Saturday, 12 March 2011

Share the Birthday Love Blogfest

This weekend, Sari Webb is hosting the Birthday Love blogfest in celebration of her b'day (click on the picture for more details!). The object of this blogfest is to ask other participants for help on a particular aspect of your writing you feel you need help with/need to improve.

I have 1.8 novels (the 0.8 is because book 2 isn't quite finished) which are classed as MG by most who hear about them, and yet sometimes it can get pretty gory. I would like people's opinions on whether it suits MG. I know it's a small sample, but hopefully it will suffice! Just a note - the Slater sisters are cats. And my novel has plenty of decent cats in it as well as evil ones. It also features plenty of other types of evil creatures.

In an alleyway on downtown Samos, the Slater sisters had just finished mauling a large donkey to death, and now they were busy eating his remains.

They were going to be so full when they were done, but they couldn't exactly pack away his remains and take them on their next flight with them. The guy had to be disposed of, and this was the easiest way of doing it without leaving evidence behind. The main problem was that they had to lick the alleyway completely clean of any spots of blood.

"I heff a better idea," Felixia said as she gnawed studiously on a hairy hindquarter.

"Oh yes?" Felinda responded, "and vot is your better idea?"

"Just you vait and see," Felixia said in satisfaction.

Twenty minutes later, with massively distended bellies and serious gut-aches coming on, the Slater sisters had the alleyway in flames, and the members of the local fire department dousing the entire place with gallons of water, their massive hoses straining against them, straining to be free.

Felinda felt the contents of her stomach straining to be free of her, but she had a stomach of iron, and if she clamped her jaw shut, just like so, then all would be okay.

Most of her body might have been engaged in a fierce battle of wills, but her green eyes shone and flickered, firelight reflected in them.

On the way to the Whiskerport, Felinda whispered to her sister, "Vun down—many more to go."

She and her twin exchanged evil smiles and proceeded to rub their furry heads against one another in affection and joy.

So, what do you think?? Too gory? Not gory enough?

There is also a part near the end where somebody's guts get spilled.

Most of the novel isn't gory, but there are bits & pieces.

A friend's suggestion a while back, for getting around the "maybe it's too old for kids" issue, was to make it less gory...but that doesn't sound too fun to me! :P


  1. I could say Trisha 'what's a nice girl like you writing a story like this for?' I was jolted into the story with mauling that poor donkey to death. But the story extract reads well.Is tight and says what it needs to. I'm glad the story isn't all gory!

    I'm not into this 'fest. No time. I just came by to say hello. I salute you for being in the finals of the 'survival' fest stories too. It had some great entries.


    Roland Yeomans Blog Tour here Saturday and Sunday. Follow The Bear with Two Shadows!

  2. Well, if it makes you feel better, the donkey is a bad guy. But he ended up betraying the bad guys to the good guys (he's the kind of guy who will betray his mother :P). So he's not exactly an innocent donkey.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting :)

  3. This is very real, older kids like that. I would go with upper mid-grade, 12-14 years. My 11 year old would buy into that. She likes gore, not scare, anything real-life, like that is acceptable.

  4. Ms. Trisha,

    Your works are too gory?? I never expected the same! Eager to read your works.

    Well, these days, gory is accepted. Audience change all time and now, children are comfortable with everything. So are adults (young adults) So no issues.

    Thanks for sharing the news about his blogfest.

    with warm regards

  5. I think you did a great job. I enjoyed your story. I didn't have time to join the blogfest but have enjoyed reading stories of those who did.

  6. Thanks for reading guys ;)

    Regina, yeah I need to check out all the other entries too!

  7. Pretty nasty, but delightfully so--just the kind of semi-forbidden badiness that will have middle graders wanting to read more. You might turn off a few readers, but I think most of them will be gobbling it up like donkey meat (okay, that was gross). I like the voice!

  8. Have you read "The Hunger Games?" It's too bloody for YA. At least, that's what everyone said. Now it's an international best seller getting made into a massive movie. I think the simple point is that if the work is good, people will read it. And if it's a bit gorier than other books in your age-group, you'll just get free press out of a controversy! But I understand your worry -- sometimes publishers just reject over that kind of thing. I think it's fine for upper MG. A twelve year old would not mind this :)

    And I really enjoyed it, too!

    ~ Bess

  9. I haven't read the Hunger Games, and only heard of them relatively recently in fact :P Guess I've lived under a log in some ways. lol.

    Also, because I haven't done my research I had never imagined there were different areas of MG, i.e. upper MG. But that makes me happy, as I think this book will certainly suit that better. :D

    Thanks so much everyone for your input!!

  10. I liked the extract, particularly the Slater Sisters' accents. I think that aspect of it would definately appeal to 8-14 year olds. I agree that it's pretty gory, but nowadays a lot of kids would be exposed to worse gore from computer games, TV shows and movies. I think 12-14 year olds would especially love the gore so I would agree with Tanya that it would appeal to an upper-middle grade audience. I don't think it's an issue of whether the kids would like it, more of whether their parents would want to expose them to it.

  11. Hi Trisha .. all I can say is .. I'm glad I'm in little old England! Sounds a fun story though .. but the thought of them two stomachs on a flight is a bit .... daunting .. ugh!

    Good to be here .. well not sure about that actually .. but I'll be back! Cheers Hilary

  12. I'm not as familiar with MG and what is and isn't too gory for that market. I love the extract though.

  13. I don't think it's too gory for kids. If anything, it'll be YA. I am curious to what exactly the sisters are because they don't seem human. I think the first sentence needs to have a little more action, rather than starting passively. Getting your reader hooked immediately would work better in your story.Well, hope that helps and good luck!

  14. @Nata - this isn't the opening scene, it's quite away into the novel - not sure if that makes a difference or not. And by this point in the novel it's been well established that the sisters are cats, so the reader won't be wondering. Thank you for taking the time to comment. :)

    @Lynda - neither am i! :P I never even planned to write an MG novel, and don't really know the conventions. Thanks :)

    @Hilary - I don't think any of my characters ever venture over to the UK - or my version of it. :D

    @Anstice - yeah, and in turn whether publishers think parents are gonna buy it for their kids. ;) Thank you!

  15. Hi Trisha, I loved this excerpt. The Slater Sisters are just the right kind of evil :). I think the voice in the excerpt definitely slots it into MG, rather than YA. I don't think there is too much gore for older MG readers, when you consider what goes into games & TV these days. And the descriptions aren't particularly graphic (not too much blood & guts) so I think this is fine for an MG audience.

    You might want to check out this blog by agent Jennifer Laughran ( She represents MG and YA so has some good advice for MG writers on her blog.

  16. Thanks Sari - yeah, I follow her already, thanks though! :D

    and thanks for hosting this blogfest, it's been great!

  17. I think it works for upper MG, I confess I haven't read a lot of MG in the last few years so I'm not sure how it's developed but as previously commented if the story is good it should work fine.
    The only thing was that when I read: “The guy had to be disposed of ” I stopped... re-read, somehow that sentence feels out of place in MG (for me).

  18. I thought it was pretty gory, but I would love to read on! Some MG kids will appreciate gore, some won't. (Although I think more of them would like it.) You can't please them all. Don't change it, it's awesome the way it is!

  19. @fraeya - thanks, I see your point about the "disposed of" line. ;) Will look at that when I get to revisions.

    @Madeline - thanks, glad you enjoyed it :P

  20. I liked it, I did not think that it was too gory at all, I just finished Percy Jackson and parts of that have the same level of gore. It would be different if you talked about how the guts looked spilt or the taste of the blood but as it is I think it is perfectly ok.


Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!