Monday, March 21, 2011

Blogfest and Contest

There is a brilliant blogfest going on at Brenda Drake's blog - the idea is to post the first 250 words of your completed manuscript for feedback from the intelligent and literate blogosphere we all enjoy. Then, on March 22nd, you can submit it for a chance to win a critique from agent Natalie Fischer :)

And I can't enter because I don't have a completed manuscript right now :( Everything is still at the editing stage.

Pardon me while I sulk.

Anyway, even though I can't actually enter the contest, I have been thoroughly enjoying reading the excerpts that have been posted so far. And I have decided to post the first 250 words of my current WIP. If anyone would like to give me some feedback, it's very welcome! Otherwise, hope you enjoy the read.


Sammi was in the kitchen when Becky woke up.

Becky tried not to feel uneasy. Even though her flatmate was usually out the door by eight-thirty. It didn't necessarily mean anything.

She had always hated it when people said things like 'I knew it was going to be a bad day – first, the bus was crowded, then after lunch I got fired.' Crowded buses don't make people fire you – it was basic cause and effect. Becky liked logic, reason, order and patterns.

She also no longer believed in them.

'What are you still doing here? Is the deli on fire?' Becky asked. Sammi was a freelance journalist, perpetually skint and perpetually busy. She usually did her actual writing in the mornings in a local cafe, and spent the rest of her day interviewing and researching. Becky's hours varied wildly, and she was always glad that Sammi wasn't there on the mornings when she had to sleep in til eleven because she'd been out all night.

'If it was, I'd be down there chasing the ambulances,' Sammi said, slicing the crusts off her toast neatly.

Becky poured her tea and got her cereal in silence, conscious that Sammi still hadn't explained.

'Then what's keeping you at home? Is everything OK?' she asked.

'I just fancied a change,' Sammi said.

Now that is interesting, Becky thought. Sammi never fancied a change. Becky always had to be the one to try any new takeaway places that stuffed menus through their door, which was how she measured spontaneity.


  1. Interesting beginning. I'd read on.

  2. I love the interplay between Becky and Sammi! Great stuff, thanks for sharing! Take care

  3. This is a comment that would likely win pedantic comment of the year, but... how does she know Sammi's in the kitchen if she's just woken up?

    Could you maybe focus on a sound or something that would let her know? I know it seems a silly thing, but I think something sensory would anchor us with Becky straight away.

    I do love the dialogue between the two and the little details you give us that show us a lot about their personalities. More! I want more!

  4. Hi there. I liked the voice but I thought it was moving too slowly. Talli's comments are good.


    PS Most of us will still be editing our mss. Having the first 3 chapters ready is good.

  5. Thanks, guys :)

    Talli, that never even occured to me! In my head, Becky was stepping into the living room/kitchen when she was thinking this - I suppose what I meant was 'when Becky got up.' Will rework that so it makes more sense!

    Denise, thanks for that, I was a bit worried about pacing. I think the long chunk of inner monologue/info-dump between Becky asking a question and Sammi answering it slows it down a lot, I will see if that would work OK if I rearranged it.

    Also, when I say 'editing' I'm being a bit optimistic :) I need to write two completely new chapters (hoping to start them today actually) so it's very much unfinished rather than being edited. Still dying to see the outcome of the contest though!


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