Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #156

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000


Getting piercings is seventeen-year-old Devyn Babb’s way of dealing with pain. And when she’s sent back to Florida after witnessing her best friend getting killed, she´s got plenty of it. Now all she wants is to keep her dark secrets where they belong.

She slips back into her old job at the Chatterbox, a small diner, like no time has passed. As easy as that has proven to be, she thinks hiding out will be a breeze. That is, until she runs into her childhood nemesis, Tyler Reed. Tyler isn't the boy who used to pick on her growing up, he’s changed...and in more ways than one. And that’s a problem for Devyn because the closer she gets to him, the more vulnerable her secret. And her heart.

But the past comes back like a bad chorus line: A newspaper reveals who murdered her best friend. Her ex-boyfriend has finally been arrested. Unable to deal with the fallout, Devyn turns to what she knows best—piercings. She hopes that as the external wounds heal, so will the internal. Now she must choose between one more piercing to bury the pain or setting the truth free.

First 250:

When the door opens, I reach up and check my hair’s in place over my ears, covering my piercings—wouldn’t want to send the old folks into cardiac arrest. “Be right with you. Take a seat anywhere,” I say to the first customer of the day without turning away from my task. I wipe away the old special—two eggs cooked to order, pancakes, bacon or sausage and a biscuit has been on the board at The Chatterbox since I wrote it three summers ago. The only thing that’s different is the two in 2.99 has an extra loop at the bottom to make it a three. Time for a change.

It feels surreal to erase my fourteen-year-old handwriting. But really? That sign has to go. How this place makes any money with a 3.99 special like that is beyond me. I draw up a new special, careful not to smudge any of the words. “Perfect.” I take a step back and admire my work. Two waffles or pancakes, eggs cooked to order and your choice of bacon or sausage. No biscuit. Price varies depending on the number of eggs. It’s not a big difference, but in a place like this the slightest change will be talk for days. My guess is that’s the reason the walls are still the same shade of pale pink with a sage green wall paper border.

“Your hair’s purple,” says the seventyish-year-old man two booths down from the one I’m using.


  1. I love this one. You had me hooked from the get-go. You really drew me in. Good Luck.


  2. Bouncer Colonel MustardFebruary 11, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I'm going to wait until Thursday to announce my top 3, but I'm going to give everyone some feedback in the meantime.

    First - I love this line: "But the past comes back like a bad chorus line." It would be even funnier if you could come up with a simile related to piercings. : )

    It's pretty vague on the dark secrets. Was she involved in the murder? Why does she get sent to Florida? What "fall out?" You're nearly there with this one; just make the stakes a bit more clear so the reader CARES more.

    Okay. Stay tuned!

  3. Part of me wants to now what her previous pain prior to her best friend 's murder is, and the third paragraph in your query hints it might have something to do with her ex? I do agree with Colonel Mustard that the stakes are pretty vague in your query, and I'm not sure on the central plot. Might be because I'm not too well-read with contemporary.

    I'm confused why she'd cover up her ears, unless she had massive spacers. Normally it'd be facial piercings that get stares. Just a random observation. Actually, nevermind, I think anything other than ears need parental permission for those under 18? No? I'm not sure on piercing laws over in the States.

    I think you've started in a good place.
    Good luck with it.
    :) (#147)

  4. The first 250 give a nice glimpse into Devyn's personality. I would like to know more about the piercings and how they fit into the story. Are they a problem? If so, why? Why does she have to choose? There is a lot going on, clearly, but it would be helpful to state clearly what the stakes are for Devyn at this point. Great start, and good luck!

  5. Another Devyn! :) I do love the name.
    Your writing is strong, your voice is awesome - but I think maybe you need to rework the query - it feels like you dropped us into your story in the wrong place, or by skating around a secret you're leaving holes that are more confusing than intriguing.
    I also liked the chorus line bit - but got caught on it - maybe play with the wording a little? Do you mean the past repeats itself or comes back to haunt you? (Maybe you mean both - but I think there is a difference - a nuance, if you will)
    Good Luck!