Thursday, May 2, 2019

First 100 #3

TITLE: The Silver Lining of Chaos
GENRE: YA Contemporary

The Texas sun bakes me to a crisp outside Stony Point Academy. Aunt Lucinda’s late, and I’m the only student left on campus. I pace the sidewalk, antsy. Having to rely on my aunt sucks, but she’s the only family I have left. An ache settles in my chest. I miss my grandmother so much, and I’m not sure what my hurry is to leave school. There’s nowhere for me to go. Drained and desolate, I melt into a puddle of sweat beside my two tattered suitcases and backpack. They hold everything I own.

It’s hard not to feel homeless.


  1. This definitely has voice! Saying relying on her aunt sucks makes me know this is a teen right away. I wonder if instead of saying she misses her grandmother outright, you could say something that shows us she misses her. i.e. "Grandma never would have been late like this..." (just a thought). Also, I don't know if she (he?) would call her school by name. You could sneak it in later on. Good job!

  2. I feel like you're trying to cram too much into this opening. We don't need to know the name of the school at this point, and I'd rather see her think about grandma with fondness than have her state outright that she misses her.

  3. Liked the opening and would read more, but with more gets even better/tighter. Agree with dropping the Stony Point name in line 1. And a few too many cliche to revise in your voice (baked to a crisp, puddle of sweat...dig deeper and forge your own). Good luck!

  4. Going to piggyback on a lot of what has already been said - there is a lot going on here and I wonder if you could either lose the aunt or the grandma to talk about later. Or maybe build in more opportunities to voice it up. You start to get there with how it sucks she has to rely on her aunt... what's the aunt like? Could you use this as an opportunity for terse, voice-y descriptions of the aunt and then... "but she's nothing like my grandmother" (and then the achy chest and...) Sorry... this is me spewing :) Hope some of this is helpful!

  5. I wonder if you should start with "It's hard not to feel homeless." Give a bit more about how important her grandma was to her. I don't think a teen would say the whole name of the school. I would definitely read on.

  6. I find it odd the way you're alternating your sentences between telling and action. You need to show us that she's antsy through her thoughts and actions, rather than telling it. For example, you say, "I’m the only student left on campus. I pace the sidewalk, antsy." If you simply said, "I pace the empty sidewalk" or something like that, we would figure out that she's the only person there and that she's antsy. You don't need to tell us the rest. I would also eliminate the grandmother comment unless she has a reason to think about missing her at this exact moment.