So, here's what's up.
Fellow blogger and YA writer Shelley Watters is hosting a contest on her blog, "Is It Hot In Here Or Is It This Book?". The idea is, writers submit the first 250 words of their manuscripts, and the entries will be judged by literary agent Victoria Marini of the Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency. The winner will receive a full request from Victoria, as well as a partial critique. Victoria will also select runners-up, who will receive partial requests.
Full contest rules are here.
As part of the contest, writers are posting their entries on their blogs for critique. So, without further ado, here is my entry. Critique away!
Everything is a lie––their faces, their words, the books on their desks, the clothes they wear. It's a barrier as fragile as a bubble. Underneath it, there is only emptiness.
I know their fears, their secrets, the feelings they hide. I know their loneliness; it emanates from their minds, building from a whisper to a murmur to a scream that ricochets around in my skull.
One of the shrieking souls is my own. I may not be normal, but I'm still human. I share their pain. On the inside, we're all screaming.
But I've learned that I'm different. I accept the scathing mess of words their minds throw at me: freak, girl, freak, witch, goth, freak. I don't care what they think, as long as they never know the truth. They can think I dyed my hair blood-red, that my reflective eyes are contacts. They can think I wear long sleeves because I cut myself, even though I'm hiding something very different from the furious red slashes they'd expect.
I don't blame them. It's human to make judgments. If I had a choice, I would make them, too.
Instead, I have to know everything about everyone––who hates who, who's sleeping with who, who's doing drugs, whose parents hit them. Thoughts and dreams and memories and fears all burst inside my head like fireworks … and someday, I won't be able to take it anymore.
I never asked for this. I sure as hell never wanted it. My whole life, I've kept it inside. And it's killing me, crawling through my veins like a disease.
How long before it takes over––before it takes me, like it took my mother?