Saturday, August 7, 2010

High Drama Blogfest

D.L. Hammons from Cruising Altitude is hosting today's High Drama Blogfest. As a chapter book and picture book writer, I've discovered that not all blogfests are early and pre-reader friendly. I chose to jump on board with this one, but be aware: chapter book drama is not the same as YA/adult high drama!

For a link list to all of today's participants, click here.

Excerpt from Scott and the Naughty Boy Factory - a complete chapter book.

Scott knew what he had to do. His instincts screamed at him to run away as fast as he could, but he couldn’t leave the others behind and he was too afraid of the robots. Instead, he turned toward the boys closest to him and said, “Guys, this just doesn’t feel right. If we go in there, we’ll never be the same again. I am not giving up my fun. I don’t care how bad we are, no boy deserves that. We can’t just stand here like zombies. We have to do something!”

His hands fisted at his sides, he faced Mr. Little. “Excuse me, Mister Little.” Everyone turned to look at him. He stood a little straighter and coughed to hide his nervousness. “I don’t get it. I know I’m not a very good listener, because everybody’s always telling me to open my listening ears. And I know I’m not a good cleaner, because I’m really good at making messes, but I hate to clean them up all by myself. My manners are okay, but I do like to stick my tongue out at bratty girls, and my mom says I talk too loud.

“Fixing that stuff made a little bit of sense to me. I guess.” He looked at Dusty and took a nervous breath. “But fixing us so we can’t wrestle or chase each other or play ninja...that doesn’t make sense. That’s just fun stuff. My grandma says that’s what boys are born to do.”

The other boys enthusiastically agreed with him. Some gave him a thumbs-up and others just smiled and nodded their encouragement.

“Can’t we have any fun? Scott put his hands on his hips, determined to have an answer. “Does being good all the time mean we can’t sword-fight with sticks or throw snowballs or smash bugs or thump on each other…ever?” He took a step closer to Mr. Little and added, “Grown-ups were little once, too. You’re a grown-up. Didn’t you ever play like that when you were our age?”

Mr. Little rubbed his fuzzy hair and gazed at them. “Yes, of course. I wasn’t always a grown-up you know.”

***I skipped a small section here to stay close to the word count ***

“Enough of this nonsense, gentlemen. No one has ever left The Naughty Boy Factory without the full treatment. Ever. No exceptions.”

Scott heard a collective sigh as every single boy let out the breath he’d been holding.

Mr. Little gestured toward the door in the heel. “Everyone, please follow me inside.”

Scott stood his ground and met Mr. Little’s eyes. “No.”

“What…?” Mr. Little spluttered. “What did you say?”

“I said no. I’m not going in there. If I let you do your top-secret stuff, I’ll lose all the best things about being a boy.”

Scott heard a collective gasp as the other boys reacted to his boldness. “I understand why we were sent to this place, but hands and feet aren’t the same as manners and listening and eating yucky, green foods that make us gag. Hands and feet are all about playing and having fun. What you’re doing is wrong, and I think you know it.”

“You tell him, Scott! We’re with you all the way.” Dusty clapped him on the back for support.

“We’re still just kids, Mr. Little. Nobody is perfect - not even grown-ups. My mom complains all the time because my dad leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor and never closes the cupboard doors. And my dad is always mad because Mom has piles of clutter everywhere and never cleans the refrigerator. Who’s going to fix them?” he asked. Without waiting for Mr. Little to answer, he finished, “Nobody! That’s who.”

Mr. Little blinked.

Thanks for reading. Now, go check out more blogfest posts! Thanks D.L., for hosting the fun. Those muffins were delicious!

32 comments:

Jen said...

You've started the journey off right Shannon! This is the first one of mine to read today and I'm already in love!!!

You are such a beautiful writer that I'm swept away right from the beginning!!!

Falen (Sarah) said...

HA! i love the idea of a naughty boy's factory! Reminds me a bit of pinocchio, but without the creepy kids turning into donkeys

Elaine AM Smith said...

Oh poor Scott! I'm glad someone started the rebellion.
Imagine how dull the world would be.
I was hooked. Good job.

Robyn Campbell said...

I'm HOOKED, chica! Scott is my kinda guy.I love your writing. Trust me! This will find a home. Thanks for sharing. :) *hugs*

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Omg! My nephew would love this!

As always Shannon you make me smile.

Wonderful entry!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Mary Campbell said...

A naughty boy factory - very intriguing. The one who started the rebellion sounds just like my 9yo - very reasonable and convincing.

DL Hammons said...

As you so eloquently illustrated...high drama is subjective and scalable. Drama to a ten year old is barely worth consideration to an adult. But it is drama nonetheless!

I loved this piece Shannon and feel it has real commercial promise! Thank you for sharing it with us today!! :)

Lola Sharp said...

Ooohhh, a naughty boy factory...drama, indeed. And I love a rebel.
Well done, Shannon. :)

Love,
Lola

Stephanie Thornton said...

This is awesome- I want your book to get published so I can buy it to read to my daughter!

I love the last big paragraph- reminds me of my husband. :)

Wonderful job, Shannon!

Charles Forgues said...

I liked it a lot.

Following your blog.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! Awesome section Shannon - this will make a great book :)

Justin W. Parente said...

Your voice is wonderful in this and as such, has a great MG/YA feel to it. Your drama was quirky and engaging.

Thanks for the read! See you around.

Elle Strauss said...

--“I said no. I’m not going in there. If I let you do your top-secret stuff, I’ll lose all the best things about being a boy.”-- This says it all. Nice job, thanks for sharing!

Susan Fields said...

What a fun scene! I really enjoyed reading this. Great job!

Nicole Murray said...

I so would have loved this when I was a kid. Just the factory idea alone is cool.

The writing flowed and it was easy to see the story unfolding. Great job!

February Grace said...

My mom complains all the time because my dad leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor and never closes the cupboard doors. And my dad is always mad because Mom has piles of clutter everywhere and never cleans the refrigerator.

LOL! Loved it.

Wonderful read- thanks for posting it for the fest!

bru

Portia said...

I adore the voice in this story. So likable! My favorite part:
“I don’t get it. I know I’m not a very good listener, because everybody’s always telling me to open my listening ears. And I know I’m not a good cleaner, because I’m really good at making messes, but I hate to clean them up all by myself. My manners are okay, but I do like to stick my tongue out at bratty girls, and my mom says I talk too loud."

Sounds like my kind of kid!

—Portia

Erin Kane Spock said...

My girls (ages 5 and 4) already know that 'boys break things.' It's just part of being a boy. I don't know if I'd send the worst boys I know to a treatment facility where they remove the boy-ness. Well, maybe one. lol.

Great entry and great voice.

aspiring_x said...

i LOVE this! you go SCOTT!!! (what a cool idea- a naughty boy factory) as a mother of little boys i was cheering along with him!
so wonderful!

Amanda Sablan said...

The voice that you've captured is perfect, and your dialogue is great. Wonderful entry! :]

Donna Hole said...

Oh I loved how he took the initiative, stood his ground for himself and the others.

Yes, drama is subjective. You only have to listen to a child describe their day for about ten minutes to get that.

What an awesome hero you've created.

..........dhole

Sharde(Shar-day) said...

Can I just say that I love your title and the premise is dead on, too.

The voice and reactions are on point, along with the writing. I figure you'll be snipping this soon, but I'm glad I got to read it before you do.

Thanks

Sharde

Michele Emrath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele Emrath said...

I love this idea of a boy fighting back for his time to play. And I love that he is learning to distinguish between what he should change, and what isn't necessary. This sounds like a great plot for a chapter book I'd read to my son!

My only question would be calling it the "Naughty" Boy Factory--unless you're planning to come up with some maxim like, "There are no naughty boys, only naughty actions." We're just told over and over as parents to not let kids think THEY are the bad ones or the naughty ones. You know?

I want to read more!

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Lenny said...

hi miss shannon! wow this is soooo cool. now i just want to read more and i really want to know did he go in that room and whats in there.
...smiles from lenny

L'Aussie said...

This is funky and a cool story. Naughty boy factory indeed. Great work Shannon!

Vicki Rocho said...

Naughty Boy Factory! Hahaha.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hey! You and your picture books need to be a link on my Blog Roll of Honor for Art Appreciation week! But I'm not sure where to link to - your blog?

CMOM Productions said...

This is great!

Lynda Young said...

I love the concept! Great work :)
W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

Cleverly Inked said...

I enjoyed that he has a sense of who he is.

Angela M. said...

What a brave boy. Loved this! The concept is definitely original. My favorite was the last paragraph. Sometimes I wish someone would fix me :)

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