Friday, April 16, 2010

First pages

First pages of three of my WIPs:

YA paranormal, 69,000 words (finished; one full out with agent):

1. Seth
I was halfway between the school and stadium, waiting for the crowd to thin, when I saw her. Somehow out of all the faces I never spoke to, I always noticed hers.

That familiar expression was there. The one I recognized because I felt it so often myself. Lonely, but resigned to the loneliness.

Tonight it was mixed with something else. Frustration, I thought.

It made her seem vulnerable, fragile in a way the subtle sadness didn’t.

I expected her to head into the stadium, walk within a few feet of where I stood. I braced for that. But she turned away, went back across the parking lot. Not to a car, not even into the school. She just kept walking, right out to the sidewalk.

I didn’t realize I’d moved too until I was halfway across the lot. Sometimes the pull was like that, out of my control.

But this wasn’t that, or not just that.

This was curiosity and concern. This was me being stupid, crossing lines.

I stopped, clenched my fists, reminded myself what carelessness could do. Then I followed her anyway.

I couldn’t talk to her, couldn’t know her, but I could make sure she got wherever she was going okay.

2. Holly
Sometimes it seemed like my life was one big dance, only the choreographer forgot to give me a part. That was how I felt that night, when I couldn’t find the pre-game barbecue, couldn’t find anyone – stuck on a stage, alone, with nothing to do.


YA paranormal, 63,000 words (almost finished w/fifth draft):

1. Owen, 2:04:48 p.m.

I hated this part.

The bell had rung exactly four minutes and 48 seconds ago. Which meant I had twelve seconds to get through the next door. But I was a hundred yards away, the hall was too crowded for me to run like a normal person, and with honors calculus, I had little hope someone would show up later than me to slip in behind.

Perfect attendance record, gone. Not that anybody would’ve given me a certificate.

I skidded toward the door. Closed of course. Mrs. Harper always closed the door. Like she worried someone would want to spy on her lesson. Not likely. Except, well, for me.

Three weeks and three days without a missed class. Not bad, but nowhere near last spring’s stretch – seven weeks and two days. Lots of art classes and two P.E.s. That’s what I got for challenging myself this semester. And drinking two cokes at lunch. I knew better than that.

I couldn’t pick up Mrs. Harper’s monotone through the thick walls, but I stuck around for a few minutes anyway, hoping for a straggler. No luck.

Of course it had to be this hour I got stuck. The worst hour. The last hour before the seventeen I had to spend alone. Maybe I’d go out tonight. I hadn’t gone out in a while. I peeked out the nearest window. It didn’t look like rain. Probably safe.

But probably wasn’t good enough. I’d have to check the weather. I practically drowned last time.

YA contemporary, 54,000 words (on third draft):

Chapter 1: Summer

His music is too loud. Not exactly a problem, except that it’s louder than mine. I jack up my iPod, but my tiny portable speakers don’t have a chance of drowning out the noise.

Especially since my speakers aren’t just competing with music, but laughter, splashing, screams. Fun. That’s what’s on the other side of the fence.

My phone buzzes and skitters across the swing’s seat, Amber’s name flashing on the Caller ID.

I catch it at the edge and flip it open. “Hey.”

“What’s all that noise?”

“A party.”

“You’re having a party and you didn’t invite your best friend?”

“Not me, the neighbors. For Ryan’s graduation.”

“I thought you went to his party the other day.”

“I did. That was the family one, the adult one, the boring one. This is the one for his friends.”

“Two parties. Sounds like a scam for extra presents.”

“Pretty sure that was the point.”

“Tell Ryan congrats, and that I’m stealing his idea when we graduate next year.”

“Can’t. I’m not there.”

“Why not?”

“Wasn’t invited. Guess cause I got lumped into the invite with my parents for the other one, they left me out of this one.”

“You got the crappy end of that deal.”

I pick at a loose string in the swing’s seat. “Whatever. I probably know more of his parents’ friends than his, since they’re my parents’ friends, too. So what’s the plan? Am I going there, or you coming here?”

“Um, actually, neither. Max’s parents took his brother camping, so . . .”