Sunday, March 20, 2011

Show Me the Voice Blogfest and Contest!

It's here! The Show Me the Voice Blogefest and Contest has officially started! If you don't know about it, head on over to lovely Brenda Drake's Blog and check it out. It's being judged by the droolicious Natalie Fischer of the Bradford Literary Agency. There's still time to enter! You don't HAVE to put up your first 250 for critique, but I figure that you just never know what you might learn that you never realized you didn't know, so I'm going to put my 250 up for today at least, so I can get comments and suggestions on it, and I'll send it to Brenda for the contest tonight or tomorrow morning.

So without further ado, I give you te first 250 of Evernow!

Name: Artemis Grey
Genre: YA Dystopian

Life is so much easier without underwear. That was one of the first things Sal taught me. He taught me a lot of other things too. Like how to pee while holding a bow with an arrow nocked and drawn. In the Wild you have to know such things.
That’s what I’m doing now. Crouching over a leafy sprig of creeper so that my urine makes no sound on its way to the ground. My bow, Donriel, rests across my knees. My left hand holds it steady, my index and middle fingers twisted in order to keep tension on the arrow which is, in turn, applying tension to the string. I can let it fly while still crouched if I need to. But my friend, Brother the raven, is nearby at the moment. He’ll forewarn me of anything approaching.
I couldn’t do this wearing underwear but in just chaps and a loincloth it’s easy, with practice. I’ve practiced a lot.
Eyes constantly scanning the forest around me, I pluck a large leaf of lamb’s ear with my free hand. It’s almost better than toilet paper. Softer but also more substantial. The pale leaf comes away with a smearing of blood.
Damn! The curse rings only within the confines of my mind. I’m too smart to curse aloud. Damn. Damn. Damn!
I stare at the leaf for a moment then drop it aside and pick up another. I get the same result. The last time I cycled while I was in the Wild, I was with Sal.

So, tell me what you think! Good luck everyone!


  1. OK, wow. I can't find a thing wrong with it, and I'm pretty picky. I love YA and dystopian. Put them together and YAY!

    The writing is fabulous, and the character's voice very strong. I get a sense of strength, competence, a hint of humor. Wonderful entry!!

  2. I love the first line. I think I remember this one ;o) You have a great voice and the description is vivid. I can totally picture it ;o)

    I was a little confused by this line, "Eyes constantly scanning the forest around me, I pluck a large leaf of lamb’s ear with my free hand."

    I would maybe re-work it or tell us whose eyes they are?

    Your story is really intriguing ;o) I'd read on! Good luck!

  3. Powerful voice! Great first line - great everything! So much tension. trying to find something to nitpick but the only line that jarred me was "The curse rings only within the confines of my mind" - just didn't seem to fit here.

  4. Wow, what a voice. I especially love that first sentence, it definitely catches my attention. I'm hooked and needs to know what happens next.

  5. Great voice. The only thing that threw me was the "Brother the raven" bit. I'm assuming it's a raven in a tree? But why Brother? Is it her pet that she named Brother? If you can, I'd cut the Brother bit and just say "my friend the raven" or something. Otherwise, loved this. Great job!

  6. Wonderful writing and a consistant voice. Very nice. My only nit-pick would be the mention of toilet paper. Unless she is someone who uses it when they are not in the "Wild", it would be a foreign concept. Hard to tell from this short piece. Maybe compare it to something else. Other than that, you have a very good "first 250". Good luck!

  7. Haha, I think the voice is great. And while I'm sort of iffy about starting out a novel with your MC peeing and then getting her period--b/c this sort of thing might turn off readers--I'd read on to find out more about what she's doing.

  8. This is great, and I don't believe I've ever read an opening scene about somebody peeing before :D

    I'm fascinated by wondering where this character is, why she's in got a bow and arrow, and who the heck Sal is (and WHERE he is). hehe

  9. Love the voice, though I'm also not too sure about starting it off with her peeing then realizing she's having her period. What no cramps??? Lucky girl!

    I would keep reading, though. Mostly because I'm curious to see what she's going to do now.

  10. Hello A. Grey ... I know you from Christi Corbett's blog. I love your voice and I think the beginning has good potential.

    I disconneted at the word "fart" in the opening sentence, but then I needed to remember who your readers are. Also, my all time great literary hero is JD Salinger and the MC in Catcher goes on about farts and toe nails for days :)

    Good work ... good luck in the conest :)

  11. Couple of comments...

    Depending on what/if she is hunting, would she really be peeing in the same place she is planning on hunting? The smell of urination is as likely a tip off for animals as the sound of it. This could be a good indication that she's not hunting animals, though.

    And she has her bow notched and drawn but it is resting on her knee? I'm thinking that she might be keeping the arrow notched, but the bow isn't drawn, considering her position, but the words imply otherwise.

    Also a little strange that she makes such an effort to keep her bow at the ready while peeing and then she plucks a leaf to wipe with. I would think, given her intense focus on remaining ready to fire at a moment's notice, she wouldn't really waste the time to wipe given that she's only in chaps and a loincloth.

    Noticing a spot of blood on the leaves after peeing might cause her to lose her focus and check quickly for bleeding with a leaf, but she seems too intent on keeping her poise for firing to so quickly dismiss her bow for a wipe.

  12. That first sentence was an attention grabber! Its suggestion of humor doesn't carry on, but it fits well with the rest of it. I have to admit, though, that the longer I read, the more inclined I was to stop. Starting a novel with 250 words spent on describing the how and why of peeing, culminating with the start of a period, didn't give me hope that there was a story coming I might enjoy.

    Mentions of underwear and toilet paper suggest contemporary, the language, wardrobe and bow suggest the past, so I was confused about the timeframe. But I definitely like how you write. The voice is distinctive, too, and that's the focus of this contest. Best of luck to you.

    Carol J. Garvin

  13. Eyes constantly scanning the forest around me - sounded a little off to me.

    I normally would be put off my reading about peeing, but somehow it worked. You definitely have voice down.

  14. You grabbed my attention in the first line. Your voice is strong and believable all the way through. Great entry.


  15. Super strong voice!

    Christi Corbett