#SonOfAPitch – ENTRY #4 – THE GLASS SISTERS

b36ce-soap-final#4

Title: THE GLASS SISTERS

Category and Genre: YA Speculative Thriller

Word Count: 83,000 

Query:

With the bottle of sleeping pills in her hand, seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass can finally be free of her control-freak mother. Free from her stalking, her constant phone calls, her smothering. There’s only one thing stopping Rebecca—the sudden appearance of the girl in the mirror, a charismatic reflection that offers her an alternative to ending it all. An escape to a new world, one filled with the type of happiness Rebecca has only dreamed of. And all the girl in the mirror wants in return is to live Rebecca’s crappy life.

 With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the girl in the mirror’s offer to swap places, only to fall victim to a carefully orchestrated plot of revenge. Transported through the mirror, she finds herself in a dark, twisted alternate reality. Confined to a mental hospital and left to the care of a nefarious doctor with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities, she is forced to endure torturous days in isolation. While Rebecca struggles to survive her imprisonment and her mounting depression, the girl in the mirror slips unnoticed into the life Rebecca abandoned. But after years of abuse at the hands of Rebecca’s current tormentors, the girl’s sanity begins to slip, and it’s not long before she descends into a bloody, violent spiral that threatens the life of the mother Rebecca left behind.

In order to escape the mental hospital and reclaim the life she once threw away, Rebecca must first learn to control the burgeoning ability inside of her. Power that allows her to travel across alternate worlds through mirrors. If she can survive the hospital, she will be forced to confront her deadly mirror-image in a winner-takes-all battle to save her mother. But her ruthless reflection holds a powerful secret about her mother, a tragedy in her past that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth of what they really are doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will—if Rebecca doesn’t destroy herself first. 

First 250 words:

 THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR

 Imprisoned within the silence of the box, the girl sat alone. Solitary confinement her natural state of existence in that space. She sat on the sterile room’s floor with her legs criss-cross, head bowed, a slip of rectangle-glass clutched neatly in the palm of her hand, the intensity of her gaze reflected back at her.

She concentrated.

Her breath a metronome, in and out, the rhythm helping her focus. Her head hurt—pressure squeezing in from her temples making her eyes water—but it always did right before she made the connection. Then, when the connection went live, sweet release as swift and forgiving as plucking a splinter the size of a railroad spike from the center of her brain. 

The glass she held no longer just a glass, but a window. Her reflection no longer her own. What was displayed in the glass was her face, but it was not her. It was a her that could have been, a her that may yet be.

Still, the girl hated what she saw all the same.

Oh, how the other her looked so content, so safe. So Smug. She glared into the mirror studiously, trying to replicate the other girl’s half-hearted smile, but it felt crooked on her own face, as out of place as she herself was.

She watched the other her intently, and when she could take no more, when the pain of watching became too great, she closed the connection and tucked the mirror away in her undergarments beneath her gown.

 

***Note: Please do not comment on other entrants’ posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else’s.***

 

 

23 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch – ENTRY #4 – THE GLASS SISTERS

  1. Pingback: Son of a Pitch Contest – Week 2: My ten entries | Elsie Elmore

  2. Your query feels on track but is a bit wordy. I’ve hacked a bit to narrow the focus but more words should perish ☺ Don’t feel like to you have to reveal every plot twist and turn – just focus on a few meaty ones.
    And FYI, I’m digging this story premise!! Speculative Thriller sounds like the perfect description.

    The bottle of sleeping pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand can free her from her control-freak mother. Free from her stalking, her constant phone calls, and her smothering… OR… The only path to freedom from her control-freak mother’s stalking, constant phone calls, and smothering is bottle of sleeping pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand. Her options feel limited until the charismatic reflection in her mirror suggests an alternative to ending it all. An escape to a new world filled with the type of happiness Rebecca has dreamed of. And in return ,all the girl in the mirror wants is to live Rebecca’s crappy life.

    With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the offer.Transported through the mirror, she finds herself confined to a mental hospital under a nefarious doctor with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities. (So Rebecca has powers? How does she know? or how do we know?) She endures torturous days in isolation. While Rebecca struggles to survive her imprisonment, the girl in the mirror slips unnoticed into the life Rebecca abandoned. But the years of abuse at the mental hospital have taken their toll, the girl’s sanity slips and she descends into a violent spiral that threatens the life of the mother Rebecca left behind.

    To escape the mental hospital and reclaim the life she threw away, Rebecca must control the burgeoning power that allows her to travel across alternate worlds through mirrors. And to save her mother, Rebecca will be forced to confront her deadly mirror-image . But her ruthless reflection holds a secret that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will—if Rebecca doesn’t destroy herself first. Can you flip this last line – which has lots of yummy tension – into a question?

    Is the name of the Girl ever revealed?

    Your first 250 are very strong, but tinker with the first two lines. (and use punctuation – She sat on the sterile floor with her legs criss-crossed, head bowed, and a slip of rectangle-glass clutched neatly in the palm of her hand. The intensity of her gaze reflected back at her. ) Also, this is a suspenseful scene, kick out unneeded words that slow you down.

    Best of luck! if you have questions, give me a yell 😀

    Like

  3. The feedback is spot-on.

    As soon as I saw my query fleshed out on the blog, I realized it is too long. It’s sad, but–WORDS MUST DIE!

    And to answer your question, yes, the Girl in the mirror has a name, but that’s another plot twist that I was leaving out of the query.

    As for the first 250: Same conclusion. MUST KILL MORE WORDS! I like how you broke up that sentence in your example.

    Question: If picked for the top twenty, do we get to rewrite and resubmit before the agent round?

    Thanks so much for the positive feedback!

    Back to editing.

    Like

  4. Cool concept, and creepy-weird. It gets a bit convoluted in the middle…I’d put the third paragraph, “To escape the mental hospital…” before “While Rebecca struggles to survive.” In fact, I would try to work most of the info about the mirror image spiraling into madness, etc., into the “To escape the mental hospital” paragraph, so that it flows more evenly time-wise. Does that make sense? Tell me if it doesn’t, and I’ll actually play with it and show you what I mean.

    The first 250 – I can’t actually find anything wrong with this at all. Makes me want to read more for sure, and very well-written.

    Thank you for your entry!

    Like

  5. Thank you Elizabeth!

    Definitely need to trim it down. I like your suggestion on restructuring to make it flow better. If you have time to play with the query, by all means, please do. I would love more ideas.

    I plan on taking Elsie’s and your suggestions and reworking the query. I will post here when I am done.

    Your positive thoughts on my first 250 are greatly appreciated.

    This has been a great experience.

    Like

  6. First of all, this has my vote.

    That being said, there’s still some work that needs to be done. I agree with the above feedback–the query is too wordy. Beautifully paints the tone and the suspense, but I did find my interest waning–I want to get to the good stuff! Also, is her mother actually stalking her? If not, I’d take that out of the query. My first thought was that she had a psycho mother following her around, which is distracting from the main plot.

    The voice of the first 250 is just wonderful. I feel an automatic connection to the MC, and really feel the self-hate without it feeling melodramatic. Her pain is real and not exaggerated or told in a stereotypical way. It’s unique to her, which is refreshing when dealing with depression and mental illness.

    Just one minor tweak to the 250: “Imprisoned within the silence of the box, the girl sat alone. Solitary confinement her natural state of existence in that space.” I’d suggest making this into one sentence. The fragment throws me off a bit.

    Like

  7. Okay. Here is the reworked query. Let me know if I’m taking it in the right direction. I can take criticism, so don’t hold back. Thanks!

    The only escape from her control-freak mother’s endless tampering is the bottle of pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand. Ending it all is the only decision she’s ever made for herself—until the sudden appearance of the charismatic girl in the mirror. Offered an escape to a new world, one filled with the type of happiness Rebecca has only dreamed of, all Rebecca has to do is tap into latent dimension-hopping powers she never knew she possessed. And all the girl in the mirror wants in exchange for helping Rebecca achieve her full potential is to live Rebecca’s crappy life.

    With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the girl in the mirror’s offer to swap places, only to fall victim to a carefully orchestrated plot of revenge. Transported through the mirror, she finds herself in a dark, twisted alternate reality. Confined to a mental hospital and left to the care of a nefarious doctor with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities, she is forced to endure deadly experiments that exploit her new-found powers.

    In order to escape the mental hospital, Rebecca must first learn to control the burgeoning ability inside of her. If she survives, she will be forced to confront her deadly mirror-image in a winner-takes-all battle to reclaim the life she once threw away. But her ruthless reflection holds a powerful secret, a tragedy in their past that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth of what they really are doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will—if Rebecca doesn’t destroy herself first.

    Elsie, I tried to rework the last line into a question, but had some trouble, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    Like

      • I’m late in getting back but here goes…

        The only escape from her control-freak mother’s endless tampering (that’s a mouthful – think any of those could go…endless?) is the bottle of pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand. Ending it all is the only decision she’s ever made for herself—until the (sudden appearance of the – I still vote to ax this part ☺ but follow your gut) charismatic girl in the mirror offers an escape to a new world. One filled with the type of happiness Rebecca has only dreamed of. All Rebecca has to do is tap into (latent dimension-hopping – this is a big name… does it have to be named now? But BTW, I Love how you introduce it here) powers she never knew she possessed. And all the girl in the mirror wants in exchange for helping Rebecca achieve her full potential is to live Rebecca’s crappy life.
        With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the girl in the mirror’s offer to swap places, only to fall victim to a orchestrated plot of revenge. Transported through the mirror, she finds herself in a alternate reality. Confined to a mental hospital and left to the care of a nefarious doctor with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities, she is forced to endure experiments that exploit her new-found powers. (I still feel that words here need to go to tighten. yes, even the pretty words. I pulled out a few adjectives to drop your numbers.)
        In order to escape the mental hospital, Rebecca must first learn to control the burgeoning ability inside of her. If she survives, she will be forced to confront her deadly mirror-image in a winner-takes-all battle to reclaim the life she once threw away. But her ruthless reflection holds a powerful secret, a tragedy in their past that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth of what they really are doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will…

        so what if you leave it hanging like that? Queries are about building suspense and not showing all your hand… and that sounds kinda lethal…literally 🙂

        I like the new mention of power in the paragraph above. Again, it’s still a solid query, but I kill a few more of your darlings 😉 You have a killer concept – tease with it.

        let me know your thoughts 🙂

        Like

  8. Mara,

    My original response to you was lost somewhere. Thank you so much for the vote!

    Please let me know what you think of the trimmed up query I posted above. Still working on the first 250, especially those first two lines. All the critiques are invaluable.

    What do you think of this for combining the first two lines? Strong enough?

    Imprisoned within the silence of the box, the girl sat alone, solitary confinement her natural state of existence.

    Like

  9. First off, Elsie, you’re a saint for helping with this. So here we go. Re-worked query, freshly-trimmed, in fighting shape.

    The only escape from her control-freak mother is the bottle of pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand. Ending it all is the only decision she’s ever made for herself—until the charismatic girl in the mirror offers her an escape to a new world. A world filled with the type of freedom Rebecca has only dreamed of. All Rebecca has to do is tap into latent powers she never knew she possessed. And the only thing the girl in the mirror asks in exchange? To live Rebecca’s crappy life.

    With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the girl in the mirror’s offer to swap places, only to fall victim to a carefully orchestrated plot of revenge. Transported through the mirror, she finds herself in a dark, twisted alternate reality. Confined to a mental hospital with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities, Rebecca is brutally exploited for her new-found power.

    In order to survive the mental hospital, Rebecca must first learn to control the burgeoning ability inside of her. If she can master it, she can confront her deadly mirror-image in a winner-takes-all battle to reclaim the life she once threw away. But her ruthless reflection holds a powerful secret, a tragedy in their past that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth of what they really are doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will…

    Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Imagine a thumbs up emoji here 🙂

      and here’s just a thought:
      If she can master it, she can confront her deadly mirror-image in a winner-takes-all battle to reclaim the life she once threw away.
      or
      If she can master it, she can confront her deadly mirror-image to reclaim the life she once threw away. Reason I say this is because you’ve put the stakes on the line in the very last sentence and you actually show the winner takes all nature.

      Like

  10. Elsie, Elizabeth, and Mara,

    Thank you so much for the encouragement. As writers, it is obvious you all know how very needed kind words are when people put themselves out there. Gratitude for your patience and tireless work with all of us can’t be expressed in words. I only hope one day to be in a position to pay your kindness forward.

    Latest revision of Query and first 250…

    Query:

    The only escape from her control-freak mother is the bottle of pills in seventeen-year-old Rebecca Glass’s hand. Ending it all is the only decision she’s ever made herself—until the charismatic girl in the mirror arrives to offer an alternative. A chance to escape to a world filled with the type of freedom Rebecca has only dreamed of. All Rebecca has to do is tap into latent powers she never knew she possessed. And the only thing the girl in the mirror asks in exchange? To live Rebecca’s crappy life.

    With nothing to lose, Rebecca accepts the girl in the mirror’s offer to swap places, only to fall victim to a carefully orchestrated plot of revenge. Transported through the mirror, she finds herself in a dark, twisted alternate reality. Confined to a mental hospital with sinister designs for girls with extraordinary abilities, Rebecca is brutally exploited for her new-found power.

    To reclaim the life she once threw away, she must master her new ability, escape the hospital, and overcome her ruthless reflection. But her mirror-image holds a powerful secret, a tragedy in their past that links the two girls in blood. And if learning the truth of what they really are doesn’t destroy Rebecca, the girl in the mirror will…

    First 250:

    The Girl in the Mirror

    Imprisoned within the silence of the box, the girl sat alone, solitary confinement her natural state of existence. She sat on the sterile room’s floor with her legs criss-crossed, head bowed, a slip of rectangle-glass clutched neatly in the palm of her hand. The intensity of her gaze reflected back at her.

    She concentrated.

    Her breath a metronome, in and out, the rhythm helping her focus. Her head hurt—pressure squeezing in from her temples making her eyes water—but it always did right before she made the connection. Then, when the connection went live, sweet release as swift and forgiving as plucking a splinter the size of a railroad spike from the center of her brain.

    The glass she held no longer just a glass, but a window. Her reflection no longer her own. What was displayed in the glass was her face, but it was not her. It was a her that could have been, a her that may yet be.

    Still, the girl hated what she saw all the same.

    Oh, how the other her looked so content, so safe. So smug. She glared into the mirror studiously, trying to replicate the other girl’s half-hearted smile, but it felt crooked on her own face, as out of place as she herself was.

    She watched the other her intently, and when she could take no more, when the pain of watching became too great, she severed the connection.

    Like

  11. Excellent! You’ve all done amazing work here and this one is ready! Congratulations on your participation in Son of a Pitch – your hard work speaks volumes regarding your courage and willingness to follow your dreams and achieve your goals!

    Like

  12. Thank you so much Yolanda! There’s no words for how great an experience this contest has been. This #SonofAPitch community has been the best, from top to bottom.

    Like

  13. THIS HAS MY VOTE.

    With all the great entries, it was really hard to decide. But your writing – the flow and lyrical quality – is lovely. Your concept is creepy awesome, and is one that appeals to my imagination highly. Good work 🙂

    Like

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