Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Writer's Voice Contest Entry #28

Title: THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION
Genre: YA Paranormal Thriller
Word Count: 106,000

Query:

A fifteen-year-old dead girl wakes up in Afterlife with no memory of her friends, her family, or her name. All she knows is that she’s too young to die, and she absolutely hates Afterlife’s suffocating serenity. She’ll do anything to escape – even agree to serve as Guardian to the lip-glossed and venomous Valerie Wittier in a North Shore Chicago suburb. Unseen and unheard, she must prevent Valerie from making fatal errors that, if not amended, will lead to a school shooting that kills six freshmen. But though Valerie holds the power to prevent – not cause – others to die, she’s too selfish and headstrong to care.

Feeling helpless and incompetent, the Guardian watches the week spin out of control in a kaleidoscope of rumors, fights, rivalry, and romance. She tries to redirect Valerie and save those in jeopardy of dying, but seems continually distracted by Valerie’s best friend, Grace Hewitt, aka Miss Perpetual Bystander. It’s Grace’s ambivalence towards wrongdoing (and blatant denial about her feelings for the reckless Will Pendergrass, who clearly adores her) that infuriates her to the point of obsession. By the time this amnesiac protagonist realizes she’s presiding over the last week of her life, it may be too late to save everyone involved.

THE BEAUTY OF DESTRUCTION is a YA paranormal thriller in the vein of LOVELY BONES meets NINETEEN MINUTES. 

My first 250: 

Any minute now, Valerie Wittier will wake up, and I’ll remind her of what she’s done. I keep trying to picture her reaction: defiant, affronted, belligerent. Remorseful crosses my mind, but I don’t consider it seriously. Remorse doesn’t fit Valerie Wittier. While I’d like to think death has changed that, I’m not counting on it.

Just ahead, three Lights shine down from an impossibly high ceiling in a pitch-black room. They form a single cone-shaped beam and a perfect circle around Valerie’s body where she sleeps peacefully. Her face is wiped clean of her usual mascara, lip gloss, and manipulative smile. Her breathing is even and rhythmic. She looks so childlike and innocent lying there. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think we were alike. I might even feel sorry for her. Waking up to find out you’re fifteen and dead isn’t exactly easy. But I know too much about this girl to fall for that.
           
Open your eyes. The Lights’ unspoken demand rattles through me like a booming crack of thunder. My heart races a little as Valerie begins to twitch beneath the spotlight.
           
I don’t really understand why the Lights chose her to go back and save the others. She’s got to be the least reliable of the eight kids trapped together in that science room. Even now she rubs her lids and stretches her arms like this is some lazy Saturday morning. I could see Valerie being the kind of girl that likes to keep people waiting just because she can.

41 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You too! I enjoyed reading your entry!

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    2. Thanks! Just got back to read yours. I love how calm everything seems in your sample pages. I mean, you get the idea that some tragedy just occurred, but everything seems so. . . pleasant.

      Once again, good luck!

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  2. Hi Kimberly, I'm stopping by from the Writer's Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! I'm following your blog now too, so: nice to meet you.

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    1. Nice to meet you as well. I also joined your blog. I look forward to reading more. Good luck to you too!

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  3. Oooh...sounds intriguing. And I already have issues with Valerie.

    Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! I stopped by your blog and enjoyed reading your entry. Good luck to you as well!

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  4. Fellow Writers Voice contestant checking in - hi!

    Ooo, very interesting concept! Love it! Good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I also checked out your blog. Great voice in your query!

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    1. Good luck to you as well! I stopped by your blog - strong opening lines!

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  6. Just popped in to say good luck! I love your idea!

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    1. I stopped by your blog too! You also have a great concept! Great action to start your MS!

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  7. Great premise, love the twist. Good luck in the contest!

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  8. I like your MC's voice and your concept already (esp the twist!) Good luck in the contest!!!

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  9. Nice comparisons to your MS in the query! And your premise is definitely a hook :) Best of luck with the contest!

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  10. This is QUITE good. Best of luck, from TWV #30!

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  11. the twist at the end of the query is great! Totally not what I was expecting, but perfectly timed. Good luck!

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  12. Agree with everyone– awesome query twist at the end! Good luck :)

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  13. Oh wow, great twist. Best of luck :)

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  14. Great premise! From one contestant to another - good luck!

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  15. "By the time this amnesiac protagonist realizes she’s presiding over the last week of her life, it may be too late to save everyone involved."

    OMG - this twist in the query sucked me right in. I want to read this book!!!!! Good luck!

    Andrea #32

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  16. Thanks for checking out my entry! I live your premise. GL!

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  17. Wow. High stakes! :) Good luck, Kimberly!

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  18. I agree with others, liked your query twist. Sounds like an interesting read.
    Good luck. :)

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  19. Wow, what a powerful voice! I love your concept and first 250~ best of luck in the contest! Which North Shore suburb? I was born in Evanston :)

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    1. Kenilworth... I needed a small town. I currently teach in one of the North Shore suburbs - not Kenilworth. ;) Thank you for your nice note Jess!

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  20. Your opening line sucked me right in! Beautifully done. Best of luck to you in the contest!

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  21. Love love love the concept, and I got literal shivers from the twist. I hope this gets published so I can buy it immediately! Good luck! (And if I may make a suggestion, read HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown if you haven't already. Not only is it a great book but I suspect it might be a more accurate comp title than Nineteen Minutes, especially because it's also YA.)

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  22. Interesting premise. Good luck!!

    ~Cherie
    #136

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  23. This looks very cool. I like the premise a lot. And I also like your blog and plan to start following. Best of luck!
    - Carla #152

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  24. Just stopping by to wish you luck!!

    Entry #31

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  25. An interesting take on the afterlife.

    Good luck!

    Tina (#194)

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  26. Good luck! I love your first line!

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  27. Love your first line! Thanks for stopping by my entry as well. Good luck!

    -Michelle, #75

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  28. That is a powerful premise. How does she discover it is herself she is almost watching over? And how does she accept her death as its unavoidable end? Very interesting. Good luck!

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    1. Ah! Thank you for the kind words and questions - exactly what I'd want a reader to wonder. Best luck to you as well. I love the world you create in your post!

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  29. Wow. This sounds terrific. I'm mostly read contemporary, but this contemporary with a paranormal twist would be a good read with such deep issues. And I love your comparisons: Lovely Bones meets 19 Minutes.

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  30. Wowza! This sounds amazing!! I totally got goosebumps when I read the last part of the query. Good luck to you in the contest!! :-D

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