Brenda Drake’s Show Me The Voice Contest

The first 250 words (to me) are the hardest to write.  When my good friend, Emi J. Gayle, nudged me in the direction of Brenda Drake’s contest, I couldn’t resist.

Here are the rules:

It’s on! Everyone post your entries to your blog now. Get critiques from your followers and the participants, and when you’ve polished those first 250 words send them to me at Or if you don’t need the critiques send off your entry now. And here’s more details…
Here’s how we’re doing it:  Sign up on the linky below. On March 20 and 21, post the first 250 words of your finished manuscript (any genre) on your blog to get critiques from your followers and then hop around to the other participants’ sites and give critiques. Polish those 250 words and email them to me at with CONTEST in the subject line by 12:00AM (EST) on March 22 (This is my birthday, so while you all are scrambling around to get your entry in, I’ll be eating a hot Molten Chocolate Cake at Chili’s–all diets are off! Woot!) 
Here are the first 250 words of a novel I wrote last year.  Please let me know what you think.


I climbed out of the Mustang to find Cole staring at the crooked, steel door of the factory as if it might eat him.  He smoothed a hand down his black suit, shot me a wary look, and reached for the knob.  His trembling hand hovered above it for a moment before dropping back to his side. 

Funny, I thought vampires would be braver, even at quarter to midnight.

“Are you sure this is the right place?”  I edged closer to him. 

Standing outside a creepy factory with a dead guy wasn’t how I usually spent my Saturday nights, but I had to be brave for once.  I’d been waiting for something exciting to happen since I could barely crawl into Gran’s squishy lap and listen, riveted, to her fantastic stories about fairies, goblins, and happily ever afters. 

The building stretched out in both directions like an overgrown tin of sardines.  Over a high window, a piece of burlap whap-whap-whapped in the breeze. 

Cole backed away from the door. 

“You’re giving me the skitters.”  I shivered.

His eyes darted to me for only a moment, but I read them as well as if he had a marquee scrolling across his forehead.  They said, “What else is new?” 

“Why are you so freaked?  We just need the council’s blessing, and then we can go.  That’s what you said, isn’t it?”

 “You’re human, Gillian.  You wouldn’t understand even if I could explain it to you.”

6 thoughts on “Brenda Drake’s Show Me The Voice Contest

  1. Nice 🙂 I have a couple comments/suggestions for you.

    “A piece of burlap over a high window went whap-whap-whap in the breeze.”
    Consider swithcing this one around: Over a high window to the (where is it, exactly?) a piece of burlap ‘whap-whap-whapped’ in the breeze. (Dunno, just reads too ‘listed’ as is–might solve that by twisting the structure 🙂

    ““You’re giving me the skitters,” I said.”
    Rather than the tag here, it might be more effective to show us her physical reaction to solidify her words.

    That is all. Good luck with this 🙂

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