Saturday, May 28, 2011

Made of Awesome Contest - First 250 words

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word count: 79,000

I buried my nose in the sleeve of my hospital gown, but it did little to mask the stench. “Next time, warn a girl before you show her a corpse.”
“He isn’t dead, Hadley.” Dr. Ramsey pushed the bed railing down, causing a loud clank to echo throughout the room.
I jumped. The body didn’t.
“If that noise didn’t wake him, nothing will.” I inched closer to the bed. Scarlet puddles seeped through the sheet at one end. Ten toes poked out at the other. “Why is he all covered up if he’s alive? I can’t even see his face.”           
Dr. Ramsey tugged on the sheet, revealing a guy who could’ve served as an extra in a horror flick. A gash on his forehead nearly leaked brains, and his face held numerous cuts, making his head look like it had been used as a piñata.
The smell of rancid meat grew stronger and almost knocked me to the floor. I gripped the bed sheets, trying to anchor myself. “What the hell happened to him?”
“That’s not your concern,” Dr. Ramsey said, ignoring my freak-out fest. “Your focus should be on healing him.”
“That’s what this is about?” I shouted. “You kidnapped me because you thought I could heal him?”
“I didn’t kidnap you.”
“Hello? When you barge into someone’s bedroom in the middle of the night and take them by force, it’s considered kidnapping.”
“We’ll discuss that incident later. Right now, I need you to heal him.”


  1. Other then some confusion about the "kidnapping" since the two seem very familiar, I like this. Well done!

  2. Great voice - great hook at the end. I'd definitely keep going. In the first 2 sentences, her dialogue threw me - I know we're told not to open with dialogue, but I think it works better to start with her first spoken line (and what a great first line that would be! LOL), then go to her burying her nose in the hospital gown, it puts as squarely into what's happening from the first sentence.

  3. Ooh! I remember seeing your entry on Ebysswriter as one of the finalists.

    Love the tension and all the visual imagery and sensory details.

    I know you're limited to 250 words, but in your next round of revisions maybe throw in one line about what she's feeling in regards to the kidnapping.I think I'd be angry or afraid. (You might have it in the next few lines which aren't posted, I don't know.)

    I like how this has so much voice in it. Great hook, and it's a really catchy opening.

  4. as a guy that works in hospitals i had no trouble seeing the man/pinata. great job bringing the readers right into the thick of an intense scene and making us feel a part of it all. oh, man, and you nailed the smell, too. i need to go wash my mouth and nose out after reading that :)

    douglas esper

  5. Well done. Great voice. I like the beginning and the questions that linger from the last line of dialog.

  6. I like her voice and I like the way you describe what is going on. Gory but with a touch of humor. I am interested in who "kidnapped" her and why. Good beginning.

  7. I liked it, on the whole (and by "like" I mean "yuck" ;D) but this one sentence hit me as clunky:

    A gash on his forehead nearly leaked brains, and his face held numerous cuts, making his head look like it had been used as a piñata.

    ...I want to know what it is doing, not what it's nearly doing. And "held" just doesn't seem like the right verb.


  8. Love this! When can I get an ARC???

  9. i really liked the set up and sensory details i was totally grossed out but loved the effect. i agree with the previous comment. keeping with the direct would make this a solid start.


  10. Wow - I have no issues with this. None. Wow. wow. wow. You did a fabulous job of sucking me in, giving me enough detail - gosh the descriptions are great. And I love the freak-out fest and the line, "I jumped. The body didn't."
    She's a healer too - love all the info I got from one page! Great job and good luck!

  11. this is really good, and i mean it :) fantastic set up. nice and intriguing. i'd keep reading.

  12. I like the voice and the tension here. One thing that tripped me up a bit was when she said 'I can't even see his face'. It felt a little like an As-you-know-Bob.
    I'm also wondering why she's acting so calm if she's just been kidknapped from her bed, in the middle of the night, and shown a nearly dead body.
    Otherwise, great job! I'm intrigued!

  13. Wow! Intriguing if not a bit gruesome. This is good stuff. Sounds like a great story. Good luck with it.

  14. Great opening -- gruesome visuals that stick with me. And fantastic opening paragraph.

    Nicely done!

  15. Just a couple things that stood out to me if you're looking to make any changes:
    1. If she's a healer, wouldn't she already know what they brought her to a hospital for?
    2. If she was kidnapped from her bedroom, why is she wearing a hospital gown?

    LOVE the name Hadley, btw. Good luck!!

  16. Everyone - Thanks for your comments and for taking the time to check out my first page. Much appreciated! :)

    @erica and christy - your questions are answered in the next few pages of my story. ;)

  17. I am wondering if the healing ability is a semi-secret, because Hadley shouts in the middle of the night in a hospital. Maybe everyone knows she is a healer, and it's OK to shout. Maybe not everyone knows, so perhaps she shouldn't be shouting if she wants to keep it a semi-secret.
    If Hadley is not going to be a snarky snark sarcastic type the whole way through the book, I'd remove the "Hello?" To me, it seems immature, and I'm of the opinion a healer would have seen more than their fair share of horrors and would be more mature. That's just my opinion, though. Of course it's your character.
    Just some things to think about.
    Otherwise, it's a very strong opening (my two other questions will apparently be answered in late pages, so that's OK).

  18. I think the voice is so wonderful. I love your first line really gives you a sense of the mc. The beginning reads like a thriller but as soon as I got to the point telling me she is a healer, I got it. I think this has little to fix for tomorrow. Good Luck.


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