Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alternate Contest Entries

So, last week I sent in an entry for the latest Go Teen Writers contest, in which I had to write a paragraph starting with the sentence fragment "I've never been the type of girl/guy to say..." 150 words tops.

And, I'm a finalist. (See it here.)

This is rather exciting, as I've never been a finalist in one of their contests with something longer than a sentence. The first time I won first place in a first sentence contest (see it here), and the second time I made the top 25 in an one-sentence elevator pitch contest (see it here - mine is #2), but I didn't make it to the winners' circle.

So, I'm rather excited.

When I was working with that prompt, I had a little explosion of ideas. I wrote seven possible entries. SEVEN. And I liked them all. With the help of my family and Hannah M. (one of the other finalists) I was able to narrow it down.

Since I have nothing better to do with them, I thought I'd share the six non-entered paragraphs here. If you have anything to say about them, I'd love to hear it.

I’ve never been the type of guy to say things like “never say never” or “the glass is half full.”
No. I say things like “the grass is always greener on the other side” and “all that glitters isn’t gold.”
Maybe it’s time for that to change.
Investigating murder changes how you see the world.  It becomes darker, smellier, lonelier. If someone had told me that before, maybe I would’ve become something—someone—else.
But here I am, crouching above another mangled corpse in another cramped, fetid sewer. There have been better crime scenes.
Sargent McCallow splashes toward me, a hand clamped over his nose and mouth. “On their way,” he mumbles.
I nod. “Gonna use the Memorizer?”
He shrugs. “Probably.”
I look down at the dead man at my feet. Mid 50s, street clothing, lots of blood. But, just like the last ones, he won’t have any memories for the Memorizer to find.

I’ve never been the type of girl to say “leave your hope at the front gate.” I don’t like to dwell on that aspect of our situation.
But I can feel that sentiment worming its way into my head now.
I stare over the ruins of the city from my perch atop the Assembly building, trying to ignore the notebook resting like a weight in my lap. It is only 5:43. I could pretend I hadn’t read it for another 17 minutes.
But that won’t change what it says.
I give in and look at it.
It passed, Maggie had written. I’m sorry.
I try to imagine what it was like before the Magic died, taking Maggie’s world with it.
I can’t do it. It’s impossible to reconcile what the others have said with what I see before me.

(This is the one I submitted, and once they announce the winners, I'll post it.)

I’ve never been the type of girl to say “I love you.”  But, as I watch my father’s coffin loaded onto a black carriage, I wish I’d said it, if only once.
No! part of me whispers. He never made the effort. He ignored you. He doesn’t deserve those thoughts.
The voice is right.
But still. He was getting better, at the end.
I turn away from the carriage, and cast a glance over my shoulder at the manor. I can’t help but feel a small thrill. Citcra Hall, mine at last.
A tall man in a black suit walks up to me. Mr. Snyder. Wonderful.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Miss Silverbeetle.”
Liar. He only wants whatever Father left him in his will.
“Good day, Mr. Snyder,” I say, walking to where another carriage awaits me.

I’ve never been the type of girl to say “Less is more.”
What kind of nonsense is that? More is always more, and more’s always better.
Especially when it comes to piracy.
I stand in the crow’s nest of our ship, Mourning’s Revenge, the wind kissing my skin.  We’ll be even with the Ootwoxan ship in thirty minutes.
“Noxie, get down from there,” Horace shouts at me. “We’re not going to take those shorties if you don’t get the guns ready.”
Leaning over, I see him scowling up at me. I grin. “Need I remind you that I’m one of those ‘shorties’?”
He belts a laugh. “Aye, that’s why you’re planning to rob ‘your’ king. You’re no more Ootwoxan anymore than I’m a woman.”
I scramble out of the crow’s nest and slide down to the deck. “Right you are, Horace.”

I’ve never been the type of girl to say things like “ROFL” or “TTYL” or “laters.”
But, unfortunately, my brother does.
I glance down at his latest text, a travesty to the English language.  liz can u plz bring my sticks to Burchs? left them in ur truck srry.
“Two things, brother dear,” I mumble as I type a reply, “Spelling and grammar.” I do a quick proofread of my response,
It seems you left your ability to communicate properly with them. I’ll meet you there at lunchtime.
And hit send. He won’t listen to me—he never does—but a girl can hope, right?
Mr. Thompson pokes her head around the corner, her lips pulled tight into a neat circle.
Oh dear.
“Lizzie,” she says, “I just got off the phone with Mrs. Storm-Baker.” —So that explains the expression— “She’ll be stopping by this afternoon to look at teacups.” 

I’ve never been the type of guy to say things like “war isn’t the answer” or “Chad hearts Tori” in my graffiti.
Shakespeare is so much more fun.
So it is with glee that I cover yet another ill-fated proclamation of love on the side of the bridge with something far more poetic and meaningful: the Bard’s sonnet 116.
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments…”
Now this is true art. The spray paint kisses the rusted metal, soaking up the beauty of Shakespeare’s words.
“Love is not love, which alte—”
A footstep crunches on gravel. I freeze halfway through the word “alters.” This road is supposed to be closed. That’s why I chose this bridge as my next canvas.
Maybe someone else had the same idea.
I slip behind an old honeysuckle bush, trying to see who this intruder on my solitude is.

Please excuse that weird bar.  I copied and pasted these from the Word doc I wrote them in, and it hitched a ride as a stray bit of formatting.  

BUT LOOK MY "ENTRIES" ACTUALLY HAVE BITS OF INTERNAL NARRATIVE IN THEM.  This is just as exciting as making it to the final round, as my WiP has an embarrassingly small amount of internal narrative.

So, that's that. Hope you enjoyed those.

And a lovely night/day/morning/whatever to you.


  1. *applause*

    These are lovely! I've heard you speak of the graffiti artist in Number 7 before, so that one particularly has me wanting more. I also really liked Number 5. :)

    ~Robyn Hoode

    1. Thank you!

      I love my graffiti artist, Chad. Someday I'll write him a story. The MC in number five is great too. I haven't really fleshed out their characters, but I like them.

  2. Wooooooooooaaaah. No wonder you were a finalist/honorable mention.

    1. Thank you! I have to say I'm rather pleased with the way these turned out. And whilst editing my WiP, I can use all the confidence in myself I can get.

  3. I really love all these peices!!