Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!


First Page Blogfest

Saturday, 16 October 2010  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Elle Strauss over at Monday Musing is hosting a First Page Blogfest. Go to her site here to check out the other participants’ entries. Elle dusted off an old WIP for this and so have I. So, here it is:

I should’ve ditched.  First day of school and I was already late. I scaled the front steps of Telstar Regional High School and jerked open the door, my backpack bouncing against my hip.  The smack of my flip-flops resounded down the empty hallway. I searched the room through the window before entering the classroom. Perfect. The teacher hadn’t arrived. I hurried to an open desk, dropped my backpack to the floor and slid into the chair, folding my hands on the desktop.

“Nice,” Mindy Holte said from the desk to my right. “I swear, Lily, you’re the luckiest person I know. Mrs. Dean is at the office. Some problem with a new student. So, what kept you?  I waited at our corner.”

“My mom caught me wearing my Poe T-shirt and confiscated it.” I frowned. “I guess I won’t see that one again either.” The Edgar Allan Poe shirt was my absolute favorite one. On the front, it had a raven standing on a skull with wings spread out and Nevermore in large white letters on the back. 
My mom hates how I dress. She’d love me to wear flower-patterned dresses. She’s a florist and owns a shop in the middle of Bethal. I have four sisters–all with flower names–Iris, Orchid, Freesia, and Camellia. My brother lucked out. His name is Seth.

“Hey, Novak,” A familiar voice attacked me from behind.

I gulped hard, willing myself to stay calm.  It’s not every day your crush comes back to haunt you.  
Before you go, don’t forget to sign up for my blogfest for a chance to win a 10 page critique and synopsis critique or $50 toward edits from CA Marshall. Plus there are two runner-up prizes! Click here for more information on The Never-ending Scene Blogfest (or cliffhanger, whatever)

Filed: Misc

  • Madeleine says:

    Oh I love this. I love the smack of the flip flops on the concrete and the anticipation of the girl’s crush appearing behind her. Makes me want to know waht’s next :O)

  • roxy says:

    Great scene. I want so bad to learn more about the voice that attacked her from behind.

  • Summer Ross says:

    The beginning pulled me in and I love the interaction. The inner dialogue was a pleasure to read and helped me connect with the character. I posted your blogfest on my side bar.

  • DLCurran says:

    I like this Brenda. Definitely would want to know more about the crush – great scene!

  • Shallee says:

    Very nice! Your details pulled me into the scene, and I got a good sense of voice and character. I’d keep reading!

  • Nathalie says:

    A really great scene! I gather Lily is around 15 or so? Plus, I love the part about her mother naming them all after flowers. Gives the reader so much insight into the whole family dynamic with only a few words! I sense the old crush will have an issue with the new student that’s keeping the teacher? Do I sense love triangle? 😉

  • Francine says:


    I love Lily, full stop, and her descriptive mind-set! As for the *Voice* – nice bit of angst coming in to play and great hook value. 😉


  • Elle Strauss says:

    Love the sense of rush with being late at the beginning–who hasn’t had that experience? 🙂

    I would say you could save her thoughts about her mother and sisters/names until later (I know, opposite opinion of Nathalie!) and give a bit more about the boy and why she thinks he’s haunting her.

  • Nice clean scene, description is enough. You’ve given us a good glimpse into who she might be.

  • Marieke says:

    I love this! And the Nevermore shirt sounds just great! ^.^

  • Great voice, love the sense of Lily’s personality I’m already getting. Intrigued about her crush and the newcomer, would definitely read on.


  • Fun! Couldn’t help laughing at the shirt bit. I agree with Elle though, that maybe you could save the extra info about mom for later. Confiscating the shirt already gives us a good idea about her without it.

    I’m way curious about the last bit . . . is the crush haunting her as in he’s dead? Or just by being around. Wish I could read on. 🙂

  • Jolene Perry says:

    Great last line.
    Fun start. I’m a sucker though – I grew up reading Poe.

  • Great start. I also loved the flip-flops.

    A few nit-picks: You could just say Mindy since using her last name makes me think they’re not friends, just classmates.

    Also, Mindy’s dialogue felt long to me. Could probably stop after “new student”, especially since that’s the part that ends up being important.

  • Jessie says:

    I loved this, but agree with Jennifer Hoffine’s comments. I’d definitely love to keep reading though. Lily’s family sounds like a total pain.

  • Stephanie says:

    Very interesting so far!! And I am especially drawn to the florist thing…I used to be a floral designer and worked in a flower shop for many years! LOL!

    First paragraph feels long to me…any way to break it up a bit???

  • Erica says:

    oh love this, and as a teenager I would have been so on the same page with you about my mom and her tyrannical wardrobe rules. lol love it.

  • Um, can we say, More please.

    I’m a sucker for YA and I love the voice you have here. I would consider making the dialogue shorter. Because some teens are lazy and don’t want to use complete sentences at times:-)

    This was a good snippet. Wished there was more.


  • Laurel says:

    Love the voice here, though like the others I impatiently wanted to get to the inciting incident sooner. Some of your very fun set-up material could be worked in later.

    The flower names are fabulous. I love the idea of a girl named Freesia. I hope she wears combat boots, has magenta-streaked hair and goes to poetry slams.

  • oh I love his use of Novak, its so typical HS boy that is trying not to show he likes her:)

  • Hi Brenda. I saw you mentioned over at Merieke’s blog and thought I’d stop by and say hello. Nice to have met you, I’ve enjoyed my visit.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments and some really great critiques on how to fix this piece. I love all the suggestions, especially Laurel’s idea for Lily’s sister, Freesia (combat boots, magenta-streaked hair, and poetry slams) sounds great! You all rock! 😀

  • Intrigued. The last line left me wondering if the boy was real or a ghost.
    As a former teacher, I was a bit confused by Mrs. Dean’s absence. If school has already started, you’re not allowed (legally) to leave a class full of students alone. Of course, if the problem arose before Mrs. Dean was able to make it to class, that’s understandable.

  • Donna Hole says:

    That drew me in nicely Brenda.

    Setting, MC, supporting character, mystery (new student), and potential love interest.

    There is a lot of info in this page, but since it mostly relates to the MC and her development/introduction, I didn’t feel it overwhelming. I liked the details.

    Not too much, not too little.



  • Brenda Drake says:

    Thanks Donna, I’m glad you liked it.

    I’m glad you’re intrigued, Kathryn, and yes it’s before class started. But I didn’t know about not being able to legally leave a class of students alone. Filing that in the useful info compartment of my brain. Thanks!

Leave a reply


We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy

Pitch Wars 2020

Blog Archives

Blog Categories

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.