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DOGGONE VOICE: SPARK

Friday, 29 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
 

 

Title: SPARK
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
Pressing myself against a brick wall, I tried to catch a break from the sea of students flowing through the floodgates of Saint Isabel High. I’d never seen so many name-brand clothes in one place before. I took a step forward and then quickly returned to the safety of the wall.
Get a grip. People are staring.
I tried to will myself to listen, to move away from the wall, but my fear kept me locked into place like a statue held by chains. Acting like a mess wasn’t going to make my old rep of being a freak-girl go away in this school any easier.
“Hey! Come here!” My breath caught when the hot jock yelled and waved at me. Or what I wanted to be me. After all, didn’t I try to make myself look like his type when I got up that morning?
My finger lightly swiped across my sorry excuse for lipstick, kicking up a slight hint of cherry from my lip balm, making me feel like a little girl in big girl clothing. My legs wanted to run away, but my brain ordered me to act like this was nothing new and walk over to him as if I’d done it a million times. No one knew the old me. The one I’d left behind. I could be different here. I just had to act the part.
I managed to plaster a huge fake smile across my face as I strolled over to him.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

4 Comments
  • Leigh Ann says:

    I think this is great! I love that she notices designer clothes and experiences the high school hallway like a sea, which is exactly what it is.

    I love that we hear her interior monologue – that’s very important!

    I am a little confused by her thoughts, though – does she look like a popular kid, or does she really have a sorry excuse for makeup? For her situation, it seems like her thoughts should be more focused – that would strengthen the voice for me a lot here.

    I really feel for this girl – nice work!

  • Marieke says:

    This is a difficult one, actually. I think you have a great, strong voice here. The reader is right there with the MC as she apparently goes to St Isabel High for the first time. There’s a strong, almost claustrophobic feel.

    However, I think it’s a strong contemporary voice. Or maybe paranormal. I don’t get a fantasy vibe off this at all. Maybe that has to do with the setting or it’s still to come, but I’m not convinced yet this is dark fantasy.

    Perhaps part of this is also that after the first couple of paragraphs, the writing becomes less focused. I don’t actually know what is going on once the jock notices her. Apparently she was a freak? Is that something that shows? What is she getting at here? I can venture a guess, but to be honest, I don’t want to *guess* what a main character is doing. I want to be right beside her and know 🙂

    OVerall though, you’re off to a great start. I’d love to know more about the MC, but I’d read on 🙂

  • callmebecks says:

    I think this is the strongest voice I’ve seen in the opening for SPARK yet. The visuals are much stronger and grounded in the head of the MC. I think Marieke has some good questions, though, that bear thinking about.

    IN-LINE CRITS
    Pressing myself against a brick wall, I tried to catch a break from the sea of students flowing through the floodgates of Saint Isabel High. I’d never seen so many name-brand clothes in one place before. I took a step forward and then quickly returned to the safety of the wall.

    Get a grip. People are staring.

    I tried to will myself to listen, to move away from the wall, but my fear kept me locked into place like a statue held by chains. (I’d say cut the simile “like a statue held by chains”. Locked is a strong enough verb that I don’t think the rest is needed.) Acting like a mess wasn’t going to make my old rep of being a freak-girl go away in this school any easier.

    “Hey! Come here!” My breath caught when the hot jock yelled and waved at me. Or what I wanted to be me. After all, didn’t I try to make myself look like his type when I got up that morning?

    My finger lightly swiped across my sorry excuse for lipstick, kicking up a slight hint of cherry from my lip balm, making me feel like a little girl in big girl clothing. (This is a good sentence – best example of her voice yet.) My legs wanted to run away, but my brain ordered me to act like this was nothing new and walk over to him as if I’d done it a million times. No one knew the old me. The one I’d left behind. I could be different here. I just had to act the part.

    I managed to plaster a huge fake smile across my face as I strolled over to him.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    I’ve worked on this before with you, so I have nothing more to add to this. I think you have some great new insights and ideas for this. Wonderful job and keep up the hard work.

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