Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are You Hooked? #2

TITLE: Peering Into Darkness
GENRE: YA

"Dreams are for people who are too chicken-s*** to go after their desires."


Seventeen-year-old Jenna Sullivan has her future completely mapped out, and nothing--not even her parents' attempts to force her to become the 'perfect' daughter--will prevent her from following her own path. But when, just weeks before graduation, her best friend overdoses on a sleep aid in order to remain in a dream, Jenna must use every last ounce of determination she possesses to keep her friend, and both their futures, alive.

"Oh no, where are they shipping you off to now?" Ami said as she slid into the seat across from me. She pulled a fry from her tray and waved it at the brochure pinned under my forearm.

"Stanford," I mumbled, hoping my scrutiny of the wadded up napkins under the table across the aisle would signal Ami to let the subject drop.

"That's not so bad." She smiled, offering her box of fries. "Not like JHU. At least Stanford's in the right state."

I sighed.

"I don't know why you don't just tell your parents the truth," Ami said around bites of cheeseburger. "Lying's bad for your chi."

Ever since she'd picked up that stupid book, she'd been all "chi" this and "chi" that. She'd even got me to move my bed so the head was against my closet door, swearing it would bring me good fortune. Yeah, I'd be rolling in dough because I wouldn't be buying any clothes now that I had nowhere to put them.

"Oh, like you tell your parents everything." I snorted as she gave me her most wide-eyed look. "Please. The day you tell your parents about Donny Montecito will be the day I skip rehearsal."

"My parents already know about Donny."

"They think he's your math tutor."

"He is!"

"Whatever." Somehow not telling her parents about her make-out sessions with her 'Italian stallion' wasn't lying, but my plan to switch majors after my first semester was. "I think a piece of your chi just shrivelled up and died."

13 comments:

scriptoblam said...

I think this gives a great first look into who the narrator is, and it leaves me with some questions. Does she not want to go to college at all? What would she do instead? I would keep reading - I want a good answer to these questions and, based on the writing, I think one is coming! Hooked.

Holly Bodger said...

I was a little confused by the logline because I immediately assumed overdosed = dead.

Aside from that, I like this scene. I think you could probably vary the format of your dialogue tags a little. It *feels* like they are all the same kinda of, "I said as I" or "She said while she..." format.

Sean said...

Great writing that gets a lot of information across in a short spurt. I think your dialogue tags and sprinkled in said-bookisms are right on. I like the idea of someone trying to remain in a dream. Kind of like a reverse Nightmare on Elm St.

Karen Duvall said...

I really like the concept of this, that a teenager would take too many sleeping pills just to stay in a dream. But like Holly, i also thought it meant death. If changed to "almost died from and overdose" i think that would clear things up.

All in all, i like this quite a bit. I would read onl

K. M. Walton said...

I really like the idea of someone trying to stay in a dream. And I like the MC's voice. I would read on!

Tere Kirkland said...

Interesting blurb, and I love the last line. Ami feels very real, but I'm not sure about Jenna yet. I'd read on.

Barbara said...

I liked the premise, but I have to admit, it made me more interested in the friend. What was the dream about? Why did she want to stay in it? Or was it more that her life just sucked and the dream was better? All these questions would keep me reading.

I also assumed the friend had died, taking 'overdosed' to mean dead.

The opening page didn't do a lot for me. Without the blurb, I get - a teenager doesn't want to go to the college her parents are choosing for her. She wants to do something else. It's just not a big enough draw for me.

The promise of the logline is what would make me keep reading, and the opening page doesn't live up to that. Perhaps consider starting with an opening that has these two girls talking about the dream, since that is the bigger issue at hand. You can sprinkle in bits about the college choosing, too, but mentioning the dream will make it a much stronger, more appealing opening.

Lizzy said...

I love the idea of someone trying to stay in the dream. Your voice is good, and easy to read. I enjoyed this conversation, but I'm wondering where this somewhat casual conversation fits into the story. I was all intrigued about keeping her friend alive.

However, I would read on. :)

Locksley said...

I enjoyed your unusual concept, hook, and logline in which we discover she wants to keep her friend alive because both their futures depend on it. This alone would make me read on.

Hooked.

Alice Loweecey said...

I found the pitch line more interesting than the actual story--so far. However, the pitch completely hooked me and I'm more than willing to read on to see what you're going to do with it. The writing is fine--I get a sense of character and voice.

Jodi Meadows said...

I like this! Nice voice, interesting conflicts. Like the others, though, I had a moment of overdose = death, even though that doesn't have to be true.

I did feel the first paragraph could use a little more punch, but this is a good start.

Angela Robbins said...

hope her friend doesn't run into freddy.
seriously, i was more interested to find out why the friend would take pills to stay in a dream. that line gave me a little ripple of "inception," and not sure if that was intentional.
the concept seemed more interesting than the prose that followed, however, i still enjoyed it. i thought the dialogue between the friends was authentic. there was some humor, too. i'd still read on.

Tara McClendon said...

Your first line had me. I think the voice is spot-on for YA. I do feel that the opening doesn't have the same hook as the logline. It feels like just an ordinary moment between the friends. I don't get a sense of conflict because I'm missing the motivation for the conflict. On another note, I do wonder how a friend outside the dream can affect the friend in the dream. I am interested to see how exactly that works. Best of luck with the story.