GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Virginity. It felt like a sin—like I was Hester in The Scarlet Letter, except I trudged around with a V on my chest, given to me for one reason. Leyton Bradford.
We met my tenth grade year, after he transferred as a junior from a school just north of Dallas. He was absolutely gorgeous, not to mention an impressive quarterback for Forest North. His first attempt to woo me lasted about five seconds when he offered to give me a ride home from school. I turned him down. Boys made me nervous. The next morning he showed unannounced at my door, holding a bouquet of pink roses. Whether it was the scent that traveled off each petal or the grin that slid across his face, or quite possibly both, I hoisted my bag over my shoulder and rode with him to school.
That was ten months ago when my life was nothing short of a disaster. My parents had split for the third time, my mother was flirting with every senior on campus, and I had to somehow come to terms with the fact I would never be larger than a B cup. But Ley was the stillness deep inside the storm. The one person that could just look at me, smile, and unravel every knot that had promised to never come undone. It was also a time when our relationship was made up of harmless possibilities, like holding hands, listening to his radio out by the lake, or late night talks on the phone.
You hooked me. I was disappointed that we didn't get a full explanation for why Leyton=continued virginity...because the direction it's going, it sure appears to be headed the opposite way.ReplyDelete
However, it doesn't scream "paranormal romance." That would be my only hesitation. Actually, I'm kind of surprised by the genre label, as it reads much more YA to me.
I agree with Kathleen about the genre doubts. There's no proof of anything paranormal going on in this passage, it sounds much more like YA. But otherwise the beginning is intriguing and I'd definitely like to read more.ReplyDelete
It's all backstory. Start with something happening and weave all the rest of it in.ReplyDelete
I agree you would do better to start with something more active. The voice is not strong enough to carry this much exposition, and it's all obviously backstory, since your mc is describing events of ten months ago.ReplyDelete
I don't feel compelled to read on.
I think you have voice. For sure. Is this YA? Some of it feels a bit overdone/cliched, and I would like something more to bite into.ReplyDelete
I think we need to see this instead of be told it- and it does feel very much like YA-if you are making it paranormal maybe up the age and give us a bit more edge from the beginning. I'm not hooked yet though, but you do have a good voice.ReplyDelete
Keren David said it. You need some action here. You can write and you have a voice, but the structure is wrong. I'm not hooked, but I bet if you reworked the set up as mentioned above I would be hooked. You can do this! Good luck!ReplyDelete
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I agree with pp-ers that this is too much back story. I liked the voice you had with the "V" thing, but when I stopped and thought about it, it didn't make sense. In what way would virginity be considered sinful? You could be ostracized for it, sure. But a sin?ReplyDelete
Sorry. Not hooked. You can obviously write, though. You can get it there.
PNRs often start out sounding YA. I think it's the nature of fantasy. I'm curious and might have read more based only on the title and the first paragraph, but only continue reading if there was some action after all that backstory.ReplyDelete
I love the narrative voice here, but nothing is really happening save some backstory and a lengthy flashback. There's no hint of current tension (the "ten months ago" comment dispels any you're building toward because it sounds as if all the trouble has been resolved in the past) or plotline (i.e., what is currently At Risk for the character).ReplyDelete
I also agree that the voice sounds very YA.
Hope this helps!
Thanks guys for the feedback! Yeah, it's young adult...forgot to add it in the title, dang it! But again the feedback is great...and yes, the action starts right at the 250 word max!ReplyDelete
The first line and first paragraph definitely sucked me in, and I would keep reading to see how your MC gets to feeling like that. I agree that you have a strong voice, but also think the points people have raised about this excerpt having a lot of backstory are valid. Now your comment has me really wondering what we would see on the next page!ReplyDelete
I agree with everyone else. Nothing happened. Your MC talked. And if the action starts right after these 250 words, I'd suggest starting there and cutting these 250. Just start the story and trust that your reader can follow along without the setup.ReplyDelete
I love that first paragraph. There wasn't anything not to love about the rest, but you might want to go from there to a point where the action starts. The rest is back story. Interesting, yes, and probably all important. But you might be better off dribbling it throughout the manuscript, rather than presenting it all up front. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your reader, who will want to know when things are going to get started.ReplyDelete
Wait. She turned down his offer of a ride home one afternoon, and then he shows up with flowers the next day. How does he know where she lives? Creeeeeeeepy. That said, the tone does seem to be purposefully creepy, I just don’t know why a teen girl wouldn’t be put off by such a stalker move. In any case, why are we getting this backstory here? I want to jump right into the world of the first paragraph, not get the “let me tell you how we got to that point” rundown.ReplyDelete