Saturday, March 19, 2011

Show Me The Voice blogfest!

And as the date is nigh, without further ado, here's my entry to the Show Me The Voice blogfest.

Name: Kate Larkindale
Title: Assignment 9
Genre: YA Contemporary

He’s going to call on me. He’s going to call on me and I’ll probably puke. There are only twelve of us in this class - seven boys and five girls – so it won’t take too long before it’s my turn. I can picture Ian, the tutor, striding to my desk, his green eyes fixed on me. “Kiersten?” he’ll say. “You’re up. Let’s hear about you.” It’s so real, I almost stand up to present my work in progress.

Work in progress? I’ve made no progress on this so-called work. I have no idea how to start writing this. We were given the assignment - an autobiography – right before Christmas break and all month I’ve been putting it off. Now Ian’s expecting something. A draft perhaps, or at least a detailed outline. But I have nothing. Slumped in my seat, I look down at the scarred tabletop before me, letting my hair fall over my face like a veil. I squint through the curtain it makes, at the orange glow in the glare from the near-dead fluorescent tube that hums and buzzes above me, disrupting my chain of thought. I work knots out of my hair with my fingers as I struggle to think where to begin. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and the more I think, the more certain I am my story began longer ago than I ever imagined.

I pray the class will end before Ian reaches me. I even pray for Alice Wilkins to be called on before me.


  1. I love that I get to comment on this in relation to a voice contest, because you have such a distinct voice that really shows through here. These first few paragraphs alternate between a very plausible young reaction to being called on, and a more removed observation of the world around her. Right away you establish who Kiersten is from two different facets, making it easy to see we're in for a complex exploration of internal and external conflict.

  2. Can I tell you how much I love this? Your voice is very strong- Kiersten's fear is completely understood and physically felt by the reader through your descriptions. Lovely.

    The only suggestion I have, is at the beginning change "I'll probably puke." To "I'm going to puke." Take away the vagueness and keep things strong.

  3. I absolutely LOVE this. The voice is spot on and believable and leaves me wanting more. Very nice job! (Love the synopsis to the right of the page, also- very intriguing!) :)

  4. You have such a strong voice. I definitely love the first line, it really hooks me into the story.

  5. This was a very strong start--your character's voice is distinct. Having escaped & recovered from an abusive childhood myself, I would be very interested to see how Kiersten and Mark overcome their rough beginnings and define themselves.

    I can't really find anything that needs work. ;-)

  6. This young person has a strong voice. All the teen angst is present. I'd like to read on...


    L'Aussie's entry in Show Me The Voice Blogfest Contest

  7. Wow, loved this. Kiersten definitely has a strong voice--I feel like I know a little about who she is already, and I can definitely remember that 'oh please don't call on me' moment in class.

    The other thing I think you've done really nicely is weave in just the start of some questions I want answered. How long ago does her story start? Why? What's so difficult about working on it? I'd definitely keep reading to find out--you've made me wonder about this without highlighting the questions too obviously.

  8. I definitely got a very strong sense of voice here, and I thought your descriptions were great.

  9. You did a great job of suggesting the questions, but overwhelming the reader with them. Your YA heroine has a unique voice that carries the reader to the next sentence. Great job. Come read mine if you would -- it's way down at the bottom of my lesson on how to write descriptions that transport. Roland

  10. This SOOOO reminds me of high school and dreading the speech coming up. I've always hated public speaking ;)

    I only really have one crit:

    "I squint through the curtain it makes, at the orange glow in the glare from the near-dead fluorescent tube that hums and buzzes above me, disrupting my chain of thought."

    This got a bit long in the middle there, I think it was the "glow in the glare" part.

    Other than that, I absolutely loved this - I totally want to read on, and I love your description.

  11. Thanks for all the wonderful comments, guys! I so appreciate it. And I'm so glad you all like Kiersten!

  12. This is fantastic, Kate! I agree with pretty much everyone else: There's nothing I would change. Your voice (and your character's voice!) shine through. You've left me wondering about Kiersten's life and I would definitely read on.

  13. I agree, start with 'I'm going to puke.' Plunges us right into the intensity of the conflict and leaves nothing to the imagination as to how she views the situation. Other than that though, great job, I enjoyed it!

  14. I really love this. The voice just shines through. Great job!