13 chapters / 4558 words

Approximately 23 minutes to read


"Now that I know the ugly truth hidden behind their eyes, I'm hopelessly lost."

Popular dancer, Dakota Wright, thought she had everything. Amazing friends, a great boyfriend, the latest fashions, and incredible talent. But a switch from dull Rexford High to the San Diego School of Performing Arts puts it all on the line. Friendships are broken, relationships are shattered, and Dakota realizes her baseball star boyfriend and fabulous Rexford friends aren't as trustful as she believed.

Once Dakota thinks she’s fought her way back to Queen-Be at her new school, dirty secrets are uncovered that alter her life forever. Popularity becomes the least of her worries because no matter how much she wants to be perfect, she'll always be flawed.


Writing, Drama, Romance



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over 6 years ago D.J. Hemingway said:

SP: Popularity has a price. It just depends on how much you're willing to pay—I would omit "for it." That's understood from the first statement and just adds unnecessary words.

LP: Just wondering about "switch." It implies change in her life, but, if you're dealing with facts and not the abstract, you could use "transfer."

trustful—I think you mean trustworthy

Queen be? Do you mean queen bee? way back (up) to queen bee

Nice last line!

Chapter 1

The "rest" sentence is awkward, because you're starting the subject with "the rest of the dancers." Because of its structure, it's hard to rearrange, but here goes: Five more times I practiced the kick lines and leaps for the routine with the rest of the dancers until . . . But she had just dropped to her knees, you may need a line to say she leaped back up, or dragged herself back up to do this.

close with her—close to her

You're breaking up the paragraphs too much, and they all look the same size, so the eye zeros in on this. Attach Kayla's conversation together in the same paragraph.

Kayla pointed out . . . us. "You know how . . ." but you don't need the explanation afterward, thinking of the glory. If you use it, take out "present."

I'm going to scrunch your dialogue together and you see how by taking out some of the explanations and omitting some words, it becomes better:

"If you girls don't try your hardest, we won't win Best Overall Dance Explosion this weekend," Kayla pointed out, pacing back and forth between us. "You know how amazing that would be? We could move on to Nationals." (I think Nationals is capitalized.)

Add something that transfers the thoughts back to Dakota. I smiled despite how tired I was. Nationals were an honour to attend . . . Then it's in her head (POV) and it doesn't sound like a tacked-on explanation.

When the hand comes down on her shoulder, she has to swivel (not swerve) to face her before the line. You could insert it right at the beginning. "Dakota," said Kayla as I swivelled to face her. "I've got . . . "

stepping foot—setting foot

"Thanks, Kayla(.)" I smiled

cocky(,) but . . . switch comma position

scolded—use her name, and just the first name, not the last. Work in that she's your best friend another way, by showing or thoughts/memories about her.

point of view (POV)—don't need to describe your hair, or face. It doesn't work in first person point of view, because you would never think of yourself that way. Only if you were thinking about your hair (How I loved the curls.) If you notice, in novels in 1st person you usually get a description if the person sits in front of the mirror, or someone else mentions a feature.

cocky is repeated from above. Not sure I like the word "cocky" used too many times for girls. Plus I don't think she would think of herself in that way, since it has negative connotations. Confident, overconfident, maybe, or something better.

we ('d) bonded

Now being—sounds awkward. Now that we were both sophomores

Adding a bit too much explanation after the dialogue: she added, licking, she groaned as she slipped. Put the dialogue together and use only one tag with expression or action.

not sure that stonewashed jeans would shine.

Don't explain that you have dancers bodies, you don't need to. Obvious in conversation. Show, don't tell.

was the first words, would be "were" but you're on the phone so the visual of "out of her mouth" doesn't work.

almost always "got" me—picked me up?

These two sentences contradict each other: I expected her to say yes, she usually always got me when I wanted (which she had, said yes, I mean). Sometimes I thought it was to keep me out of her way—if you mean putting her in dance classes, okay, but it seems to relate to coming to pick her up, which doesn't make sense.


loads (of money)

work was doing well, the(n) she was doing well.

switch: wasn't always

seeing the anxious look (POV) You're still in your POV even though your mother is speaking, so can't "see" what she's seeing.

The description is a bit overdone. Try to reduce the adjectives. Look up "Weak adjectives and adverbs" on the Internet.

turned (her head—take it out, because it's understood) toward me

POV—you wouldn't describe your expressions, you'd describe your feelings. Don't use "present," either. It makes the sentence too stiff and formal.

competitors at every competition—can you think of a different word for either competitors or competition, because of the repeat.

whose—who's boss

blunt bangs—take out "type"

Interesting introduction. You introduced the dance academy teacher, the best friend and the mother quite well. You have structural problems with dialogue and you need to develop a bit more voice with Dakota, but it's coming.

Chapter Two

make it just in time—specify what you need to do: get transferred? register for the second semester at the arts school?

Eric Thelon (had been) my boyfriend . . .

Eric being . . . is an awkward sentence. Describe him in a couple of sentences and try to avoid the word "being."

hoped that (I—remove, typo) going

miss you a lot," she asked—but it's a statement, not a question.


I don't think her mom would be concerned about her boyfriend if she transfers schools. If he's decent, he'd still go out with her, if not, he's not worth having. She'd be more concerned with her having to make new friends, and keep up her academic standing, etc.

Several times you should end dialogue with a period, but you don't. Example: "Alright," she gave in, "if you . . . homework, I'll call him," I thanked her . . . Should read: "Alright," she gave in. "If you go . . . homework, I'll call him." I thanked . . . Scan for these.

Making loud footsteps, I pretended to step up the stairs. footsteps/step = repetition. Climb the stairs?

I could feel the automatic scowl—would be a good sentence, but you wouldn't feel it, you'd envision it, picture it.

Good flashback, very revealing and shows the depth of Dakota's struggle, what her ruling passion or greatest desire is: to be loved (by her father).

Word use: informed, not the right word, he's not giving information, he's just stating the facts of their agreement—stated would work, or if he's angry, snapped or something else.

I like the line: a buzz of broken hearts and a broken family

I(') heard him speak

for-" not dash, m-dash: for—

help me pick the perfect breakup outfit (for me) don't need "for me" since "help me" says the same thing.

Ahh, the superficiality, breakup outfit. I believe it, that's the sad thing.

remove second "about."

knock came to—came "at" my door

she (had) made the decision

You've got a great start here. The contrast between the superficiality of friends and the depth of emotion with your protagonist's central issue works very well. Technically, you'll have to work on sentence structure, word use, punctuation and dialogue. The dialogue, itself, is mostly believable, but you add too much explanation that isn't in the main character's POV. Description needs to be pared. Investigate weak adjectives and adverbs and take a look at how most authors work in description.

I'll keep an eye on it in the future and see how your revision goes!


over 6 years ago Jessica LeAnn said:

And then, he kissed me. You don't know how long I waited for that Line!

Ahhh, This story is getting Better and Better :D