Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brenda Drake's Can You Hook A Teen Contest

Hey guys! I'm entering Brenda Drake's contest!

Here's the rules:

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.

The winner gets a $50 editing gift certificate (and two runner's up get $25 each) for Teen Eyes Editorial Services.

Wolfy Love Story. :-)

I drove a little bit faster, though normally I wasn’t one to speed. The thought of getting a ticket just to get somewhere a few minutes sooner was pointless. However, I made an exception this time; first because I finally knew where I was going after getting lost twice, and second it was getting dark and then I’d be sure to miss the house. I eyed the retreating sun with more than a little uncertainty.

It won’t be that bad… I told myself.

I tried to relax, but I was anxious and unreasonably irritated. If this was supposed to be a fun getaway after all the chaos of high school why did it feel like a prison sentence?

I noticed my white knuckled hold on the steering wheel and loosened my fingers. They ached as blood rushed back into them. I could feel my pulse in my palms.

I was being ridiculous. It’s not like I was driving to my own execution; although imagining Rachel in the role of executioner wasn’t difficult whenever Dylan was around.

Dylan. My anxiety rose a few notches and I let my foot off the gas a little.

If unrequited love wasn’t enough to put a damper on the summer I didn’t know what was.

I frowned at the rural highway. I lost my mind. I had to have; otherwise nothing would have convinced me to accept a vacation invitation from Rachel of all people. Two months, I’d be stuck in her beach house.

Two months.

There you go. I wish it was the first 500 words because the first taste of creepy comes up right after this, but oh well!

I really hope the rest of you join up too, I'd really like to see all of your 250 words out in the bloggersphere. :-)



  1. Two months! What the heck is she thinking? LOL> Loved it. Sounds like a good hook to me.

    I'm entering too. :)

  2. Hello, Megan. I'm doing my rounds, critiquing as many other entries as I can before I pass out.

    I know what you mean. If we could just get a few more words...

    Overall the writing seems fine. The voice could probably use some sharpening. Since this is conversational narration, try to make the narration sound more like a voice. It's a bit to structured, I think. Also, try reading it aloud, paying attention to your punctuation. Better yet, have someone else read it aloud. I stumbled a bit, and thought "Oh, she probably meant for there to be a coma there."

    Reading aloud, or sometimes printing it and reading it off the screen can help with things like this.

    Again, just watch that voice, and make sure it stays young. (For instance -- but I was anxious and unreasonably irritated -- does not sound like something a teenager would think. What would really be going through her head?"

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. This sounds like it's going to be a fun read. I have to agree that you should tweak the voice a bit to get it to sound younger.

    My anxiety rose - I freaked
    put a damper on - ruin
    ridiculous - stupid
    anxious and unreasonably irritated - wired

    Just ideas, someone else may totally disagree with me. Anyways, I loved this and can imagine what awkward fun this two month vacay will be. Great job and good luck with the contest! <3

  4. Great beginning. Sounds like the perfect set up for a creepy and intriguing story. Good job.

    Other than the voice advice you've already received, my other comment would be that the opening few paragraphs were a little long. My first impression was that it was taking too long to get to the point. We understand after only a few sentences about her stress level. No need to beat the reader over the head. :)

    Maybe you could cut some of the first paragraphs to get us to the meat a little faster--the part about Dylan and two months at the beach house. That's really where the story begins.

    Otherwise, nice job. Definitely an interesting set up. Good luck!

  5. Hey Megan.
    I think you could add something more distinctive to give your first line more punch. I have to agree about making the voice sound a little younger though.
    Otherwise, this got me curious. Good start.

  6. Hey Megan,

    Doing some rounds for the 250 projects :)

    I think you could even start with the second paragraph (I'm going off of what other people have already said). Starting with "It won't be that bad... I told myself" is an intriguing, captivating sentence. Because you can already hear the self-doubt.

    I think you should keep part of the first paragraph - but just move it after the initial thought.

    You can take or leave the advice :) I just always know I'm looking for critiques on my pieces.

    I do like it, to be honest. I mean, her voice is there, it is conversational and thus easy to relate to, and there's enough description that I know where she is and where she's going. Thus far, I think it sounds pretty good :)

    Best of luck in the 250 contest.