GENRE: YA near future romantic thriller
When my father died a year ago, I never dreamed I’d be here, requesting a meeting with the Devil. And yet, here I am in the underground pool hall, selling my soul once again.
My bright red hair falls on the green felt of the pool table and offers up a festive contrast as I lean over and eye the setup. I’m confident I can hit the cue ball low enough to put a backspin on it and keep it from going into the pocket with the eight ball.
I exhale slowly, relaxing my stiff fingers before I give a nudge with the cue stick. I sink the shot. With a triumphant grin, I turn to confront the glaring dark eyes of Victor.
“Looks like I won,” I smirk. “Now you give me the meeting you promised.”
“How ‘bout another game?” he sneers, running his fingers through his greasy black hair.
“No. A deal’s a deal.” After all the time it took to track him down, I won’t let him slither from my grasp. Talking with the Devil’s informant is the closest I’ve ever gotten to the Devil himself—the man with the answers.
The hairs at the base of my neck raise. I inhale quietly as my eyes shift around the smoke-filled room. Several other pairs of eyes watch my every move, their owners perched on barstools in the dark pool hall. Glancing around at the clientele, it’s clear I’m the minority with my fair skin and green eyes—not to mention my boobs.
I love your last line and wish there was more of that voice throughout the sample. I think this would be stronger without the first paragraph, and with all the backstory removed. We don't need to know about her father's death, or that she wants to meet the devil. Just let us see her in this shady place and let the scene unfold--we'll wonder why and keep reading. Good luck!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this especially with the humour at the endReplyDelete
Sounds like you have a main character with a lot of grit. I also like that from the first sentence, we have an idea of the plot/conflict and stakes. Well done.ReplyDelete
The only big comment I have is that in this first page, I don't get the sense that the MC is necessarily young. I would have assumed she's a 20-something. Then again, maybe it's mentioned on the next page.
Grammar point in the last paragraph- think you mean "The hairs at the base of my neck rise."
That last line nails it! Funny.ReplyDelete
I love that last line too! =) It's good to see a flash of humor to contrast w/the nitty-gritty of the pool hall.ReplyDelete
A fantastic little piece with great potential! The protagonist is a strong and smart woman. She's immediately likable. That first line hooked me and the second line clinched it. I laughed with the last line, and it left me wanting more. If I read this bit, I would pick up the book to read it all.ReplyDelete
Watch word repetition. You use "here" twice in those first two lines. Also, a POV character shouldn't comment on their own appearance like hair color and eye color. The fact she's standing out at the end there would be just as effective if you just said she has boobs.
I tripped on the line "selling my soul once again". The basic premise to selling one's soul to the devil is that it's a one time deal with no backing out. I'm guessing this is explained somewhere but it pulled me out of the scene before I had a chance to get into it. And I agree with the others...the boob reference works.ReplyDelete
Love this! It would make a great screenplay as well. I'd leave out or reword "selling my soul once again." I agree with Christine about pov character describing herself. Possibility: make it a deliberate action to distract Victor from making his shot. A little tweeking for voice to feel YA, i.e. "I won-meeting's on."ReplyDelete
All the Best!
I like this first page. I actually liked the line "selling my sould once again", because I don't think she is truly selling her soul to the real Devil, but knowingly getting into a stupid situation, which makes me wonder what she's going to agree to do and why.ReplyDelete
I like that she is tough enough to force Victor to stick with the deal.
I'd agree to removing the reference to her own hair color. To get rid of the "here" repetition, you could just cut the italicized "here" in the first line. As for voice, the line with boobs works, but it seemed a tiny bit surprising to me based on the voice before that. Maybe you could add a tiny bit before to show some of that? Good luck!
Great stuff. I'd have to put on my ultra picky hat to even come up with a tweak, so I did-ReplyDelete
As I lean over to eye the set up, my bright red hair is a festive contrast to the green felt.
This was great! The opening line is a great hook, and the details were right on. I read the other comments and they do have a few good ideas. I really enjoyed this first page though and would keep reading. :) GOOD LUCK!ReplyDelete
Definitely has my attention! I paused at the same line Elizabeth mentioned, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the whole passage. Good luck! ;)ReplyDelete
The opening gives us a strong sense of place, as well as suspense. We’re left wondering if she’s making a deal with the literal Devil or if that’s what she calls some scumbag guy she’s making a deal with. The second paragraph cuts down the progression of the scene a bit and the suspense, so you might consider seeing how it works without it. This also doesn’t read as clearly YA from just the sample, since she’s in a bar-like environment and has a mature attitude that could just as easily be adult so far.ReplyDelete
Love the title and the character's strong, clear voice. This is not a girl to be messed with! From you description I could picture the setting but didn't feel weighed down with details. Really nice work.ReplyDelete
I will say, however, that I read it as an adult thriller and was surprised when I glanced at the category and saw it is YA. Drop a few hints that she's a teen.
Great voice and good suspense here. I like that she's dealing with the Devil's informant. Good stuff.ReplyDelete
The sneered and smirked tags drew me out of the narrative a bit. Being really picky, :) the line "I inhale quietly as my eyes shift around ..." I'd use gaze since you use the word eyes two more times in that paragraph.
Fun last line. I'd definitely read on.
The last line made me laugh out loud. I loved this. The mood and setting are described so perfectly.ReplyDelete
HAHAHA! Best last line! I love it.ReplyDelete
The whole entry has great tension and imagery. Good job!
This is a great entry, I love the setting created and the instant mystery. She has a distinct, confident voice and I also love her skill at pool! Great entry! I was also thrown by the line, "selling my soul once again," because it sounds like she's never met with the Devil, so I wasn't sure how she could have already sold her soul once before (because I took it literally...not sure if it was meant to be . Other than that, everything was clean and intriguing! Nice work!ReplyDelete
Love the last line especially. I agree with Cristin about not needing the back story yet, and Cortney about the "again." It confused me because I thought she'd never met the devil before? Also, the red hair on the green table took me out of the story as it seemed an obvious writer device... Can you reword it to get the ambiance of the room instead? Great hook at the end!ReplyDelete
OOOh!! Sounds so great!! I like that there is a great personality.ReplyDelete
Enjoyed reading - wanted more! Also felt there was a lot of description (green eyes/red felt) packed in there:)ReplyDelete
Intriguing story line, though, so "break a leg" :)