Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission L. J.

Name: L.J. Boldyrev
Email: ljb (at) ljboldyrev (dot) com
Title & Genre: GREYSKIN-YA Paranormal

Pitch: Charlie just wants Jack. Not the dead girl in the trunk, the hellhounds on her heels, or a murderous voodoo sorcerer as her enemy.

First 250:
There’s a dead girl in the trunk and all I can think about is how white the trees are. There are no street lamps on this stretch of road, but still the trees glow like they’re lit from the ground up.

“Not much farther,” Jack says. I want to tell him he’s driving too fast, to slow down so I can get a better look at the trees, but I know we've got to hurry. This dead girl won’t stay dead for long.

“Hey.” Jack grabs my knee and squeezes it. I like the way his hand feels there, but I can’t tell him so. He’s five years older than me and Mama says it ain’t right, me and Jack together. But I like him, and I like the way his hand feels on my knee.

“You okay, Charlie?”

I tip my head down and smile because he calls me Charlie, and not Charlene. Charlene never did fit me, but only he gets that. “Yeah, Jacky. I’m all right.” My fingers itch to reach out and grab his, but I can’t. Ain’t right, Mama says. And I don’t know how Jack would react.

That’s the worst part.

“You done good tonight. Couldn’t have done it without you.” It’s dark in the car but his smile, lazy and a little crooked on one side, is lit up by the dash lights. Jacky puts his hand back on the wheel, the ghost of his touch still lingering on my skin.

11 comments:

  1. This is a great entry!! The description is all spot on, and it gave me a very Bonnie and Clyde feel, but with a unique Southern spin. All of it feels very southern, as well as the premise, and there's nothing I like better than voodoo sorcerers. ;) We need more good southern themed horror/paranormal around.

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  2. Nicely done! I don't have any changes I can add. Love it the way it is! As Michelle said, a good Southern spin!

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  3. Yay! So glad you like it! It takes place in Louisiana, so I'm happy those first 250 set the tone well.

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  4. That's impressive, L.J. The opening paragraph is a killer.

    I would recommend that you use a colon instead of a period after the initial sentence in the pitch. It's grammatically correct and doesn't weaken the impact.

    The other suggestoni is a bit trickier to explain. The first use of ain't caught me off-guard. Charlie speaks too well until that point for the ain't to sound right. As you continue with the narration, the voice starts to reflect her upbringing better, but there's still a big gulf between what mama says and how Charlie speaks. If Charlie's narrative voice uses "are no," then when she paraphrases her mother, she should also use "are no," not "ain't."

    Tonally, I think you've made the right choice to have Charlie's narration have a Southern gothic feel, but it's important for the voice to be consistent. You could use a slightly more sophisticated, less-vernacular voice for narration without losing your sense of place; otherwise, I'd recommend aiming for consistency so that Charlie's narrative voice matches her spoken voice.

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  5. Great entry. Nothing to me to pick at. First line and paragraph sucked me in. The "dead girl won't stay dead for long" line, so casually thrown out there, was my favorite. I like the way the writing expresses her feelings for Jack. I like the voice. I'd definitely keep reading on this one.

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  6. Ooh, I love the voice. I haven't read a lot of southern setting books but I do like the way your language comes across. I can totally hear it. And, of course, the story is intriguing. Dead in the back and white trees in the front. Great descriptions.

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  7. Love this. It's super compelling and I'd definitely read on to find out what's going on.

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  8. Chilling. What a voice. What an excellent first line. Well done!

    If I were to nitpick, I'd say I don't like "Jacky". Jack fits better. My dad used to be called Jacky when he was little. I get it shows familiarity.

    I'd love to read more.

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  9. So. Flippin'. Good. Would love to read an entire novel like this one. I love how he's older and she's crushing on him and how she'd do anything for him, including kill for him.

    Love it! More Please! :)

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  10. Thank you all very much. You've made my week! Theresa, I hope Jacky grows on you! I can't make Charlie not call him that. That's just her. Silly characters, always running the show!

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  11. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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