DOGGONE VOICE: BROKEN

 

Title: BROKEN
Genre: YA Dark Contemporary
Red and blue lights dance off the roof of my mother’s car. 
I groan and lean back against the seat.  The movement makes my head spin and my stomach rolls.  My heart beat pounds inside my skull and it feels like my brain is about to beat right through the bone.
Pushing against the steering wheel, I try to shift into a more comfortable position.  My hand slips and my elbow slams into the door next to me.  I grunt and cradle my arm against my chest, trying to focus on my fingers through blurry vision.  Red paint covers my hand and is smeared across my shirt, the fabric clinging to my skin.  It’s sticky and uncomfortable.  I frown, unable to remember the last time I painted something.
The cracks in the windshield distort my vision and I squint in an attempt to make out my surroundings in the dark.  A tree has sprouted through the hood of the car, its branches splayed across the glass.  The headlights illuminate more trees in their path.  Why the hell was I painting in the middle of a forest?
A distant memory floods my consciousness.  Lily.  My dad. Panic seizes my body and I struggle to breathe as my lungs spasm.
I claw frantically at the seat belt, but it won’t release.  Desperate to escape, I pull on the door handle, but the door is wedged close.  A tree leans against the other side of the twisted metal, ensuring I stay imprisoned in my metal grave. 

8 comments to DOGGONE VOICE: BROKEN

  • First of all, I love that the reader is disoriented along with the MC. Often enough, disoriented is not a good thing, but I think here it works well. The voice of the MC is good and clear. I’m immediately intrigued by what could have happened and there’s enough tension to make me want to read more.

    I do think you could cut back on the descriptions/physical telling a little bit; it was sometimes overwhelming. Also, why not play with the sentence structure, to give it a more distinct feel?

    I really hope painting is one of the MC’s loves, because I loved that little detail. Based on that, I’d want to get to know her better!

  • Alright, well, this sent chills down my spine. *applause*

    Seriously, great voice. I love how we’re realizing what’s happening right along with your MC. We are SO in her head. Mayyyybe I get that she’s been in a car wreck a couple sentences before she does. Which is right where I should be.

    At first I was going to say the use of the word “paint” for blood was a problem, because it was confusing, but now that I’ve sat with it for 30 seconds I think it’s AWESOME.

    My only concern about this might be – and let’s see what the others say – but I’m wondering if the tone is a bit too sophisticated for what’s going on. You’ve got some pretty long sentences and detailed descriptions here for a girl who’s just coming-to from a car crash. Try to get inside her head – I’m not saying knock yourself out or anything – but how would thoughts return to her? They’d be more broken at first, and then progress to more lucid, right?

    And she’d feel pain and physical stress instead of *thinking* about feeling it. So change “my lungs struggle to breathe” or whatever to how it feels when her lungs struggle to breathe. Just something to think about.

    Well done! Creeptastic! That’s a win in my book.

  • Red and blue lights dance off the roof of my mother’s car.

    I groan and lean back against the seat. The movement makes my head spin and my stomach rolls. The pain is unbearable. Like thousands of ice picks being hammered into my temple at once.

    Pushing against the steering wheel, I try to shift away from the pain. My hand slips and my elbow slams into something hard. I grunt and cradle my arm against my chest. Dark red paint covers my hand. It’s smeared across my shirt and the soaked fabric clings to my skin. It’s sticky and uncomfortable. I frown, unable to remember the last time I painted something.

    It’s dark. I don’t understand why I’m in the car. I can’t even pin down my last memory. It feels like days ago that I was at Logan’s house. But it was just this afternoon, right? Maybe?

    I squint to make out the objects past the cracks in the windshield. A tree has sprouted through the hood of the car, its branches splayed across the glass. I turn stiffly to my right. More trees. Why the hell was I painting in a forest?

    A distant memory floods my consciousness. Lily. My dad.

    Panic seizes my body. The air is thick, like molasses, and I can’t get enough as I gulp for more. Each breath I take sends a shock of pain rocketing through my chest as my lungs expand against my tender ribs. The blood rushing to my brain pounds against my skull and I lean over in time to vomit into the passenger seat.

  • I love this revision. Wonderful job. I’m in her head, disoriented and in pain. I have nothing else to add. Love it!

  • This is extremely visual, and I love it. I really feel the disorientation of your MC, and it lends a good sense of building anticipation and dread.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    Red and blue lights dance off the roof of my mother’s car.

    I groan and lean back against the seat. The movement makes my head spin, (added comma) and my stomach rolls. The pain is unbearable. Like thousands of ice picks being hammered into my temple at once.

    Pushing against the steering wheel, I try to shift away from the pain. My hand slips, (added comma) and my elbow slams into something hard. I grunt and cradle my arm against my chest. Dark red paint covers my hand. It’s smeared across my shirt, (added comma) and the soaked fabric clings to my skin. It’s sticky and uncomfortable. I frown, unable to remember the last time I painted something.

    It’s dark. I don’t understand why I’m in the car. I can’t even pin down my last memory. It feels like days ago that I was at Logan’s house. But it was just this afternoon, right? Maybe?

    I squint to make out the objects past the cracks in the windshield. A tree has sprouted through the hood of the car, its branches splayed across the glass. I turn stiffly to my right. More trees. Why the hell was I painting in a forest?

    A distant memory floods my consciousness. Lily. My dad.

    Panic seizes my body. The air is thick, like molasses, and I can’t get enough as I gulp for more. Each breath I take sends a shock of pain rocketing through my chest as my lungs expand against my tender ribs. The blood rushing to my brain pounds against my skull, (added comma) and I lean over in time to vomit into the passenger seat.

  • I absolutely love the voice here! Love. I think it’s fresh. Unique. And the backdrop you’ve set for the beginning of the novel gives me a creeped out vibe, but that is a good thing.

    Just to be clear, I need to ask about the painting sentences. Are you referring to blood? Because if that is the case, I’d just say blood because to me, the whole painting aspect reads a little too confusing.

    Other than that, love it!

  • Thanks so much for the feedback ladies! I really appreciate it.

    Lauren: To answer your question, the paint does refer to blood. I plan on rewriting that part to make it clearer. Thanks so much and I’m glad you loved it!

  • I ‘ve read this somewhere else, and I liked it then, too. I wasn’t going to comment until I got to the part about pain. People who are in shock from a sudden and unexpected accident don’t feel pain until the shock wears off.

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