Central American rain forest, and I felt a bit of the same experience here -- brought me back :) I relaly liked it -- it was quirky and interesting. Very fun. There were a few REALLY staccatto lines in the begginging that you should really elongate to match the tone (something about the bucket and the water).
Good luck! :)
-amber

Michelle Fayard said...

At first I also thought Bugs was a person. :) I like how you set the atmosphere and show the MC's personality. I am curious as to what her problem will be.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I enjoyed this. I'll be honest, like Angie, at first I thought Bugs was a person, but I quickly realized my mistake.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Wow, I might need to change from Bugs to Insects, just to clarify. This day and age a kid named bugs might actually happen. I'll jump around to your blogs tonight and check out your entries. Thanks for the comments!

alexia said...

I really like this! No critiques here!

Good luck :)

carrieannebrownian said...

I think there's a great sense of setting and narrative voice in your opening, and I love the Kenyan setting. The idea of sci-fi set in Africa definitely seems original!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love it. Bugs. Ew

LisaAnn said...

Hahaha, I agree with others that I thought Bugs was a person at first, and I was kinda wondering why he was perving on Renna! "Insects" will clear up the question perfectly!

I also loved your use of the word "mane." GREAT foreshadowing!

Overall, this short opener gives me a great sense of place, and I'm definitely intrigued. Having never been to Africa, I also feel like I could learn a lot from Renna's descriptions. Great escapism!

Josh Hoyt said...

Great job on introduction.

LisaAnn said...

Hi Rachel, I just gave you a blog award, and I'd love it if you stopped by my blog to check it out! :)