Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blogfest: Show Me the Voice!

Wow! Another awesome opportunity -- Brenda Drake is hosting a fabulous blogfest/contest.Find out more here! Basically, we post our first 250 words of our finished manuscripts on our blogs for critique and email them to Brenda. The top 20 will be judged by agent Natalie Fischer (whose blog is awesome -- check it out here).

Here are my first 250 words! The contest is all about the voice, voice voice voice, so let me know what you think of the delicious voicey voicyness going on. (Voice is starting to sound like a very strange word...)

The manuscript is called FAKE.

My father holds my diary open in his palm.

“‘Dear Diary,’” he reads. “‘Tonight at dinner I crossed my fingers behind my back while Dad said Grace.’”

I stare down into my lap. A cameraman breathes down my neck. I can feel the lens focusing on me like little bugs crawling on my skin.

“‘It felt good,’” Dad continues, “‘and Dad didn’t even notice.’”

I allow myself one blink. He wants me to cry, to repent, to beg for a light punishment. I won’t give him the satisfaction. I won’t give them the satisfaction.

“‘I’m too smart to be in this family. Not blind enough to believe what they want me to believe.’” He slams the diary shut. “Jenny-fer.”

He always says my name like it rhymes with “Lucifer.”


“Look at me.”

I’ve never seen so many lines on his forehead. The light from the sunset filters through the blinds and highlights his puffy combover and his graying eyebrows. A camera pokes over his shoulder.

“What you wrote in this book is evil,” he says. “It’s very, very evil and I want an apology.”

Can’t see straight. The pressure in my chest warps my vision. Can’t even think. I stopped writing in that silly diary months ago. I’ve found a better outlet. I won’t make this mistake again. When I don’t speak, his eyes flash. His sausage-like fingers grip his desk. A vein twitches on his forehead.

“You need to pray,” he says, holding out his hands. “If you pray, Jesus will fix you.”


  1. Okay, I'm a bit obsessed with this! Seriously, AMAZING job!! The voice is perfect, the dialogue moves the story forward and I love the short, clipped sentences toward the end. "Can't see straight," etc. Really, really nice job! Good luck to you!

  2. oooohh dear.... the character is in trouble isn't she... *grin*

    tut tut... lol

    great start!

  3. Well done, but to tell you the truth the cameraman bit got a bit confusing for me, and then to jump back into him reading. I had to go back and read that bit again, but I'm tired.
    Anyway, really good job. I'm a bit worried about leaving her there like that though, praying to Jesus and all 'cause she's such a bad girl.
    Poor thing.
    I want to know what's coming, so good job!

  4. Great job! The only thing I see that you can improve is "showing" the characters feelings instead of "telling". Lots of good voice, good luck with the contest!

  5. Good luck, Becca. I really enjoyed this especially the last sentence. :)

  6. Nice job. I love the line about her name rhyming with Lucifer. I want to know what her "better outlet" is!

  7. This is very good. I've read about 10 other entries and this is by far the best one I've seen. I'm not bothered by the cameraman reference; I'm assuming it will get explained later. You are doing a good job with dialogue and creating tension right off the bat. It definitely makes me want to keep reading.

  8. He always says my name like it rhymes with “Lucifer.”

    that is a brilliant line! The dialogue is well-written and it is suitably sinister.

  9. VOICE! AHHHH. It's so tricky, but you've done an excellent job here. In your entry, to me it's her internal dialogue that makes it. BTW, I'm your newest follower. I say your from Mary Kole's kidlit blog. I'm at Life of Lois

  10. I know I'm a bit late to comment but I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed this! I think Jennifer's stubborn, wilful character comes through clearly in the voice you've established. Looking forward to reading more!

  11. Just listed your blog on my newest blog post as a blog I have to check regularly.

    I love reading about writing habits. Your stuff is so original. Keep up the good work!

  12. well, you already know i love this :D i think you edited it up a bit, and it reads SO MUCH BETTER now! when are you going to send it off?!

    anyways, you've won an award on my blog! :)

  13. Thanks everybody! Aleeza, I sent it off about a month ago! :D Could be hearing back any day now!

  14. Becca: YAYYY! can't wait to hear the results! *fingers crossed*

    in the meantime, i gave you another award on my blog! :D