Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Liz

Name: Liz Fredericks


Title & Genre: FIRST PASSAGE -- paranormal romance

Pitch: Sera is the reincarnation of her lover’s childhood abductor. Absolution must wait until they defeat Lord Demislon to save Earth.

1st 250 words:

Davis grinned up at the newcomer, hoping she’d notice his missing tooth. The big lady didn’t smile. He looked to his mama. But she, busy with the squirming toddler tucked between her knees, didn’t notice the deserted playground’s latest arrival.

“Wanna share?” He held out his new red shovel.

The woman crouched. Davis flinched. His instincts kicked in and he scrambled back.


His mother dropped Sissie’s half-finished braid. The stranger grabbed him.

“Davis! Put him down, damn you – that’s my baby!”

His kidnapper sprinted toward the memorial in the center of the park. She hurdled into the fountain, swiped her palm against the sharp edge of the rock in its center, then raised her bleeding hand to the sky.

The small fire that always burned at the top of the rock stretched out and grabbed them both.

Davis stiffened, then laughed. Mama said fire hurt bad. But it didn’t, not even a pinch.

He called out, “Mama, it’s ok,” but she was all orange and wriggly. Like looking through the funhouse glass at the fair.

Her face was squenched up and her mad voice was really mad now. And scared. Like when Daddy didn’t listen.

“I can’t come, Mama.”

The big lady’s arms didn’t feel so mean anymore. Mama and Sissy got orangier, harder to see. Davis closed his eyes. Big brothers didn’t cry.


  1. You have the potential for a very powerful scene here, a child being abducted off a playground, but right now, it doesn't have much emotional impact.

    I had trouble figuring out who Davis was and how old he was. Part of the problem is that Davis seems like such a grown-up name, that it took me a few seconds to realize that Davis was the kid. Then there were descriptions like, "His instincts kicked in and he scrambled back." That doesn't sound like something a little kid would do. You can still have Davis scrambling back, but describe it differently, make it more toddler-like, if that makes sense.

    Also, make the kidnapper seem more suspicious or out of place. What's she wearing? Is it unusual? How's she acting? Besides not smiling. Build up the tension, suggest that something wrong is going to happen here.

    Finally, the mother's dialogue didn't strike me as realistic and pulled me out of the scene. If someone takes your kid, I don't know if you'd be able to form full sentences. You'd probably just start screaming for help.

    To sharpen the emotional impact, you might want to try using first person POV. But I'm personally biased in favor of it.

    Good luck! There's definitely potential here, now you need to make the story live up to it.

  2. I got a little lost here in the beginning, and I was thrown that your mc character is a little child. Perhaps a toddler? I'm almost wondering if this is a prologue since Davis is way too young to the mc of a paranormal romance. My question is: is this prologue absolutely necessary?

    I agree with Melissa on the other points, especially on emotion.

    Good luck! :D