Saturday, May 28, 2011

Made of Awesome Contest

Shelley Watters is at it again and this time she has the awesome Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson and Associates! Judging a first page contest.

So Here's the opportunity for me to share the first page of UNDISTURBED with you all. Hope you like it.

Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 78,000

I never believed I was safe. No one at Weller Prep with the exception of Bobby Vincent was, until today. I tapped on the door with my elbow, my hands too sore to bend, and unclenched my jaw as his mother approached the door. “Good morning, Mrs. Vincent.”

“Deyan, long time no see. Come in,” she said, opening the door. “Well aren’t you cute with your little gloves.”

“Thank you. I was hoping to catch Bobby before he left for school. Is he still here?” Of course he is, his truck is parked outside. He was lucky I liked his mother too much to slash his tires. After six years of his pranks, there was no telling what I might do, especially since I had skipped my meds.

“Let me check,” she said, looking up at the large staircase. “Bobby? Deyan’s here to see you.”

My phone buzzed for the thirty-second time. His jokes were one thing, but posting my phone number online was going too far. He knew I would be looking for him after receiving his list. He hadn’t replied to any of my texts. Granted they contained some of the most offensive f-bomb mash-ups my best friend, Nikki, could conjure up.

“Bobby, did you hear me?” she asked.

“Tell her I’m in the shower,” he yelled.

He was such an idiot. Like I didn’t know he was lying, our houses had the same layout; we even shared a back fence.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think :o)


  1. I had a little bit of a hard time connecting the first line to the rest of the entry, but maybe that's because I'm not sure of the genre. I'm assuming Bobby is no longer safe because she's after him for his pranks, but I'm not sure why no one else is safe or what from - could you maybe put in a small clarification??

    Also, just a little tiny nitpick that's easy to fix - when you said "thirty-second time" I thought you meant her phone was ringing every 30 seconds - you could easily change to "thirty-fourth time" or something and it would be more clear.

    Good job and good luck!

  2. I'm curious why her hands are hurt. I like the idea that she's confronting Bobby about the text messages, but I don't get the connection between the first paragraph and the rest. Do you mean safe as in, safe from his pranks? Are her hands sore because she's been on the phone with all the calls? I'd still be interested to see where this is going. Good luck!

  3. Great voice! I like that the inner dialogue gives insight to the character. The writing is good- clear and flows well.

    A few pointers:

    Watch tense. For ex: "Of course he is, his truck is parked outside" switches tense.

    There's a lot of details that pose questions, like: why isn't everyone at Weller Prep safe? Why are her hands hurt? What meds and why is she taking them? Why did Bobby post her number online.... It's almost too much for the first 250 words, since the stakes aren't really laid out or understood. Pick one and bring out a conflict maybe?

  4. Hi Tetonia!
    I thought it was super, especially the voice and the "f-bomb mash-ups" line. Funny! I like that you start out with high emotion and give hints about things we'll find out later.
    Good luck!

  5. Great voice, and I'm wondering from the comedic tone just how comedic it'll get. This line in particular..."After six years of his pranks, there was no telling what I might do, especially since I had skipped my meds.".... it can be read as funny, but also foreboding.

  6. I really like the the voice. I am assuming Bobby is a bully. I am not sure if I believe that someone would confront the person bullying them for 6 yrs by them self. The thirty second thing confused me to but I think the comment earlier could help fix that. I think this is a good start to a great story. Good Luck

  7. I think there's too much conflict bundled into the first page. The phone was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to say. I can cope with the hands, skipping meds, the pranks, the wanting to slash his tires. Like an earlier commenter said, pick one conflict (I'd choose the hands, that'd be the most inconvenient) and go with it. Or at least hold off the phone thing until a few pages in.
    Good luck!

  8. Wow thanks for all the comments. The thirty-second was something I would have never thought of.

    Thanks again :o)

  9. This is a great opening with so many questions raised. Maybe too many... I found I was a little overwhelmed with information and things I need to remember as I read on. I think you should drop a few details and leave more for us to discover as we read on...

    But I would read on.

  10. Ah, I like the voice! Good luck with this - it's definitely a promising start:)

  11. Very easy to read, first of all.

    My question may be easily settled with a little reworking of the sentence: "No one...outside of Bobby Vincent was, until today." To me, this reads as though now everyone is safe. If it is to mean that now he isn't safe, I think I'd rework it to end with "not anymore" or something equally clarifying.

    Also, if he's been a bully for six years, why is she approaching him alone and why does she know the layout of his home?

    I'd read on!

  12. I really like the voice. I am assuming this is YA. The opening is good, pretty much guaranties I'll read on, if only to get an answer to all the questions.

  13. Bobby is cracking me up! What a jerk, posting her number online! Good strong voice!

    The meds thing seemed a little bit too early. Maybe in the 1st chapter, but not the 1st page.

    Otherwise, go team Para-Rom-YA! good luck with the contest!

  14. I like this, but wanted to know sooner if Deyan was a girl or boy (I have a hard time deciphering non-traditional names). I wondered if SHE might not have been a bit more forthcoming with his mom, because that what I would do. I know times have changed and kids key each others cars out of revenge, and that would have made sense for her to do. I guess I'm sorta not buying a girl facing down a boy solo. Seems like she would have brought backup or something.

  15. Hi, Tetonia,
    I like this. So much tension so quickly. I want to continue reading to answer a ton of questions. 1.) Why the heck do her (I assume she's a her since her best friend is Nikki but you probably should clarify that) hands hurt? 2.) Why is she on meds? 3.) Does she get back at this bully?

    Some things for improvement:
    - What is the house like?
    - What time of day is it?
    - Is it strange that she's wearing gloves? Mrs. Vincent points them out as if it's odd she's wearing gloves. Perhaps it's not winter.

    I had to reread the last few lines. He yells down to tell her he's in the shower and she knows he's not because she can't hear the shower, right? I don't understand the reference to them having the same layout in their houses. Is the shower far away from the direction his voice was coming from? I think that needs some clarification.

    I'd keep reading.

    Thanks for sharing! Good luck!

  16. I really liked the voice. I am guessing it's a girl but if you could somehow make it clear that would be helpful. Also I thought the opening sentence was disconnected with the rest so maybe you might want to tweak that. You def. captured my attention, esp. with the meds part. I would keep reading.

  17. Interesting submit!

    Great inner dialog for your narrator, which helps set up her character really well. And the first few paragraphs set the reader up to ask a lot of questions - which I think is completely fine, as long as they get answered in the next few pages. I think critters sometimes ask for too much from the first 250 words...not realizing that what they're asking for, may be answered in the very next sentence we don't see (which of course, leaves the writer confused on what to leave and what to edit).

    My only crit:

    Not sure if tapped is the right adjective to use, when she's knocking at the door with her elbow. In thinking about hitting the door with my elbow loud enough to get someone to answer, it might be more like thudded or thumped against it.

    Otherwise, good submit. Best of luck with the contest!

  18. i liked this. the relationship between the mc and this bobby boy is super interesting, and i'm curious to see how it plays out.

  19. The second sentence jars me. The grammar is off.

    I'm not getting a sense of place here, or a strong emotion. I'm guessing the MC is mad, but it's not coming across yet.

  20. A lot of my nit-picks have already been covered by other posters, so I will just say that I enjoyed this entry and would totally read on. I'm curious to see what happened to her hands and what this boy had to do with it.

    Good luck!


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