Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writing Contest - Can You Hook A Teen?

I saw this on a blog I follow: Where Love and Fantasy Take Flight.  It looked awesome, so I thought I'd try it. :) The contest is hosted by Brenda Drake.
On September 21st and 22nd post the first 250 words of your young adult or middle grade manuscript on your blog (you may skip this part, if you wish), and then hop around to each others' blogs and give critiques. By midnight on September 23rd post your entry in the comments of the official contest post, which I will have up on September 21st so you can post anytime from then until midnight on September 23rd. It's going to be midnight my time (Mountain Standard Time). I'll have how you should enter your entry on the official post.

Here's the prizes . . .

The winner will receive a $50 editing gift certificate and two runners up will receive a $25 editing gift certificate each from Teen Eyes Editorial Services. Check out all the cool services you can purchase here.
So, here's my excerpt from my book I've been working on. I'm horrible with titles. Right now, it's called "Wanted"
The din of the cafeteria only fueled my ire as I stalked to our usual table. All the happy students discussing the coming weekend or last night’s game. Ugh. Didn’t they know there were more important things in life? My friends had already started eating, since I’d been detained by Mrs. McCormac. I slammed my tray down on the table, making everyone jump. 
    “Crap, Ash, what’s your problem?”  Cora put her hand to her chest.  I sat with a huff.   Like she could have a heart attack.  Hadn’t she heard me coming?
    “Mrs. McCormac is a huge beyotch,”  I exclaimed, stabbing at my mashed potatoes. 
    “And you have to take it out on us?”  Megan narrowed her chocolate eyes at me from across the table.  I glared at her.  She’d only been sitting here these last couple days because she had a crush on Matt.
    “Yeah. You sit here, you deal with my moods.”  I turned back to my potatoes.  Swallowing, I swore I could feel her roll her eyes at me, but I chose to ignore her.  I really wished Matt would just bite her and be done with her.  Full-blooded humans tended to give me the willies. 
    “What did McCormac do today?”  Matt asked me, blue eyes kind.  Matt had been there for me since…well, since the beginning.  I gave him a grateful half-smile.
    “I wrote my Civics paper on vampire rights and she told me it was all wrong.  We were supposed to


  1. I admit I had a hard time with this one. The character just started me off rolling my eyes and going "Wow, what a drama queen. Get over yourself, kid." And then you mentioned "I really wished Matt would just bite her and be done with her. Full-blooded humans tended to give me the willies." It floored me. I would totally start with that second line-- something to remind us that there's something deeper here than meets the eye. There might be a real gem here.

    "All the happy students discussing the coming weekend or last night’s game." That's not a sentence-- either change the verb to "were discussing" or "discussed".

  2. I agree. To start out with the whining makes me start off disliking this character. She sounds like the person who says, "I'm not like other girls. I wear shirts and hoodies and listen to rock and don't talk about girly things." I would definitely start with something more neutral (like what's mentioned above). It completely redeems it (to me).
    Cheers and good luck!

  3. I Love the voice here, but I have to agree that you have a perfect first line with "I really wished Matt would just bite her..." It's so good and would totally hook the reader if it was at the beginning. And then you can rearrange the rest. As it is, it did pull me in and the premise sounds great. Good luck with the contest! <3

  4. Thank you so much!! I will rework the beginning! That's always the hardest part of the book. :)