Thursday, April 28, 2011

Winning Entries from, "When I opened the door..."

For your reading pleasure, below is a list of some of the winning entries from last round's prompt. Many thanks to those who are willing to share.

Still lots of time to get your entry in for this round. It's due next Monday. Click here for details.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing thoughts about showing your writing to others, so if that's something you've wrestled with, be sure to check back. Then on Monday, thanks to a question from a lovely follower of Go Teen Writers, we'll talk about writing groups/friends/critique partners and some suggestions for success with those relationships. As a girl who's been badly burned in that area, who had my writing referred to as "crap" by someone I trusted, I have some definite opinions.

By Faye Rhys

When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw. There he stood in all his wicked glory, Prince Allisane.

He looked exactly as I remembered him, his long golden hair tied back with a velvet ribbon, and his thunderstorm eyes boring into me with a dead coldness.

Allisane sat rigidly in my father’s high-backed chair; his white-knuckled fingers gripped the armrests, as if trying to gain control on his emotions. His face was livid. I’d seen that face more times than I cared to count, more times than I should have as his betrothed.

I hadn’t wanted to marry him, so I’d run.

After six months, he’d found me.
The judges said: Wow! Some great writing. Love the hook of the last sentence that would have me turning the page./I want to keep reading and find out what happens next. Vivid details. Good job!/Nice. The ‘thunderstorm eyes’ is a very expressive phrase, and also very original. The characters and their personalities are nicely developed, which can be difficult to do in so short a sample of the story, and the descriptions and word choices are beautifully done and evocative. I’m already hooked into the characters’ plights and would love to read on, to see what happens.

By Imogen Elvis

When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw. My first thought was that I must have opened the wrong door. Why else would I be facing a centaur with a huge sword?

I closed the door. Yes, it was definitely my door. Maybe I’d imagined it. I swung the door open again. No, the centaur was still there. Well, this made a change from the dwarves and fairies that normally followed me around. Not that anyone believed they were real. Except me.

“That’s a big sword,” I said. “Can I hold it?”

“Why was I given this one?” the centaur sighed. He grabbed my arm. “Let’s go.”

The judge said: Very interesting beginning! I like the characterization and voice—we already have a feel for the protagonist’s personality. I want to read more.

By Katy McCurdy

When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw. The apartment was in shambles. Every movable object had been tossed across the tiny living space. Glass shards were everywhere and a knife had ripped open my brand-new La-Z-Boy.
But that’s not what made my heart stop.
The bloody body of my private detective lay draped across the couch, red dying the white leather.
My scream echoed off the walls of the apartment. Horror clawed up my stomach and burned my chest as I read the three words written in blood across the wall behind the corpse—Looking for us?
My ex and his cronies had found me.
The judge said: Very nice. Suspenseful, tightly written, nicely detailed, with a killer twist last sentence. The descriptions and word choices are vivid and brilliant; the horror of it all is nicely done; and the situation is wonderfully set up. It certainly makes me want to read on.

By Sarah Luckadoo

When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw. My pulse quickened along with my pace as I entered the room before me. I don’t know why I was so nervous. After all, I had signed the papers myself. When they had asked me, I was the one that said yes; I was the one that had wanted to see her. Before I realized it, the gaping expanse of the room that had once stood before me was now reduced to nothing. As I lifted my head, my gaze slowly fell onto the most beautiful face I had ever seen… the face of my daughter. It didn’t matter then, what I had said before. All I knew was that I could not let them take her from me.

The judge said: Excellent pace, good writing, and great sensory details.

By Sammie Weiss

When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw.
The Director was here.
“What’s going on?”
My father looked at me with tears-filled eyes. In that moment, I knew. I held his gaze until the Director cleared his throat. I tore my eyes from my father, knowing I would never see him again.
“Lillian, you have been chosen for the Program,” the Director stated. “We must depart. Goodbye, Mr. Rochester.”
He pulled me out the door. I glanced back, searching for my father, but he was lost in the darkness.
I was shoved into the car; a rag pressed to my face. My vision slowly faded to black.
The judge said: Very nice and tight, with a nice sense of tension. Great last sentence. Good word choice throughout, good dialog that quickly and sharply delineates the characters and situation. Definitely makes me want to read more.

By Ellyn Gibbs
When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw. Had my wish for excitement come true? Did the real, sword-slashing, crazy-riding Zorro himself stand before me?
Dressed in black; check. A black scarf over his nose and mouth; check. It was confirmed. I stood face to face with my childhood hero.
“Hello,” I squeaked, looking around for his sword.
“Hi,” he said through the black cloth, “I’m here to sweep your chimney. The appointment was at…” he peered past me into the house. “Is your mother at home?”
I pointed to the kitchen and then slunk back to the TV. Somehow, though, I didn’t feel like watching Zorro anymore.

The judge said: Funny! This is really nicely done. The narrator’s voice and personality come through, crystal clear, and the situation is nicely turned on its head from what we’re led to believe it will be. The writing is tight and clever, and word choices are lively, and the entire excerpt is great fun to read.

By Nicki Taylor
When I opened the door, I could hardly believe what I saw.

It's not that I wasn't used to my older sister Petra being on the computer - she was always on there doing something. But that something usually wasn't hacking into military databases.

Petra spun around. I stared at her.

"So you're the one who's been stealing stuff out of Dad's office," was all I could say. "Won't he be so mad when he finds out."

Petra grabbed my arm and dragged me into the room. I heard a click and something pressed against the side of my head. I hadn't known Petra owned a gun.

"Did you have any last words before this goes off?"

The judge said: Sharp, tight, on target writing, with a killer last sentence. The scene is set up quickly and neatly, with lots of potential for what’s to come. The characters are distinct and well drawn, even though the introduction is so short, and their voices are nicely done. It definitely leaves me wanting to read more.


  1. Wow! They are all amazing. I'm ready to read the rest of that first one!! Princes, reluctant betrothed, strong female, intensity...sounds like a perfect story for me! lol