Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Leiann

Name: Leiann Bynum


Title and genre: GRIMLY -- YA Paranormal Romance

Pitch: Xia, a seventeen-year-old grim reaper, won’t let even Death stand in her way as she breaks the Rules of Reaping by falling for a human boy.

1st 250 words:
I sounded cruel thinking this, but he was taking too long to die. Then again, since I knew he was going to die soon no matter what, my thought was harmless. Not like anybody else knew I was thinking it anyway.

At least I got to wait in one of my favorite places in the meantime. I was standing on the edge of life and death, literally. I mean, I guess standing on the precipice of a cliff would be described that way. Life was the solid rock underneath me, death was the freefall ahead of me.

Life and death. How ironic. I wasn’t alive, and I wasn’t dead. That’s what made this so exhilarating, standing here with my hair and dress fluttering in the wind.

But today, I wasn’t here because I wanted to be here.

I crossed my arms, staring off to my left. I hated that I had to be here early. Death had some pretty stupid rules. I could be doing something else rather than waiting for this guy to kick the bucket.

He was probably in his mid-twenties. A guy of average build, with black hair like mine. He had on a backpack and held a camera in his hands; an expensive one with a large lens like what photographers used. He was taking pictures of the birds in the trees, while standing way too close to the precipice.

A nature buff. Great. I’d picked up another one of these last week.


  1. Great pitch! And I love the premise! I'm finding the opening to be a little lacking though. The first line would be much stronger if it were: He was taking too long to die.

    The following paragraph is confusing to me. I don't get a clear picture of what she is seeing, or where she is standing. Is there an invisible cliff this guy is about to walk off? It just seems to be a bit too much telling me where she is and what's happening, and not showing me everything.

    If she is standing there watching him and he's oblivious to her, I already realize that he can't see her. Maybe she says something to him like "It's just a bird. You won't remember it in two minutes anyway." or "Can you just fall already?" Or maybe she throws pebbles at him that bounce off his black hair and plunk the lense of his camera. And when he doesn't react, we know he can't see her.

    Maybe she tries to get him to walk closer to the invisible cliff that she can see and he can't--assuming I read that part right.

    I really love the idea here and you have a great voice. I'd just work on the telling vs showing part of it. Good luck!

  2. The first line sucked me in, but I agree that it would have more punch as 'He was taking too long to die.' I would wonder how she would know he was going to die, but then you answer that in your next paragraphs.