Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can You Hook A Teen? Blogfest Entry First 250 Words

Title: The Demon Chronicles: Prophecy
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Here's my first 254 words. I hope you enjoy!

Crimson splattered across everything. A stream of it trickled through the room, filling it with its metallic bitterness. Walking slowly toward where it was coming from, she gasped. A hand lay lifeless in the deadly river. Her eyes refused to look at his face, but she knew he was dead. A single tear fell down her cheek as she heard the demonic laughter behind her. At that moment she knew she was the one who ended his life.

A scream ripped from her throat as she jolted awake. It was just another dream. Taisie Monahan thought to herself breathlessly as she lay back down and tried to push the nightmare from her mind. Since her mother's death, they had been coming more frequently than normal. She never saw who was dead or the one who made her kill him, and she prayed she never did. They were bad enough already. She didn't think she could take anything more.

The big red numbers on the digital clock flashed 1:00 A.M. Her eyes adjusted to its light after a minute making her let out a loud sigh. “Ugh. Really?” She pulled the comforter over her head and listened to the rain dancing on the roof, hoping she would drift into a dreamless sleep this time. In six short hours she had to face her real worst nightmare. First day of school.


A sea of Forever 21 and American Eagle flowed Taisie's direction as she fought her way up the sidewalk of Saint Isabel High.


  1. Wow, this has changed a lot. I like it. There are mixed opinions about using brand names, so I won't say that they shouldn't be used. I think they offer specific description to your page, however, when your book is read five years from now, will those brand names have the same value? Good luck with the contest.

  2. Great descriptions. I like the way you put a horrible dream and the horror of the first day of school right next to one another.

    I would cut some adverbs, though.

    for example, "Taisie Monahan thought to herself breathlessly ..."

    could be change to, "Taisie Monahan thought while she caught her breath."

  3. Vivid opening imagery, but you could tighten it a lot more and, thus, bring the two different nightmares closer together. If you go too long with the sleeping nightmare, I think the reader will feel cheated when she wakes up.

  4. I love the dark and creepy beginning. So scary and yet it draws us in and makes us want to understand more.

    There are many, many agents and editors who advise writers to never begin a story with a dream or waking up. So, I don't know. Just something to consider.

    I agree with the comment that the writing could be tightened up. In the fist couple of sentence there is heavy use of the "it" pronoun.

    "walking slowly toward where is was coming from" is awkward wording.

    "A scream ripped from her throat" is cliche.

    "Since her mother's death, they had been coming more frequently than normal." Delete "than normal"

    Anyway, those are just a few specifics. A little more clean-up and you'll have an awesome beginning. All the conflict and hook is there. Good luck!

  5. Since I read this before the new changes, I'm going to be tough. Your story doesn't start here. And I would not start with a nightmare. Start with the sea of designer logos and Taisie meeting the girls. Tighten up your prose as the others mentioned above. I hope this helps. Good luck in the contest! <3

  6. I'm so sorry for what I'm about to say. Just know that I find it more funny than troubling.


    I do like this voice and how creepy it is, but I think the fact that it's a dream cuts down on that. Is there anyway to convey this without the dream? You've such a good paranormal voice.

  7. Intriguing beginning. I like the creepy, dark feel of it.
    I have to agree that starting a novel with dreaming and/or waking is cliche. I've seen many tweets and blog posts from agents and editors saying they're tired of that kind of opening. Be aware of that.
    "filling it with it's metallic bitterness"- It could just be me, but I don't understand the use of the word bitterness here. I think of bitter and a taste.
    "Her eyes adjusted to its light after a minute making her let out a loud sigh"- There should be a comma between minute and making. Also, I think this could be more clear. I'm not sure what is making her sigh, the time on the clock or her eyes adjusting to the light.
    Good Luck! You have a good voice and with some tightening up, you could make your first page shine!

  8. I'm a bit prejudiced about opening books with dream sequences. I'd rather see some kind of concrete action that has more of an effect on the MC.

    You've got some grammar issues and some cliche language to watch out for. That said, I love some of the descriptors you've got, especially "A sea of Forever 21..." etc. Very nice line there.

  9. I agree with what everyone else has said... the beginning feels very over-written (purple-prose) and doesn't really feel like the true *start* of the story. Even though I didn't have the benefit of reading this before, I was going to make the same suggestion as Brenda: start from meeting the girls.

    One comment on that, though (and this carries through to the rest of what I've read), be careful of using too much passive language. "...flowed Taisie's direction..." this line (and especially this phrase) should be re-worded so Taisie is actively fighting through the flow.