Sunday, March 20, 2011

DoReMi... A Contest in Voice

The uber fabulous Brenda Drake is hosting another blogfest, this time one that focuses on voice. She has invited us to post the first 250 words of our book so readers can offer their thoughts.

What do you think? Does this little snippet make you want to read on to find out what happens?

Name: Cyndi Tefft
Title: Between
Genre: YA paranormal romance

Ravi’s lips were soft and familiar against mine, but my mind was elsewhere, obsessing about my upcoming finals. “Lindsey, you’re so beautiful,” he said, pressing me against the seat of the car. His mouth trailed over my jaw to my neck, his breath warm in my ear.

“I love you,” he whispered.

That snapped me back to reality.

Damn. I liked Ravi, I really did, but not as much as he liked me. The kissing was nice, but I didn’t feel IT, the connection, the zing. The L word? Damn, damn, damn! I didn’t want to lose him as a friend and I did love him, in a way. Just not that way.

“Ravi…” I began and he stiffened.

“You know what, never mind. Just forget I said anything, okay?” He jerked away, his voice tight with embarrassment. He turned the key and the engine roared to life.

“No, really, it’s just…”

He flicked on the high beams. “Let’s just go.”

Fat droplets of rain splattered on the windshield and built into a steady drumming on the roof. The swish of the wipers and the hum of the heater echoed in the chasm between us and I struggled to think of a way to alleviate the tension. He flipped on the radio and the sound of screeching guitars raked my nerves.

The highway was deserted and we hadn’t seen another car pass by us for miles. As he started around a corner, I touched him on the arm.

“Ravi, I’m sorry.”


  1. Talk about your conflict, dropping us into the middle of a break up scene? Eesh, poor guy. I'm definitely curious to see where this is headed, whether they'll still be friends after his use of the L word and her pull back. I didn't get the paranormal feel yet but of course you don't have to set it up in the first 250 words, though I wouldn't be surprised with the rain and the tension filled car if there was an accident. Or am I getting way ahead of myself?
    - Sophia.

  2. Wow, I love this snippet but for some reason, I feel like a lot has already happened, like this falls somewhere later in the MS rather than the first 250 words. Great work in the tension department though, I can feel the character's conflict vividly and would definitely read on!!

  3. Sophia- Thanks for your comment. You are spot on. They are indeed headed for an accident. Check out the book page for the blurb:

    Lindsay- Glad you like it! I actually wrote 50 pages before this scene, but cut them out during the editing process in order to engage the reader right away!

  4. I think this is really great start, an action scene but it's hard to say if it's too fast without seeing the other couple of pages that follow. You CERTAINLY have a great voice here : )

  5. Okay I love the conflict you set up so early, and your dialogue, tension, pacing, everything's fantastic. The only thing I would change is I would try and find a different first line. I feel you could hook us a lot quicker, and that the rest of your entry is so strong that you do yourself a disservice by not having a stronger first line.

  6. Great sense of tension and action! You nailed the YA voice. The only thing I could think to change is to maybe have Lindsey think about her finals instead of being told that she's obsessing about them. Maybe something like:

    Ravi’s lips were soft and familiar against mine, but my mind was elsewhere. I was so not ready for my science final.

    Other than that, this is great! I would definitely read on!

  7. Nicole,
    I love your suggestion! I think it really helps with the YA voice. How's this?

    Ravi’s lips were soft and familiar against mine, but my mind was elsewhere. I was so not ready for my history final and should have been back at the dorm, studying.


  8. I was about to make the same suggestion that Nicole did--it pulls me out of the story--and I think your fix would work.

    Otherwise, this is a great opening: relatable, and sympathetic.

    Good luck with the contest!