Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Chersti

Name: Chersti Nieveen
Email: chersti.nieveen (at) gmail (dot) com
Title and genre: THE LAST ONSET -- YA Dystopia

Armageddon is imminent & Myka is elected to survive. But the natural disasters and disease are really a plot to destroy those not elected.

1st 250 words:
My first thought was of my father. How his eyes crinkled when he laughed. How he shared secretive smiles with my mother, back when she was normal. How he’d tuck me in at night and tell me his war stories.

And how I would never see him again.

Anger pushed through me, giving me courage to pull up the Military’s online database. The floorcomp projected four screens around me, like a shimmering lidless box that should’ve projected an exercise sim for my fitness class. But they never did when I could get away with it.

I licked my lips, my fingers tingling in anticipation as I began to hack. The screens flashed around me as I raced from one touch screen to another to keep the monitoring chip in my hand happy. Minutes passed as I worked through the system. As long as I kept my heart rate up, it wouldn’t notify the teacher. And I wouldn’t be Punished.

At least, I’d thought so until the soldier showed up.

I’d already prepped a destruct sequence, so a tap against the screen destroyed all evidence of my actions when the teacher called my name. I nudged the projector button with my toe, the screens dissolving around me to reveal the fitness room. Sweat trickling down my forehead and I wiped it away as I met the soldier’s black eyes. I’d still had over two minutes left to hack into the Military’s database before the Intelligence Unit even had a clue I was there—so why was this soldier here?


  1. I like this pitch and the first page makes my heart pick up the pace as she is obviously doing something bad and we worry she will get in trouble or caught. Good job! Watch sentence structure in the following sentence:
    Sweat trickling down my forehead and I wiped it away as I met the soldier’s black eyes.--consider Sweat trickled....

  2. I like the tension and how the MC thinks about her (I assume "Myka" is female) parents while she hacks.

    Just one thing - careful with -ing verbs. They tend to be less active.

    Good luck!

  3. Great start and a very interesting premise. My only suggestion is that you don't warn the reader that the soldier is appearing. That undermines the tension.

  4. This was a good start. It drew me in and I want to know what happens. This is what a first page is supposed to do. Plus I love the pitch. Best one I've read so far.

  5. I was confused by the pitch. If Armagedden is coming, then those not chosen will die anyway, how can it be both a plot and the end of the world?

  6. Good tension, at least the reaction on her. How does she see the soldier? Is he talking to the teacher and pointing at her? Is her walking up and down the room? I get this doesn't normally happen.

    Why is punished capitalized?

    I like the MC's voice too.