YA Psychological Thriller

My name is Kelly. I’m looking for a critique partner for a YA psychological thriller. It’s about estranged identical twins Zayna and Ramsey who, four years after the unsolved murders of their parents, come together to get rid of a dead body. Both twins seem to be connected to the crime, but neither are admitting to murder. The novel is told in alternating POVs.

I’ve posted an excerpt below.

Ideally, I’m looking to for critique on the first 50 or 60 pages (things like pacing, character development, any big picture issues that might pop up), and potentially a full manuscript at a later time.

In exchange, I’m willing to look at an excerpt or full manuscript. YA, preferably. I have an English degree, work as a literacy instructor, and have edited quite a few academic essays (and some fiction). I tend to be pretty good at big picture issues, character development, world-building, as well as tightening up weak writing.

My turnaround time tends to be a few weeks max for an excerpt, a few weeks to a month for a full manuscript.

I’m from Canada, and my novel is also set in Canada, for what it’s worth. It may include some distinctly Canadian references.

The opening is posted below:

The darkest part of the night lit up with a bang. Hands tucked into her pockets and face buried within the collar of her pitch-black coat, Zayna took one step, two steps back. The ground crunched under her boots, too hard to break through this time of the year. Zayna shivered—purely from the cold—and told herself at least the air would warm up now.

A fresh log crashed onto the pile with a crack and a hiss and a spark of embers. “Do you plan on helping?” a voice shot across the fire.

Zayna narrowed her eyes—dark as her coat, dark as the night—across the flames, flicking, flying, taller than her and spreading fast. She liked fire, she decided. The primality of it. The way it took and took and refused to give without the threat that it might just turn on you.

“Someone needs to control you,” Zayna replied. Even she recognized her voice was too cold for the heat she stood within.

On the other side of the fire, Zayna’s own face stared back at her. Glowered, beneath the blood-shot, booze-fuelled haze. Two girls who repelled each other like same-sided magnets should not be so identical, down to the nose rings they both wore.

Zayna checked her pulse, as if expecting it to be anything other than the steady calm it was.

A soft, inhuman wail carried through the winter air. Ramsey, the girl on the other side of the fire, tensed. “This is stupid,” she said. She tossed a bottle in the fire, which cracked with a satisfying bang.

“Have some faith in me,” Zayna said, and couldn’t help the mocking smile that spread across her face.

The wailing grew, louder, louder. Reds and blues flashed in the dark, dark sky.

“We’ve already lost,” Ramsey said.

“You seem to be under the impression that we’re on the same team.”

Ramsey breathed out, a laugh that wasn’t really one. “I’m not playing your game anymore.”

Zayna shifted, tilted her head. Her sister was a problem. Spiralling out and losing herself. “You sure you’re not?” Zayna replied. “Come on. The body won’t burn itself.”

Alternating POVs! Fun and challenging. I hope someone latches on to this post. Thanks so much for posting!

Hi Kelly,
I’m interested! I’ve just completed a YA fantasy that incorporates an ancient Welsh mythology with elements of girls in STEM. Told in alternating perspectives as well. I have a masters degree in English Lit and spent a decade ghost writing visionary books for C-suite leaders in hi-tech. I can send you an excerpt. Is there a way to private message on this platform?

Thank you! This is the first time I’ve written alternating POVs, but I had a lot of fun with it. I hope I did it justice!

Hi Liz, sounds interesting! I think I’m able to send PMs, let me give it a try.

You can absolutely send private messages by clicking on another user’s name. Here’s a screenshot of instructions: