Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Test Run #7

TITLE: The Only One
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Shae Mackenna inhaled deeply as she walked down the cinder-block hallway, skates blades cushioned by the rubber carpeting underfoot. The slightly musty tang of brinewater, punctuated with strong overtones of rancid hockey equipment told her she was home.

She let out her breath as she arrived at the players’ bench, stepping towards the closed gate that kept her on the wrong side of the ice. She waited to make eye contact with any of the men out on the ice. After she rapped her stick over the boards, one finally looked her way.

“Hey,” she called out through her helmet cage. “Can I play?”

The nearest players glided to a stop in front of her, open-mouthed, red-faced and puffing. They looked at each other, each waiting for someone else to answer her question.

“I said: Can I play?” Shae asked again, drawing out each word enough to be clear but not so slowly as to insult them. She puffed out her chest a bit, looking several of the guys straight in the eye. It was a minor detail that ice level was a few inches lower than the bench area; right now, she needed every inch she could get.

“Look, no offense, sweetheart…” started one of the chubbier, shorter players, which Shae met with a scoff. Calling her sweetheart was only something her father could get away with. It wasn’t cool from a total stranger, especially some out-of-shape plug.

“What’s the big deal?” she asked, keeping her tone casual. “Gimme five minutes. If I can’t hack it, I'll leave.” 


  1. I really like this. You've chosen a great spot to begin, and I like how Shae's already proving that she's going to be an interesting, empowering narrator. The flow feels like it might be just a smidgen off in places, but overall this scene works really well. Great job! :)

  2. I like the pace here, and the smell and the smut of world I have never been involved with, but you've written in a way--I really want to know now. Keep up the good work.

  3. I agree with both ladies above. The pacing is great and Shae sounds like she's nobodys fool. Great job!

  4. This page is really good. It has a great setup and the characterization of the MC is awesome. The little details make big impression. Great job!

  5. I like this. I think you did a great job introducing Shae and drawing me into her world. I really feel her, since I was also a girl who played "boy sports" in high school. I'm interested to know where this goes.

    Good job.

  6. Great imagery and nice set up - took me back to my brother's hockey games. On the other hand, your idea - girl who wants to play with the boys -- has been done many times in film and literature. To keep it fresh and unique (and your readers reading) ask yourself - what makes MC unique? (hint: she has to be more than hockey fanatic)

  7. I enjoy good stories with strong females as the MC. I think Shae comes across as someone like this. I'm interested to know her age and why she is so much more at home in the ice arena than any where else. If this is the case just a small change like this will tell the reader she'd rather be on the ice than at home.

    The slightly musty tang of brinewater, punctuated with strong overtones of rancid hockey equipment (told her she was home.) made her feel at home.

    Keep at it, I'm interested to see why Shae is this way.