Genre: YA Contemporary
Entry number #17
Look up the word survivor and you'll find Honor Washington's photo. She's survived being raped, two counts of justifiable homicide and the indifference of her hoarding mother. But what might kill her is the dream she's after, because in order to achieve it, she's made her town's worse enemy her new best friend.
[I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THIS DREAM IS SINCE THIS IS HER GOAL AND WHAT WILL SUSTAIN THE STORY]
I killed my first person [I FIND THIS USE OF PERSON A LITTLE DETACHED] at age twelve. I aimed my dad's Glock, drew in a breath to steady my hands and pulled the trigger. The bullet hit dead center in the back of Tony Pendrick's head. His body rolled off my mother and thudded to the floor.
The police were astonished at my accuracy considering Pendrick [HAD] just raped me. [THIS IS ALSO VERY DETACHED. I WOULD BE VERY CAREFUL DOING THIS WITH RAPE. IT MAKES IT SEEM LIKE IT'S NO BIG DEAL AND YOUR READERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH THAT BELIEF]
I killed my second person five years later.
A 9 mm slug between his eyes.
"Nice shot, Honor," Police Chief Washington said.
I knelt beside him on the sidewalk and pressed my shirt over the massive hole in his stomach. "Don't talk." [I'M CONFUSED HERE. IF SHE SHOT HIM BETWEEN THE EYES, WHY IS SHE PRESSING ON A HOLE IN HIS STOMACH?]
Bystanders moved around us. "I've called 911."
"Here's a blanket."
"Hang in there, Chief. You'll be okay." [I'VE READ THIS A FEW TIMES NOW AND I THINK MAYBE CHIEF HAS BEEN SHOT TOO BUT I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE SECOND PERSON SHE KILLED SINCE IT'S NOT HIM. I THINK YOU NEED TO CONNECT THE DOTS MORE. DID THE 2ND GUY SHOOT CHIEF AFTER SHE SHOT HIM? YOU HAVE TO TELL US THIS].
"Rich? Where's Rich?" Chief Washington asked.
The deputy crowded in next to me. "Right here, sir. Everything's going to be fine."
"Cal Smite is dead, sir. He's done terrorizing people."
"Make sure the report gets written up right. Make sure they know Honor fired in self-defense."
"We've got witnesses, sir. We'll take care of it."
[I'M HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING UP WITH ALL THIS DIALOGUE. IS ANY OF IT HERS OR ARE THESE ALL DIFFERENT PEOPLE SPEAKING TO OTHER DIFFERENT PEOPLE? I THINK YOU NEED TO TAG IT A LITTLE SO WE KNOW WHO IS TALKING TO WHO.]
"Stop talking," I said. I pressed harder on his wound. Blood spurted out from under my shirt and covered my hands.
Chief Washington grabbed Rich's shirt. "Your word, Rich. No charges. No dragging Honor's name through the press. You keep an eye out too. You understand? You'll be in charge now."
Rich squeezed the chief's shoulder. "Yes, sir…Dwayne. I promise. Don't worry."
Chief Washington gasped like a fish out of water. His eyes were losing
[THIS KIND OF SCENE IS A GOOD WAY TO CONNECT THE READER WITH YOUR MAIN CHARACTER. UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S ALL BACK STORY AND YOU DON'T WANT TO START WITH BACKSTORY. FIND A WAY TO GIVE US ACTION IN HER CURRENT STATE AND THEN WEAVE IN THIS BACKSTORY WHEN IT MATTERS. ALSO, TRY TO BE CAREFUL HOW MANY CHARACTERS YOU INTRODUCE ON THE FIRST PAGE. I THINK THERE ARE 7 HERE WHICH IS A LOT TO REMEMBER IN ONE PAGE.]