We've got something new today, which I'm really excited for. Nocturnal Readings is participating in the Catch Me If You Can Blogfest hosted by Kristina at Kay Kay's Corner. Yay!
The rules are simple. Today, March 7th 2011, participants leave a sample of 550 words or less of their current WIP on their blog. On the 7th and the 8th, we'll be hopping around leaving comments on the samples writers have posted. The point is to simulate catching an agent's attention. How many times have writers heard that if an agent isn't interested within the first few pages, you will be thrown into the evil rejection pile?
So today, we're testing that out. We're posting the beginning of our works, so you can tell us if we "catch your attention" within the first few pages, and it's your job to let us know if we did our job right--give us an honest, but polite, critique. Would you keep reading if you picked this up in a bookstore or library?
What I'm posting today isn't so much a "work in progress" since it's a complete and edited manuscript, but it is what I'm currently querying to agents. DEMON REINCARNATE is a YA urban fantasy novel, complete at 72,000 words. It is the first in a series titled, THE FOUR CHARMS, with the second novel completed as well. For more information and to read the back cover blurb, please click on the tab at the top of the page titled, "Demon Reincarnate." Below is the first 500 words. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to click the link to Kristina's blog, so you can critique the pages of the other participants as well. By the way, if your critique is too long for the comment box, or you want to keep it private, you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Til Wednesday! ;-)
I searched the crowds’ faces for the demon in our midst. He was out there, and he was waiting for me. My posture slumped and my eyes watered just a little. I battled the burning taste of vomit at the back of my throat as his cold, black eyes locked with mine. What a completely unpredictable beginning.
The whole ordeal disgusted me; the echoing of Pomp and Circumstance, the sea of green robes, and the smell of teenage sweat. Though maybe, I was the only one who felt that way.
Anxiety built up in my chest and overwhelming adrenaline plagued me. I buried my face in my shaking hand and tried not to hyperventilate. Though my instinct at that moment weighed heavily on the flight option, the fight was still buried deep down in my gut, itching to get out.
The fight. A jolt of fear raced through me. I sat upright; my chest heaved in and out, while I attempted to catch my breath. I was definitely not okay.
“Laura Deni.” The principal’s reedy voice carried throughout the center.
God, why me? I shifted in my seat and fidgeted as I tried to ignore the screaming buffoon next to me, who found it necessary to break my left eardrum every time one of his friends crossed the stage. My whole body stiffened as I fought the urge to look at my family. I gritted my teeth. My resolve wouldn’t break. I wouldn’t show my fear.
I inhaled a deep breath and squared my shoulders. Nothing would happen in a crowd full of people. Exposing the supernatural world for all to see, wouldn’t be his pick of poison.
“Heather Lucier.” The principal called another student.
His smooth voice echoed in my ears. “You’ll need to come with me, Kat—”
“Katriona McBain.” My name boomed through the loud speakers.
I paused. Not his voice. The principal. My name sounded throughout the Ocean Center again.
My stomach dropped and lodged itself between my toes as I envisioned a million different ways the moment could go wrong. I frowned. Really? I was being ridiculous. What was wrong with me? I chastised myself for worrying about my graduation ceremony while a demon sat next to my mother. Ridiculous.
Without a second thought, I stood from my seat, walked through the rows of students and stepped onto the stage. I shook the principal’s hand and received my diploma—no tripping, blushing or cheesy smiles included. The whole scenario passed by within seconds. Four years of sleepless nights studying for college warranted five seconds of tainted glory? Anti-climatic to say the least.
I paused by the side of the stage. Depression lingered with my parents; I could tell from their strained grins. I forced a smile to return the rest of my family’s excitement. My hand trailed up to my throat as I waved. Goosebumps prickled across my arms as I ran my fingers over the crucifix dangling around my neck.