Contest Entry- Shelley Watters 1st Page

Contest are fun. We meet experienced and driven writers, we make friends, and we get a chance to improve little tidbits of our work. Yay!!!
This week, I've chosen to participate in Shelley Watters' contest. It is only open to YA, Middle Grade, memoir, pop-culture non-fiction, and women’s commercial fiction.

So here's how the contest works:
  1. Be sure your work fits into one of the genres listed above.
  2. Sign up on her site here.
  3. On June 25th, (today) post your title, genre, word count and the first 250 words on your blog for critique.
  4. From June 25th through June 26th, hop around to the other contestant's blogs and critique their first 250 words.
  5. On June 27th post your final entry on Shelley's blog post. Be sure to include:
    1. Your email address
    2. Title, genre, wordcount
    3. Your polished first page (250 words). Don't stop in the middle of a sentence.
    4. Where you follow me
    5. Where you spread the word
Agent Victoria Marini will read ALL entries and select one for a full request (which will include at least a partial critique). She will also request partials for the runners up! -- YAY!

Good luck everyone and thanks for the help.

First 253 words of 56,300
Upper MidGrade Fantasy


Kristi said...

I like this a lot. I think we learn a ton in the first 250 words about what the story is going to be about. I don't have any suggestions. good luck.

Richard said...

This is a good suspenseful opening. You introduce the characters in a coherent way. You give the reader a variety of questions that need to be answered, so the reader will want to read on, both to resolve the suspense and learn about this different world they live in.
The scene is very well written and succeeds in its objective. Good luck, Tanya.

E. Arroyo said...

Awesome opening. My only comment would be the word sucked. It sound too real world and I don't think you need it.

I would read more! Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I love Gabe!

I think your opening lines are a bit choppy and maybe some of those sentences could be combined. That's all I can suggest, because otherwise it's great. We get some world-building, voice, and intrigue all in this short space.

Good luck!

Valentina Hepburn said...

This is a great opening, Tanya. It sets the scene so well, and yet leaves me wanting to know more. Very atmospheric writing. Good luck.

Tricia Clasen said...

I love this opening. Such a great voice and a good set up. Drops in action without taking us too far. Two very small things. First,"this sucks" is a bit of a tense shift. Second, I'd love this sentence "Beasts known as bogies tried to haul him off daily to a statue cemetery" to come off as less of a tell somehow. Good luck!

Sarah said...

I like this a lot! The voice is fresh and the world super interesting. The prose is simple and effective.

In your third paragraph I'd be tempted to move the first sentence to the third sentence. (If that makes sense). I think it would flow a lot better for the reader.

Good luck!

Tanya Reimer said...

Oh Wow! Great comments. I am going to make a few tweaks. Thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

The stakes are certainly high for this character! I love the scene you've painted here. Nice world-building.

Tina Moss said...

I love this opening as we immediately establish a relationship with the character. My one suggestion is to lose the third paragraph. This is backstory that can be woven into the plot, and revealed as this card game unfolds a bit at a time. Otherwise, very well done!

Linda Gray said...

I'm definitely drawn in and can see Gabe and feel his feelings. Love the idea that he's playing for a bed and how it's described. I was a bit thrown off at the very beginning because I was confused about this boy/world, but it gets cleared up quickly enough. Gabe's attraction to cheating is appealing, and I love how he lies in the last line.

Jeanmarie Anaya said...

Great voice! I like Gabe already and I'm dying to know why he hasn't had a bed in so long. I really liked how you set this up and the underlying tone of suspense to it all. Great job!

Tami Absi said...

If this were my piece, and it isn't, I know, I would use the following for the first sentence: The four of them huddled together on the dirt floor, deep in the Moose Jaw tunnels, studying their cards as if the fate of the world depended on them.
This one sentence gives me a sense of place and genre immediately. I love fantasy, and I wish you luck!

Tom Hoefner said...

Maybe TMI in the 3rd paragraph? Seems to be some telling and not showing there... still, more than excusable. As a whole, very good, with a really fun protagonist and a great last line. - Tom H.

Check out my first 250?:

erica and christy said...

LOL. Love the last lines! Sorry I'm late getting around and thanks so much for helping on mine. This may be off because it may be the moment he hates and not having to make decisions in general, but you could write:Gabe rubbed his fingers together. He hated making decisions.

(Or even start with this: "If he chose to play a diamond, he’d have to tell these buggers a secret, but if he chose clubs, he’d have to let the girl whisper to him. Either way, he was going to lose this card game." and eliminate the first two sentences and the last. I definitely learn a lot in the first 250 and already like the MC! Great job!! christy

Alison Miller said...

Ooooh - very intriguing and nice opening. I would just watch too much inner thoughts and would concentrate more on the events and actions, but I really liked this and would definitely read more!

Good luck with the contest!