Friday, December 9, 2011

Can You Guess My Character's Age? Blogfest Contest!

Okay, so I almost forgot about this contest, and had I not been playing around on my computer at 1:30am, and randomly going through my saved bookmarks, I would have missed this contest completely. (It must be a good sign.)

The contest can be found here, if you just click this fantastic sentence on any word of your choice.

And below I will submit the text of my somewhat completed manuscript. (I was going to use my NaNo-attempt, but it's not even close to "somewhat completed.") It is the same exact entry from the last contest, but that's basically what it's asking for.

Go ahead and read it, and see if you can guess the character's age by my voice, and the story itself.
Disclaimer: I will neither confirm or deny any correct answers. But that's what makes it fun!
(It's almost 2am; please humor my mood.)

250-Word Excerpt:
Sitting in that hard plastic chair in the principal's office stunned Olivia. It was worse than a bad day, or a bad dream. It was more like a nightmare.

Olivia sat motionless in her seat, her hands folded in her lap. If she could have coiled herself into a ball, she would have. A nervous chill tiptoed its way up and down her spine.

To her left was some girl who had claimed to witness the incident. Legs crossed, her foot shook to some beat that only she could seem to hear. Her gaze never found its way towards Olivia. To her right was Hunter. His eyes were set on the receptionist’s desk, fixed as though he could see through the panel of wood, directly at the secretary who continued to type away at some problem of her own.

Every now and then, Olivia felt his gaze shift, as though he were staring her down through the corner of his eye. She wouldn't blame him. He was the victim's brother.

Olivia did not want to think of Chase as a victim. It made her feel like she hurt Chase on purpose. It made her not want to think at all. As she sat there waiting for her parents though, listening to the ongoing click-clack of a keyboard behind the receptionist’s desk, the unpleasant thoughts pushed their way through, invading Olivia’s mind.

She never wanted to hurt him, Hunter or Chase.

After maybe an hour's wait, and countless people passing through the office doors, Olivia's parents came rushing through.


  1. Wow I really want to know what happened to Chase :) I would guess Olivia is 15??

    Julia Keanini

  2. I really liked this! Well-written with good flow. I'm going to guess sixteen since she's obviously in school, but sounds pretty mature.

    I only have a couple nit-picky suggestions.

    I stumbled over "as though he were staring her down through the corner of his eye." I think it's because a stare-down to me is brazen eye-contact--which can't be handled through an eye corner. That just might be me though! :).

    The other one is with the last sentence--I think it could be more intense. Maybe have her sweat and watch the clock, guess at her parents reaction (which would warn the reader about what kind of relationship they have).

    Anyway, good work and good luck!

  3. Thank you for the input SwiftScribbler.
    I just wanted to point out that the last sentence isn't very intense because I had to stop at 250 words, so it was a little lackluster of an ending there.

  4. I'm going to guess 15. Ack, and I want to know what happened to Chase!

    One small thing: It made her feel like she hurt Chase on purpose. --this should say "It made her feel like she HAD hurt" unless she's still currently hurting Chase.

    I like Olivia's voice. I get the feeling she's not usually in trouble, so I'm wondering how whatever happened here in the beginning affects the rest of her story.

  5. I'm going with younger teen ... like 13. :)

  6. Oooh nice tension! I'm going with 15 as well, though it's a little tricky. (If you're interested in making it easier to grasp how old they are--which, beyond the purposes of this contest, would just help us to grasp the setting I suppose--describing the appearance of the kids to her right and left would help tremendously.)

    Also, I'm a new follower :)

  7. I was going to guess much younger, around 12

  8. I'm going with 13 or 14. I also want to know what happened to Chase! Very interesting. :D

  9. Great description! I can picture the entire scene clearly in my head! My guess is 15.

    Love your writing! I'm going to follow you now ;)Hope you can drop by my blog.

  10. I like that you build tension from the get-go. My son is 16 and his girlfriend's name is Olivia, so I'm guessing 16 because I pictured this being her. LOL. You do capture the voice of a 16 year old. This is great.

  11. I'm guessing 15. She seems like a young teen, confused. The tension here is great. I can feel her nerves and want to know what the heck happened. Great start!

  12. I will go with 14. Using the word hurt always makes me think of a mc as younger, for some reason. That's just me, and I am weird. ;) I like the emotions in this one, good character development right away.

  13. Hey, still trying to get around to everyone's blog even though the contest is over. Great piece! I'd say 16?

    P.S. Cool blog. New follower alert.