Posts Tagged ‘rupert’ Archive

Dusting Off My Middle Grade Novel

Gabriela Lessa has given me a great reason to dust off my only completed novel: a contest! Rupert is my middle grade novel. It holds a special place in my heart since it is the only novel I’ve managed to finish (although, when you think I’ve only been at this since the new year, it doesn’t sound that bad).

I’m supposed to write a one sentence pitch (which I would love some help with!) and post my first paragraph. Lots of you will have seen this before when I posted it a few months back, but for those of you it’s new to, feel free to share your thoughts!

Name: Juliana Brandt
Title: Rupert Reginald Robinson, XI & the Mysterious House Next Door
Genre: Middle Grade
Manuscript word count: 23,000
Judge: Aubrey Poole
One-Sentence Pitch: Rupert must defeat a powerful pirate when he discovers imaginary creatures live in his next door neighbor’s house. (Ick, I know this is bad. Thoughts??)

First paragraph:

Rupert Reginald Robinson clutched a thick book to his chest; his forehead rested against the glass of the backseat car window.  The car bumped across the road.  His head slid to a new place and left a smudge of grease on the glass.

(I am guest posting over at Jack Flacco’s on being a critique partner. Go check it out!)


Alright, it’s time I stop procrastinating with posting my query.  Here it is, please feel free to critique in any way you would like.

Twelve year old Rupert lives with stern Aunt Miriam, while his parents sail around the world.  At school, he is tortured by Bobby the Bully and his pet rat, Scamper.  Rupert survives his aunt’s controlling ways and Bobby’s freaky gray rat by escaping into the imaginary worlds of books and his favorite sport, baseball.

A simple errand to his neighbor’s house reveals the very thing he hasn’t dreamed up is exactly what is true: make-believe creatures come to life in his next door neighbor’s house.  With the help of a new friend, Petra, Rupert uncovers the secrets of Mr. Applebee’s mysterious house.  The only problem is that Mr. Applebee refuses to let Rupert help, even when an evil pirate sneaks out of Imagination World with the goal of escaping the house.

Pi-Rat threatens to unleash all imaginary creatures into the real world.  Rupert knows if he can’t stop Pi-Rat the world will forever be changed.  In his quest, Rupert learns to trust friends, keep secrets, uncover the truth, and become the confident adventurer of which he had only previously dreamed.

RUPERT REGINALD ROBINSON THE NINTH & THE MYSTERIOUS HOUSE NEXT DOOR is complete at 23k words.  It is a short, middle-grade chapter book that could be expanded into a series, but does stand alone.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Pitch Contest with Natalie Fischer

I’ve entered the pitch contest with Natalie Fischer on YAtopia and thought you all might be interested in my two sentence pitch.  I highly suggest for every one of you to join the contest!


Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction

2-Sentence Pitch:  Rupert lives in his imagination to escape his stern Aunt Miriam and the bully who tortures him at school.  A simple errand to his neighbor’s house reveals the very thing he hasn’t dreamed up is exactly what is true: make-believe creatures come to life in his next door neighbor’s house.  

Opening Sentence:  

Rupert Reginald Robinson clutched a thick book to his chest; his forehead rested against the glass of the backseat car window.  

I’m going to post my query here in the next couple days.  I would love it if you all would come back and tear it to pieces…by that, I mean give me amazing constructive critiques that will make it amazing!

Blogging/Querying/Vacation & An Engagement

Ahh, finally, after two hours I have finally caught up on my blogs.  I have no idea what I would do without Google Reader.  I subscribe to some fifty blogs (I know many of you will shake your head and say, I subscribe to wayyy more than that)!  I can’t get over how connected I feel to the writers community out there since starting my blog and I am continuously blown away by how many amazing writers there are out there.  Blog on fellow writers!

In other news, I officially started writing my first query for Rupert.  Yesterday morning, I fired up the computer, bit my nails, and took out my trusty Notebook of Ideas.  I flipped to Rupert’s section and began taking notes.  I started with Nathan Bransford’s blog, headed on over to Rachelle Gardner’s blog, and scoured their sites for any and all resources they had on writing a query.  What I found, is that queries look easy, but really aren’t.  I wrote a first draft after researching, shut my notebook and haven’t opened it again.

Why am I so hesitant to keep working on my query?  Mostly because it’s not that much fun to write.  I would much rather work on my new WIP.  Don’t worry folks, I wouldn’t be a writer if I wasn’t prepared for through the not fun stuff too.  My big plan is to construct as good a first query as I can in the coming days, possibly post it here, or else send it to my CP’s to see what they think.

Lastly, I’m going on vacation and GET TO SEE MY FAMILY!!!  Cale and I leave for Phoenix Thursday morning and will meet up with my Mom, Dad, sister, and future brother-in-law.  That’s right, my sister got engaged!!!!!  Chris is pretty awesome and I am super excited for him to officially be family.

We’ll be visiting some of our best family friends and my god-father.  Want to know how excited I am to see everyone?  I’m so excited, I packed three weeks ago.  Yup, three weeks ago.

I’m 10,000 words into my new WIP and am looking forward to working on it more when I have spare time this coming week.  Rupert is finished and is being critiqued again.  (If anyone is looking for a critique partner, I would LOVE to read/edit whatever you have if you are interested in checking out Rupert.  It’s ended up at about 23k).

The More You Write the Better

I know I have already posted this link.  It’s the first in a four part series by Ira Glass on storytelling.  If you haven’t watched it, you need to.  Now.

Part of what Ira says is that at the beginning of your career you will produce a lot of crap, but the more you write and the more you work, the better your material will become.

I am extremely excited by how Rupert is evolving and becoming an even better piece of work then I had thought it would be.  Cale has said that Rupert is much better than the first book I wrote.  With this in mind, I’m taking a note from Ira Glass and am looking forward even more to this third book I have begun plotting.

I had a free day today and filled it with listening to Harry Potter on CD and writing (interspersed with taking the dogs on a walk, swim suit shopping- which was a failure, and biking).  I decided to begin the first chapter of this third book.  Yay!  It was a great day of writing a few thousand words and feeling good about the direction my writing is taking.

I guess the moral of this post is to keep writing as much as you can! 🙂