Monday, October 3, 2016

Nightmare on Query Street Free Pass!

This year, I'm offering each of you a chance to bypass the slush and go straight into the contest where you will receive mentor feedback and be featured in the agent round. You'll still have to wow the agents, though, so make sure your first page and query (and the entire manuscript) are as polished as you can get them before you submit. 

My Free Pass contest will be open until October 13. Yes, that's the day before the submission window opens. I want everyone to continue polishing their entries right up until the end. I'll post the winner at 8:00 AM EST on October 14.

To enter the contest, follow me on Twitter and answer the following question in the blog comments, using 50 words or less: What would your main character be for Halloween? 


Make sure you use the Rafflecopter and don't just leave a comment. The Rafflecopter will choose the winner, so your name has to be in it. There are many additional options for extra entries, so take advantage of them. Please note that you can tweet about the giveaway every day for additional entries. I reserve the right to disqualify entries without notice, for any reason. 

I'm offering a special thank you to anyone who preorders AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR and is not chosen for the final round. After the winners are announced, if you're not chosen, email proof of purchase to laura (at) pitchslamcontest (dot) com, and I will send feedback on your entry. You're still eligible even if you miss the submission window. Just send your entry along with proof of purchase. This offer is only available to those eligible for Nightmare on Query Street. 


Proof can be emailed through the end of October. You are NOT required to send proof in order to claim the Rafflecopter entry. There is no purchase required to enter the giveaway. Please note that feedback does not include line edits. You can view my award winning short story here or an excerpt from America's Next Reality Star here

To learn more about Nightmare on Query Street and eligibility, go here. Mentors will be posted Friday, agents go up next Monday, and we'll have a Twitter party later this month. Watch my blog for more details. 

Good luck with the free pass! And don't forget to check out Michelle Hauck's free pass giveaway, too!



95 comments:

  1. Vael normally wouldn't want to wear a costume - too flashy for his tastes - but Nimue would never let an opportunity like that pass. She'd force him to wear a couple's costume with her, him as a bumblebee and her as a pot of honey, because "We can never be apart, dearest". A promise and a threat.

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  2. Kassandra would drop a sheet over her head and call herself a ghost. No one would be able to see her. No one would be able to stare. She would be free for a day.

    Unfortunately (in Kass's opinion, anyway), her best friend Julie always chooses a costume for her. Julie turns them into a set of something every year. This year she has chosen ketchup and mustard.

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  3. Jonah would hate dressing up for Halloween. Unfortunately, he's wrapped around the finger his four-year-old niece, and would put on whatever she asked him to. He just can't tell Sophie no. Since Sophie is extremely girly and loves Princesses, so he would be the Prince Charming to her Cinderella. @dmhaas178

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  4. Kimberly would be dressed as Joan of Arc. She is a hero and a fighter for justice by choice, not just someone who has been thrown into the role by circumstance. Kimberly's childhood showed her the tragic consequences that await unsuspecting young girls and she is on a mission to eradicate those who perpetuate such evil.

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  5. Ros would dress in a golden gown with bright floral clusters for Halloween. It would be a dream come true to be kissed as passionately as Klimt portrays in his art masterpiece 'The Kiss.' Ros sometimes wishes to be inside a romance novel rather than a contemporary fantasy.

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  6. As a sci-fi geek, Delta would dress as T'Pol from Star Trek, because T'Pol is strong, smart, confident, but unfeeling--and she can take care of herself. It's all how Delta would like to be right now.

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  7. Aziza Lee, London lawyer to the dead, would dress as the grim reaper--with a rowing oar instead of a scythe.

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  8. Vizzini from THE PRINCESS BRIDE, complete with bald cap. E.J. loooves the movie, is short, prefers costumes with pockets for easy pilfering of contraband, and cannot resist slurring like a Sicilian.

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  9. Neri thinks she is already in costume, having traded her tail for legs. But she would dress as a mermaid noblewoman and try to sneak into her father's palace to slit his throat.

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  10. Teres, a Trojan War mercenary, would dress up as his god Dyalus (Dionysus) with a loincloth and a crown made of clusters of grapes.

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  11. Luke is a werewolf, so he'd think it was funny to wear a wolf-man mask and some furry gloves.

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  12. Hailey loves the Roaring Twenties, so she would dress as Greta Garbo or Gloria Swanson and rock the Art Deco period and sensual look!

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  13. Elle goes to one party as a witch, but her favourite costume is the wizard she dresses as for the party at her local pub. She takes her real magical staff, but the false beard is a pain when she kisses her boyfriend!

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  14. Nia would be a ghost, mostly because that would be the easiest costume for her to pull together (her threadbare sheets arleady have some holes in them she could use to see out of). She would also enjoying jumping out and scaring people, because she's mean like that. @vfcarr

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  15. Mia doesn't really approve of Halloween, thinking it's a little childish, but her twin, Derek, loves it and dresses them in "twin costumes." One costume she did agree to dress up as was as The Doctor and Donna, as she and Derek are both closet Whovians. @Twin_Lotus

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  16. One thing's for certain, Alana will not dress as a stable boy. In fact, she's so weary of wearing men's clothing, she'd prefer to wear the frilliest, richest, most elegant gown she can find, no matter how uncomfortable. How about impersonate Castile & Aragon's Queen Isabella?

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  17. One thing's for certain, Alana will not dress as a stable boy. In fact, she's so weary of wearing men's clothing, she'd prefer to wear the frilliest, richest, most elegant gown she can find, no matter how uncomfortable. How about impersonate Castile & Aragon's Queen Isabella?

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  18. Ecophysiologist Jen Preston would dress as a tree for Halloween. Not just any tree, but an anatomically correct Sugar Maple, from the red and gold leaves of her crown to the tips of her sturdy boots, er—roots. She’d make her costume by upcycling found materials, minimizing her carbon footprint. @ChessKendle

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  20. One thing for certain, Adrianna would dress as Queen Elizabeth Tudor. She wants to be remembered in history as one of the greatest of all time. She wants what's best for the her people, other than the politics. @VanessaEPeay

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    1. Aiden would not dress up for Halloween because it's silly. Unfortunately, he wouldn't have any choice with his new friend Jessie around. She would dress up in the flashiest witch costume available and dress him up as her black cat. He would grumble the entire time, but secretly like it.

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  22. Catherine Abbott wears autumn flowers in her hair when she attends a corn husking party on All Hallow's Eve in colonial Virginia. In the flickering light of a bonfire, her handsome employer thinks she looks as beautiful and otherworldly as a fairy. He doesn't know yet that he loves her. @LonnaSeibert

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  23. Chrestienne would be herself for Halloween--she’d revel in her fate to become the villain who's prophesied to destroy her country. When Halloween was over, she’d put her disguise back on, assume anonymity, and go back to trying to avoid that fate. Yeah, it's complicated. @AdrianneKar

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  24. Evie would deliberate between Supergirl and Squirrel Girl for awhile, and in the end, she would choose Squirrel Girl. She likes to be a little offbeat. @christiemegill

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  25. Wella would be working at her pizza delivery job on Halloween, but she'd dress up as a zombie. No holding back on the gore. The bloodier, the better. @LAnnPalma

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  26. My main character, Selene, would have a tough time deciding between something really girlie to freak out her comrades, and something scary to also scare the crap out of her comrades. In the end, she'd most likely go as something sketchy like the nurses from Silent Hill.

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  27. Leona would be Salome. She's betrothed to Bernat, who can't wait to break the betrothal. If he beds her, though, the marriage is made. She'll do whatever it takes to get him into bed, and if that means performing the Dance of the Seven Veils...so be it. @gallatinmoore

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  28. With a gift of masks,Anastasia can technically be anyone, so Halloween's not a big draw for her, but if Janet dragged her to a party she'd probably dress as La Catrina...and pop a witch's hat on top. A fantastic way to simultaneously scare and draw out Hunters. @Megan_Urrutia

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  30. Being anonymous is a big draw for Isidora, so she prefers to wear masks, but to get under her father's skin she'd gladly don an entire outfit and dress as his mother - the only person who scares him.

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  31. Sloan is all in for candy, not in for costumes. But with a nudge from her friends, she’d give in to participating in a group costume—something in the vein of the Avengers or Big Hero 6. She would make her own costume and end up having a great time.

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  32. If they had Halloween in Livy's realm, she would dress up as her personal bodyguard, just to mess with him. She'd walk around behind him all night, warning him to be careful and make good choices.

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  33. Clare's story actually starts on Halloween but she's too busy with swim practice to go trick-or-treating. Her big brother however scares her with his "horrible" (according to Gran) zombie mask.

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  34. Dressing up in a costume for fun would seem frivolous to Godai. However, masquerading as a lady of the court to steal jewels or wreak revenge on the lover who jilted her, that's more her style.

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  35. Marc would be a giant, inflatable T-Rex. Goofy and fun, but yet representative of a beast who could strike fear into any living creature. T-Rex to him is a golden oldie from a simpler time. More than anything he'd like to turn back time, but he's left fighting for survival. Fighting to avoid his own extinction.

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  36. Celia's first thought would be to dress as a wallflower. But instead, she chose to go as Glinda the Good Witch.

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  37. Angela would be an elf (the Christmas kind, not the Tolkien kind). Mainly because said elves, along with Santa, are out to get her, and she would find it funny to impersonate them.

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  38. Cleo Green would dress up as a railroad crossing gate (stripes, with light blinking). She needs to maintain control of all comings and goings on her block, and she is convinced her bullying and deceptions are justifiable as long as she can keep everyone safe.

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  39. Halloween doesn’t exist on Aev’s planet. But, Solicitors in Underground are colorful and jeweled. Because she would relate to these people as being “costumed,” she would plait her hair with jewels, paint her face in metalics, and drape herself in bright cloth, wasting nothing, using only what she could find.

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  40. Cath doesn't like to stand out in a crowd. She would probably make like Willow Rosenberg on Buffy and be a ghost or something equally attention-avoiding. Paul would still notice her, though.

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  41. Grayson would dress as a mad scientist, as a honor to her father who was killed, who was also a scientist.

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  42. Anna would dress up like her older sister in slutty clothes, a long black wig, false eyelashes, and gobs of makeup. Maybe then her mother would pay attention to her.

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  43. Evette would dress up as a dryad by covering a dress in leaves and wearing a hat made from twigs.

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  44. Gary would be a construction worker. He could borrow part of his brother's work outfit.

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  45. Austen would be a female version of Indiana Jones. With all the adventures she gets into, she'll need the extra chutzpah!

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  46. Hmmmm.....I think Julia would be the faceless horror of the Legislature. She would dress in all white, paint her face white and draw x's over her eyes and mouth to represent the oppressive nature of the Legislature. She would also have a doll attached to her stomach to represent all the baby stealing and killing that happens. She'd also carry a speculum to represent the forced birth laws. Now that I'm writing this, I see my book is pretty horrific.

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  47. Prea would put as little effort into a Halloween costume as possible. She might show up at school wearing a white button-down shirt, lots of gold bracelets, a NY Yankee's baseball cap, jeans, and high heels, and tell everyone she was Beyonce at a Yankee game.

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  48. Celina would dress as an angel, just to grate on her revenge demon's nerves.

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  49. Granu would consider dressing as a prey species (like a human), but she'd fear that the irony would be lost on some. Her own features are far too humanoid for a proper troll. Instead, she'd choose the lead singer of her favorite band Grimey Virus.

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  50. Diana would be Wonder Woman for Halloween. Since she witnessed an assassination attempt on the Canadian Prime Minster, she had help from her bodyguard to protect her and to keep the secret voucher out of harm's way.

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  51. Princess Anadithia would dress up as a Crow Rider. Her kingdom was once protected my massive Crows with elemental magic and the soldiers who rode them, but the Crows were destroyed before she could become a Rider. She would dress up as a Rider to honor the Crows and the Riders who were killed, and to show her people that their kingdom is still strong.

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  52. Peter would want to dress up as Robin Hood, since he and his friends are starting a secret vigilante club at their boarding school.

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  53. Rayne wears a costume everyday when she puts on the uniform of a soldier fighting for something she's not sure she believes in.

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  54. Kayla would go as herself. Her day job is costume enough. Grant would go as himself as well, in his true form as a kelpie.

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  55. Being an elementary school teacher, Laney would dress up as a character from a popular children's book. She's not a big fan of dressing up so she'd do something simple like Thing One/Thing Two or the Cat in the Hat.

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  56. A vampire, red and black are her favorite colors.

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  57. Skadi would go as a legendary dragon slayer while her friends Tav and Geon went as the slain dragon.

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  58. Gwen is an art history buff so she would dress like a sexy pop art painting complete with makeup she painted herself.

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  59. As a vampire, Anne is about as scary as they come, so she'd like to be the opposite of scary for Halloween. She remembers fondly her time as a simple kitchen maid, where her biggest worry was spending all day stirring the cooking pot. Safe and surrounded with friends.

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  60. As a martial artist—specifically in Wing Chun—Amea would dress as Bruce Lee. She would probably go for the infamous yellow jumpsuit, because she wishes he finished his last film…and she likes Kill Bill: Volume I, too.

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  61. Allen would dress as Beast from X-Men. His mutations make it hard for him to have a relationship, and they often change his shape and make him an outcast.

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  62. Belle would wear any costume with a full, non-scary mask, like a full Venetian masquerade Mardi Gras costume.

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  63. My wife and I are Disney Haunted Mansion fans. When our daughter was born I made a wood-carved silhouette of the Mansion with three ghosts hovering in the front. We added a small 4th ghost when my son was born. Kids are 12 and 16, so we've had that decoration as a family tradition for 16 years now.

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    1. Oops. Hit the wrong Copy and Paste. My main character would be Link from the Zelda games. In my first draft of my book Pendulum Arcanum, my main character actually dressed as Link, but in subsequent drafts he played D&D instead of going to a halloween dance.

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  64. Helena would go dressed up as the 11th Dr. Who because it's her favorite show. She'd definitely wear a bow tie because bow ties are cool.

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  65. What would my characters be for Halloween? I think Jane would dust off some old dance costumes and throw some things together and call her self a woodsprite. It would be a light and fun moment for her, an escape in many ways. Daniel would cover himself in statistics test formulas and call himself "Statman."

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  66. Lia would be a fierce Viking Shield Maiden. Since she was very young, Lia's been haunted by images of another time; a time and place that feels too familiar to simply be a dream.

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  67. Kat would dress up as Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. Kara Thrace's cigar-chomping, hard-drinking, give-the-bird-to-authority attitude holds a lot of appeal. Plus that awesome wing tattoo.
    @LivBartlet

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  68. Track and field is the only place Dani can escape her horrendous foster family. Hands down, she would dress up as the greatest runner of our time: Usain Bolt.

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  69. An embarrassingly bright yellow Pikachu to make her kids smile.

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  70. Karim would probably be Danny from GREASE. He loves his ladies and enjoys disguising himself (if he appeared as himself he'd scare the crap out of humans). The hair and leather jacket would be a definite win for him.

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  71. Kaylene would probably dress as a literary character. She would spend hours creating a costume to match her favorite character (perhaps Alanna from Song of the Lioness or Keledry from Protector of the Small). She would obsess over the small details even though she'd know that she's the only one who notices. Still, she'd be very proud of her work when wearing it.

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  72. Catie would definitely be Hermonie in her school uniform. (Not the robes -- the sweater, button down shirt, skirt, knee highs).

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  73. The Lone Ranger. Wearing a mask is always preferable to showing your feelings. And riding a horse? Bonus!

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  74. Sara would dress up like Alice in Wonderland. Never feeling like she's quite in the right time and getting caught up in a whirlwind of events in her boyfriend's white VW Rabbit.

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  75. Maya was already a dragon fruit for her costume soccer game. For halloween, she'll probably continue her Southern obsession and dress up as Mestre Edaline, the Guard's terror teacher and master swords-woman.

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  76. Maya was already a dragon fruit for her costume soccer match. For halloween, she'll continue her Southern obsession and dress up as Mestre Edaline, the scariest trainer of the Souther Guard, and best swordswoman in Iriadi.

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  77. If he were to dress up,Paul would be a knight in shining armor. It's the part he has been playing for his princess (his little sister) since they were kids.

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  78. Nya longs for the Holly Hobby costume they’re selling down at the Kmart, the one that would break her mother's heart and her father's bank account. Instead, come Monday night, she’ll be walking the sidewalk in her homemade robot costume with its construction paper coils and rick rack braiding

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  79. Presuming it's this coming Halloween...

    Martin would convince Haley to go as Beth so he could dress as a gender-flipped Helena. And she'd get mad that she didn't get to be Helena, so instead she'd be Helena and he'd have to be Felix. But once he decided to be Felix, Haley'd be upset that she didn't think of Felix so in the end:

    Haley'd go as Felix and M'd go as Helena and Haley would end up chasing after him the whole night in a Felix and Helena kind of way.

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  81. Kimberly Watson is a genius, driven by her need to solve puzzles, make connections between seemingly unconnected crimes and work tirelessly with a single-minded purpose to end the evil; she would dress ad Sherlock Holmes for Halloween.

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  82. Charlie came to the party under the pretense that he was Vivaldi, but he was really just toting his violin and incidentally in need of a haircut.

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  83. MAry would dress as La Muerte because she has a dark sense of humor and she's already dead.

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  84. This is kind of weird, but I think Mia would dress up as Whoopi Goldberg from Sister Act (1 or 2, both are amazing), since she is a lapsed Catholic with an irreverent sense of humor.

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  85. Guy would rather hide in the shadows than dress up for Halloween. Maybe he'd dress up as the ghost of deceased father.

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  86. Emily has no patience for nonsense, so she wouldn't dress up for Halloween. She's too busy with school and keeping her prankster sister Aubrey in line to waste time with pointless holidays. (Her words, not mine!)

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  87. Johan’s costume would be a steamboat captain. He spends a lot of time fishing along the Mississippi River and dreams of piloting his own boat to places more exotic than his small town home north of Memphis.

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  88. This Halloween, Ellie Tieman will go as Dorothy, who killed the Wicked Witch. Gorman, one of her many rescue dogs, will be Toto. She would love to go as a lion-tamer, but fears it would make the police start asking questions again.

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  89. Becca would dress as Vivian, Julia Roberts’s character in PRETTY WOMAN because not only would she already have the outfit, but she loves Viv’s openness about her sexuality, yet maintains boundaries (no kissing on the lips). Viv has also faced misogyny daily but perseveres & knows she deserves the best.

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  90. Corey Roote would be the knight Solaire from the video game Dark Souls. He’s an old soul who’s all about jolly cooperation and finding cohorts. Besides, a silver spraypainted bucket for a helmet is pretty easy to come by, seeing as Corey’s family aren’t well off.

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  91. If she can summon the strength to celebrate, Isabelle would dress up as Eeyore as she can closely relate to his perpetual sadness. Ian would dress up as a white knight because he rides in on his horse and saves the day.

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  92. Guin would dress as The Woman in White from one of her favorite Victorian novels.

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  93. Duncan would love to dress as a black cat for Halloween for three reasons: 1. He could get away with his stand-offish behavior. 2. It would be helpful for catching those mice in his house. 3. It would be much easier to blend in to the dark London streets at night.

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