Friday, June 22, 2012

Which One Would YOU Read???

Okay, there's an upcoming contest over at Daisy Carter's blog wherein for a window of time you'll be able to post your query and first 250 words of a finished manuscript. After the window of time closes, Daisy's amazing agent Tricia Lawrence will read all of the entries in the comments section and choose whichever she likes the most! So, here's my quandary: which ms to enter? To help me decide, I'm putting up the first 250 (rounded up to the end of the sentence) of each manuscript, along with information about that manuscript. Read both excerpts and then post a comment telling me which you think is the strongest. Other feedback is welcome. And I apologize if there's weird spacing or anything with the excerpts. Blogger is hating on me.

Entry 1)

Gone Missing Girl

YA Contemporary

I have never been that guy. You know, the one surrounded by adventure and covered in awesomesauce. That would be my younger brother, Ethan. But it wasn’t Ethan who found her. It was me.

It’s not like you get to pick and choose life-altering events the way you do socks from the bargain bin.

I went out to the book shed that night for a bottle of spine glue, but I didn’t bother to turn the lights on. So I didn’t immediately notice anything wrong. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, though, I flipped on the overheads.

And suffered a mild heart attack at the sight of the little shrunken zombie standing just a few feet away.

The garish florescence accentuated the hollows of the its face, bounced off the jutting points of its cheekbones.

*Insert very macho scream here*

Okay, so really, I just yelped. Which I think is acceptable in a zombie situation.

And then the broom slid sideways, hit the light switch and left me stranded in the dim twilight of the Alaskan summer.


After several deep breaths I convinced myself that I had not, in fact, just seen a zombie in the book shed.

I turned the light back on.

Hello, in fact, zombie.

But it wasn’t.

It was just a girl. Filthy, tangled, rumpled and undersized, but definitely female. Definitely alive. Her mouth hung partway open, eyes wide, yet disturbingly empty. As if her entire body was deserted. Bereft of whatever it is that makes you who you are.

Entry 2)


YA Dystopian

Life is so much easier without underwear. That was one of the first things I figured out. Since then, I’ve figured out a lot more. Like how to pee while holding a bow with an arrow nocked and drawn. In the Wild, you have to be able to do that.

That’s what I’m doing now. Crouching over a leafy sprig of creeper so 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 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.

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 is a silent one, trapped inside my mind. I’m too smart to speak aloud. Damn. Damn. Damn!

I stare at the leaf for a moment then toss it aside and pick up another. Same result. The last time I cycled in the Wild, I was with Sal. Now I’m alone, with no one to keep watch or hunt while I lie in miserable discomfort.


  1. I like the excerpt from Gone Missing Girl better. But I'm no expert :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I like the Gone Missing Girl one, too. But that might be because I write contemp and usually go for that over dystopian. These are both really interesting, though! Go with what feels right to you.

  4. I like both~ I would probably say Gone Missing Girl is the stronger entry, just because some agents (not necessarily Tricia~ I don't know about her tastes in YA) are shying away from dystopian.

    At the same time, I love the immediacy of Evernow~ I feel like I'm really in the scene with her, as opposed to Girl Gone Missing, where I feel like I'm reading a flashback (albeit, a very important flashback)--it cuts down on the tension in the following paragraphs the TINIEST bit, because you tell us right away that the thing in the shed is a girl.

    Just some food for thought~ again, I enjoyed reading them both (and being an outdoorsy girl, I appreciated the peeing outside bit~ and lamb's ear would definitely be an excellent wiping tool :)).

    Best of luck!

  5. I liked the second one until you got to the period part. That was too graphic for my taste. So, the first one.

  6. I really like the excerpt from Gone Missing Girl a lot. It made me want to read more right away. I also had a sense of the narrator right off the bat, and even some of the conflict. Evernow is interesting and I do like it, but I have NO IDEA where it could be going. That's not a bad thing, but I just favor Gone Missing Girl more.

  7. Hey, I just wanted to remind you that today I'm doing the query critiques. You can check out the details here. Hope you join in!