Sunday, March 2, 2014

Entry #16: LUMA

Title: Luma

Genre: YA Horror

Word Count: 90,000


Abbey and her best friend, Callie, had countless adventures at Majestic Isle, until an accident closes the island amusement park. When seventeen-year old Abbey hears an underground club has popped up amid the broken down roller coasters and rusty bumper cars, she drags Callie out for the night of their lives.
Unfortunately, it might be the last night of their lives.
The club isn’t the haven for misfits Abbey hoped for – it’s a buffet and the club goers are the main course.
What was once an innocent sanctuary of fun is now home to something dark and sinister.
If Abbey and Callie survive the night, they may find they are the key to stopping an infestation of creatures with an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
First Page:
An ocean of bodies swayed like seaweed across the warehouse floor. It might have looked as though they were drowning if not for their rhythmic movement that fused with the beat. In the center of the floor, Abbey tilted her head back and danced. A tranquil smile graced her lips. She raised her arms over her head and her long, periwinkle hair drifted with her movements. Blue and green lights bounced through the smoky air, pulsing with the rhythm of the music. Bodies brushed against hers, but she didn’t mind. Here, dancing among hundreds of others, she fit in. She belonged. No one could take that away from her.
            “We need to go,” Callie yelled in her ear.
            Abbey’s eyes flew open and she missed the beat of the song, which caused a ripple in the dancers around her. Callie was upset, though only someone who’d known her since third grade would be able to pick up the telltale signs: twirling a strand of hair around her pointer finger; the flush high on her cheekbones.
            “Did you and Eric have another fight?” Abbey didn’t want to leave. Not yet. Callie promised her it would be the two of them, but Eric had shown up and Abbey spent the night dancing alone.
            “Can we go, please?” Callie’s bottom lip trembled as she wiped her tears away. Abbey took her arm and led her to the edge of the dance floor.
            “Callie!” a voice yelled over a break in the music.


  1. Very strong pitch--it's clear, concise, uses your voice and leads us right into the story. Well done. Your first page is also strong--the writing very good. I am aware that this is just a first page and from what I've read, I believe that there is a very good chance you are going to take the reader exactly where you promised. I will throw a couple thoughts and questions at you. I don't know if they are necessary or beneficial, but I will raise them in case they resonate with you.

    --I just came from the NY SCBWI conference and editor Anica Riss commented that EVERYONE is doing colored hair and it has sort of lost it's power as a way to describe a character. She didn't say that it was a problem to have it, just to be sure that you don't use the hair as your only evidence of being a dark and angry teen.

    --if someone were to read only the first page without the pitch, the'd have no clue something horrific is coming in this MS. I'm not completely sure this is a problem because we are only looking at a thumb nail of text, but consider what would happen if you had an opening sentence or two that foreshadowed the horror in some way. Kind of like an intriguing caution sign. It may also hook someone immediately. The reality is that writers are competing with all kinds of fast paced media. I'm not always sure if this is a reason to make a change like this, but I do think it is worth considering. It may be something you were toying with already or something you hadn't thought of and like now that you're considering it. No matter what, it appears to me that your pitch and your writing are strong. And even though I'm not into horror myself, you did pull me in with the contemporary aspects of the dialogue between the girls and your pitch makes me want to know what the heck these creatures are. Great job.

  2. Thank you so much for your feedback! It's truly appreciated and I'll definitely take your suggestions under consideration. :)

  3. I love horror, so I'm going to be harsh. In a loving way.

    Opening image - why would it look like the dancers are drowning? Drowning is more of a flailing, violent thing and they seem to be swaying harmlessly to drone music. Also, if this is from Abbey's POV then the smile on her lips can't be "tranquil" because she can't actually see it. In fact, the opening lines feel like they're from an omniscent narrator, so be careful with that going forward. It's this is from Abbey's eyes it must ONLY be from Abbey's eyes. In that same vein, I want more of Abbey's feelings in this opening. Get closer to her and your reader will feel more of an impetus to turn the page.

    This is a strong premise which I think will garner a lot of interest. I feel like it still needs work, but would be totally worth it!

    1. Harsh is good! It helps me improve. Thank you so much for your feedback! You're correct. The opening paragraph is omniscient narrowing into 3rd limited. It was something I wanted to try, to give an overall image of the club. I knew I was going to get called on that. :) I'll work on adding more of Abbey and clarifying the seaweed movement. Thanks again!


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