Monday, October 1, 2012

1st Rd Sm Press Contest #3 - Touch

YA Paranormal Romance
89,000 words


Five years after Lily’s suicide, Tessa Chase must deal with the ramifications of being the crazy girl’s sister. And she is failing horribly. She’s spent the last years battling an Empathic ability she wants no part. Now sixteen, Tessa is looking for answers and trying to make sense of who and what she is.

John was the boy no one seemed to notice, the boy that didn’t need to creep in the shadows to be ignored. But with his looks and snarky personality, Tessa can’t help but befriend him. At one touch, she knows there is something wrong with John and will prompt him to a shocking confession: he’s an angel and invisible to everyone but her. He’s here to investigate a decades old killing spree before the killer finds her next victim.

But when the killer’s sights land on Tessa, her world will collide with John’s in the most unexpected way forcing her to choose between saving a friend and sacrificing herself to stop the killer.  

First 150 words:

I had forgotten how much effort it would cost to be amongst strangers. Their everyday emotions came in waves, sweeping across my palms as physical pains. Yet another delusion to my so-called anxiety?

I hoped not.

I crossed my arms over my chest and gritted my teeth. A row of white psychics tents were pushed far enough away from the rest of the Peddler’s Fair and had captured my attention two days ago.  Trash skittered around my legs in tiny wind tunnels.

I sighed. There weren’t any answers here.
“What exactly are we doing?” Michael asked around a mouthful of hot dog. In a few hours, it wouldn’t matter. The weekend was almost over and with it, so would be the fair.           

I pulled at the frayed edges of my gloves and shrugged. “I don’t know yet.” Despite, the many layers of clothing I wore, the silvery night air bit into my skin.


Honey Badger said...

Hey, Entry #3!

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

- Nice paranormal element!

- I would try to make a clear connection between her sister’s death and the onset of these empathic powers.

Best of luck! :)

Lone Star said...

There are some interesting elements in your query that pique my interest, but it feels a little disjointed. Her sister's suicide, her empathic abilities, meeting John, and the killer all seem like separate elements, maybe you can cut out some of these details and flesh out the primary plot more?

"Yet another delusion to my so-called anxiety?

I hoped not."

I'm not really sure what that means.

It sounds like an interesting story and I'd want to read on, it just needs some refining.

Mara Valderran said...

I would agree that you might need to transition a bit better from plot point to plot point. I can see how all of those are important. And I love the opening with her sister's death. Automatic sympathy pull for the character.

There are a few sentences that felt off:
"She's spent the last years battling with an empathic ability she wants no part." I think you might have left "of" off at the end. Also, how long is the last years? If it is a few, say a few. Specificity is the key, especially if it is five since that will tie the ability to her sister's death.

I love the opening line for John. It gains him sympathy and mystery at the same time. Not sure his looks should come into play with just befriending him since that makes the MC seem a bit shallow. Is she drawn to him because of his looks and snarky personality?

"At one touch, she knows there is something wrong with John and will prompt him to a shocking confession:" You switched tenses here. "She knows...and prompts" or "She knew" and "prompted"

"Before the killer finds her next victim" Hold the phone--we know who the killer is? It's a she? If so, be a bit more clear on that point.

The last paragraph you say that she has to choose between saving a friend and sacrificing herself. Is this friend John? Or another friend?

The first 150 words:
I love the imagery and the feel you get for her voice. The only change: "A row of white psychics tents" to "psychics' tents".

I know I made a lot of suggestions but I really feel like you have a great story here. I would read it in a heartbeat just going off of the query you have. Tighten it up a bit and I think you have a great chance!