Sunday, March 2, 2014



Genre:  Upper MG, Humorous Fantasy

MS Word Count:  77,000


In the realm of Wyverndawn, a wizard’s height is the mark of his power, so shrinking an entire inch is disastrous for twelve-year-old Gerald. 

Looking to gain a few inches, Gerald attempts to create a village landmark using his superior wizarding skills. But the spell he bought --from a guy who knows a guy-- is a tad more powerful than he anticipates. The resulting earthquake and escape of a very dangerous wizard from prison really weren’t part of the plan.

To add insult to injury, a red-faced Gerald finds himself banished from his village along with the one inch demotion; two more and he’ll join his father as a Royal Equine Poop Disposal Coordinator.

Gerald’s hopes of returning home hinge on repairing the devastation he caused and thwarting the evil wizard’s plans of seizing Wyverndawn for his own. Failure could mean Gerald’s next spell might well be his last.

First Page:

A jet of blinding light flashed across the room, ricocheted off the window frame and disappeared up the chimney.


Nobody wants to hear that word from a wizard and definitely not one only five feet tall, thought Gerald. He squinted at the end of his wand and noticed a new crack in the smoldering tip. He dreamed of exceeding six feet but only the best wizards in the land ever reached those dizzying heights. He knew that every successful spell he cast could gain him an inch in promotion, but if it failed he could also be demoted. And Gerald had the distinct feeling the latter was about to apply to him. It seemed unfair that the only profession afflicted by this rule was his. Hopefully no-one had noticed this little faux pas.

A rumble under his feet redirected his focus to a new and far more immediate problem.  This can’t be good, he thought.  It steadily increased in strength until the floor beneath him rolled like a ship in a storm. Trying to stay upright, he staggered to the window at the front of his weather-beaten cottage. The small hill, and new village landmark, supposed to be growing outside --to improve the view-- failed to materialize. But the cotton ball clouds, normally gently drifting on the warm summer breeze, were now whizzing by. His brow furrowed as he caught sight of villagers clinging to structures for dear life. His eyes nearly popped out of his head when the village herbalist flew past his window and, as he followed her progress across the green, he spotted Lord Moleheart hanging onto a tree like a flag in a gale.

“Kack!” said Gerald.


  1. I find it fascinating that worth here is based on height. I'm intrigued. Good luck!

  2. Just going to tell you that my three boys would be intrigued by this right off the bat--me too LOL! The height thing is adorable and different. Your pitch is solid, but I do think you need to be a little clearer about how height is gained or lost in connection with spell success. A little clarity on that will take you a long way. As you tweak the pitch--keep reading it to people who haven't read your story to be sure that they are getting a clear picture of what you are trying to say.

    Gerald sounds like an adorable hot mess and I'm already invested in him on the first page. And I really like your humor--Royal Equine Poop Disposal Coordinator. Today I was a Royal Feline Poop Disposal Coordinator so I can relate. *grin* Great job!

    1. Thank you for you awesome comments. The MS is available if your boys would like to read it. I would love more feedback on GERALD from children :)

  3. Just a few awkward moments in the pitch, like "The resulting earthquake and escape of a very dangerous wizard from prison really weren’t part of the plan." Maybe clearer, like "and the resulting prison break by a very dangerous wizard." I'd like a little more explanation (literally, a line or so) about how height=power and vice versa, since the plot hinges on this. Also, does Gerald have any helpers along the way? Adding a sense of his "team" will help us rally behind him. Great humor, strong writing.

    So we don't know that Gerald's opening spell is a miss, other than that he says OOPS, so make it clearer. Move the description of what he was trying to do and how it backfired up. In fact, I feel like you're missing an opportunity for some opening image fun by showing us the intent and the mistake of his spell casting! Not sure where it goes on the next page, but could you make it a funny mistake since the catastrophic earthquake is coming at the end of Act 1? Don't get so hung up on explaining the height thing right off the bat. You have a little time, and I'd rather get to know Gerald - and love him - at this point than be inundated with world building.

    1. Thank you for your comments they are very insightful and I am planning to make a few tweaks as you have advised. If I make to the next round I hope you will see the difference.


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