Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #29 - Whispers of Disaster

GENRE- YA fantasy
65,000 words


She’s been called a witch, a demon, the daughter of a murderer.  As a senior in high school Taylor is used to the rumors, the whispers. She knows her father was a mysterious man, but a murderer? When her best friend nearly drowns in a flooded stream, a stranger comes out of nowhere to save her. A man claiming to know Taylor’s father.

Obsessed with finding the truth, Taylor follows the man into the woods. Through the trees and darkness, Taylor finds a bon fire surrounded by a group of people. They claim to be the Maaylina, the group her father belonged to before his death. And they expect Taylor to join them. But even the Maaylina are hiding things from her. And Taylor is tired of secrets.

Defying direct orders, Taylor follows a group of Maaylina to Guatemala on one of their secret “missions”. Inside a crowded airport they climb to the rafters and use their power to cause the roof to collapse—crushing hundreds of people. In this terrifying initiation, Taylor learns the Maaylina don’t just believe in fate, they believe they are fate. They believe they are destined to cause disasters to the world.

Taylor considers them murderers and refuses to join. The Maaylina consider her a traitor, and they have killed for much less. Now Taylor finds herself on the run, hunted by her own family.

First 150 Words:

Taylor took one long, deep breath before opening the door to her own personal hell.
Two dozen heads turned to look at her as she walked in. Then the whispers began.
"Why doesn't she just stay home?" one girl said.
Taylor forced her eyes straight ahead. She was used to the comments.
“I swear, I shiver every time I look into her eyes," a boy whispered.
“Then don’t,” his friend said next to him. “I bet she’d curse you!”
Sometimes it was like a game, guessing which angle they’d try each day, which new rumor they’d come up with next. If only it didn’t make her skin crawl.
Taylor pushed the anger down and sat at her desk. She was good at hiding, but as much as she tried, her thick skin wasn’t indestructible. They still got to her.
But she would never show them how much.


Colene Murphy said...

Oh, this sounds very good! I'd suggest cutting a bit in the beginning of your query and get to the craziness a bit faster. The writing could be tightened up a bit too, But you totally blew me away with your story concept. Was not expecting them to believe they were fate and bring disasters! Wow! Way cool!

Abby Minard said...

I agree with Colene- LOVE the concept but the query could be tightened up. You could get away with cutting out the whole second paragraph and still be fine. Or merging the second and third paragraphs to make just one, and cut out some of the sentences.

Your first 150 was good too- makes me want to read on and see why they are talking about her. One question- why is she walking in late if she knows they'll whisper about her? Seems like the whole class is already there since you said "two dozen".

Great job- love the concept!

Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #29!

I’m going around giving everyone at least one critique and one positive today. (Maybe more, if I spot something helpful.)

- I'm kind of in love with this concept. ;)

- Just tighten that query!

Best of luck!

Honey Badger said...

Do you know what brought me back? I remembered this concept when I woke up. ;)

You have my vote!