Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Marie

Name: Marie Rearden

Email: marie (at) marierearden (dot) com

Title and Genre: DEADLY DARK DREAMS--Paranormal YA

Pitch: Kat Wake escapes death by agreeing to steal her teacher’s memories of the afterlife. But he’s on his own mission. He wants her soul.

First 250 Words:

Prep schools aren’t just for the preppy. Poor schmo types like me migrate to places like Harrington Dove Academy to escape the greatest horror of our seventeen-year-old lives.


I woke to two, tone deaf voices making sounds that were parrot, monkey, and tornado siren all at once. Okay, so maybe they were singing. My roommate and I had the pleasure of cheerleader suitemates, and though I try not to believe stereotypes, these girls confirmed every one I’d ever heard about pom-pom pushers.

I cringed at a particularly loud warble and wondered how much booze they snuck by the resident advisor last night. Or with her help. Our RA wanted to be legal like elephants want peanuts.

By quarter past nine, the brain children next door were quiet/passed out/dead, and I rolled out of bed to pack for the holiday break. I pulled onto the highway an hour later, cursing the sprinkles that dotted my windshield. Mom hadn’t called back after last night’s fiasco, but I wasn’t surprised. She didn’t know how to check her texts without help, and forget Dad. He was hopeless when it came to cell phones.

I passed a caravan of senior citizens using the left lane for sightseeing and set the cruise control with more force than necessary, plastering my eyes to the road. Honestly, I didn’t trust myself not to snarl at the lead driver of what had to be a Henry Ford original.


  1. I like the voice in the beginning. It is exactly how teenagers think about their parents.

    I couldn't find much to complain about, except maybe the flow of some of your sentences. This one for example: "By quarter past nine, the brain children next door were quiet/passed out/dead, and I rolled out of bed to pack for the holiday break." I think you should just start a whole new sentence at 'I rolled' because it might sound better.

    Also, I think the transition to the next scene with her on the highway could be better. It's a little jolting going from her complaining about her noisy next door roommates to her suddenly complaining about slow drivers on the highway.

    But overall, I love the character's voice here.

  2. This is well written and a good premise but I found the MC a little too snarky. She disses the cheerleaders, the RA, both her parents and old people all in the first page. She even grumps about the rain. Her life seems OK- private school, a cell phone, her own car- she doesn't lack for funds or independance. I'm going to need to understand pretty quick why she's so negative or find something she likes (music, a friend she's looking forward to seeing- something) or else I may not want to keep hanging with her.

    i've also read many times on agent/crit blogs not to start with waking up. It's done too often and its not really exciting since we all do it everyday. However, I was never bored with your piece. And you didn't do any cliches such as looking in the mirror to describe the MC. Even so, you might want to just start in the car with that hint of rain and bad traffic that's got me cringing and the bit about the slow driving old folk wouldn't seem grumpy at all if it wasn't at the end of a long list of complaints. Its a good set up for tension coupled with her distracted thinking of the "fiasco" with Mom and Dad. I did want to know what that was, so good intrigue there.