Brenda Drake’s Show Me the Voice Contest!

It’s on! Everyone post your entries to your blog now. Get critiques from your followers and the participants, and when you’ve polished those first 250 words send them to me at in the body of the email. Or if you don’t need the critiques send off your entry now. And here’s more details…

So, here are the first 250 words of In the Shadow of the Dragon King. Please let me know what you think.


Name:  J. Keller Ford
Title:    In the Shadow of the Dragon King
Genre: YA Urban Contemporary Fantasy

David Heiland chucked the PS3 controller on his bed and scrambled onto the balcony as four F-18 Hornets screamed overhead, disappearing into the sunrise over the Tennessee Mountains.  A flock of ducks took to the sky, squawking as if in protest.

“Yes!”  David punched the ice-cold air. “Man, that’s freaking awesome!”

He shivered and scurried back inside, flicking a sideways glance at the photograph on the wall of his father in the cockpit of an F-16.  Sucks you can’t be here for the air show next weekend, Dad. We’d have a blast.

David rummaged through the laundry basket for his sweater and jeans and headed to the bathroom. He emerged twenty minutes later, showered and dressed, his hair an uncombed mess, and checked his phone. He smiled and read the text message from his best friend, Charlotte.

chk ur e-mail. sent you a pic from my 5th b’day party that will make u laugh!

Oh, man, this has got to be good, he thought.

David opened his laptop and within minutes brought up a photograph dated ten years earlier. Charlotte stood sopping wet in the foreground, her fists clenched at her sides. Martin Sanderman lay at her feet, his hand to his cheek. The third person in the picture – himself at five years and one day – stood in the background, his mouth twisted in a grin.

He chuckled and typed:

OMG, talk about an April Fools Day gone bad for Martin!  I still can’t believe you clocked him, but he so deserved it for pushing you in the barrel.



12 thoughts on “Brenda Drake’s Show Me the Voice Contest!

  1. Great opening. Interesting start to your story. One issue I noticed is that the sentense structures are similar and mostly long. Try to mix in a few shorter sentences in between the longer ones to change it up a bit. Good luck!


  2. The pace is really fast. I flew through this passage. Very easy to read. You did a great job introducing the MC, his family history, and his best friend. There’s not a lot about what the plot will be, except I’m guessing an air show will be involved and there will be a dragon king. That doesn’t matter though – as easy as this is to read, I’d keep going for a while.

    One correction – in the first paragraph, “shown” should be shone.

    Great job!


  3. Very fun opening! I had a pause moment between the text and the internal dialogue, as they’re both in italics. Maybe set the text off with quotes? Either way, lots of fun!


  4. Love the male POV! The internal dialogue is great and like the fact that you have given us a quick yet solid glimpse of you MC and his best friend right at the beginning. The back story is well place and not overwhelming, and was nicely revealed via an email. Great job!


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