Sunday, February 26, 2012

March Madness Prep #4

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 47400

(Updated 10:15 p.m.)

Seventeen-year-old Alaina wants to be a “princess.” When the perfect boy kisses her, she thinks it might finally happen. But her toxic best friend, Kendra, is determined to convince her she’ll always be a frog.

First 150 Words:
     The bell rang, and I jumped out of my seat, scurrying out the door before my best friend, Kendra, could catch up with me.  I hate ditching her like this every day, but it’s easier than fighting.

     “Hi gorgeous, how was your day?” My second best friend, Jarod, met me at the door with a hug and took my books.

     Every day, Jarod meets me after 6th period. He acts like he hasn’t seen me in months, even though it’s only been a few hours. We only have band together this year, and we never get to talk. So every day it’s the same routine. Jarod leaves study hall two minutes before the end of last period and sprints across the school so he can be waiting when the bell rings.  

     I glanced back.  Mr. Finn was talking to Kendra about her grades again.  I had at least five minutes.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*


  1. In the pitch, you don't need the comma before "princess." Otherwise, the pitch sounds good to me. And intriguing.
    The writing: 2 (and any number under 100) should be written out. As in, it should be "two." Otherwise, I liked it. Best of luck.

  2. Intriguing pitch. Can you add more conflict? What are the stakes for the main character, apart from her best friend calling her a frog? What is she up against?
    The comma before princess threw me too.
    Overall the interaction between the characters is well written and very visual, which is a great start. I'd read on.

  3. Your writing is very good, but a few things threw me with this entry. "Toxic" best friend implies a negative feeling, why is she friends with Kendra if she is toxic? And then in your opening paragraph it says a boy named Jarod is her best friend. It's a tad confusing. There's a lot of telling going on in your opening paragraphs. What if you slowed down, let us get to know your character a bit? This read very MG to me. And also, take a look at your opening sentence. They say the opening sentence should be a hook, should contain some hint about the main conflict of your story. So far I'm not hooked. I think you have a great idea here, I'd just slow things down a bit and try dramatizing your scene instead of telling me what's going on. Hope this helps. Good luck!!

  4. Ooops! That comma isn't supposed to be there. I noticed my pitch was 36 words long (instead of the 35 we were supposed to have), so I deleted an adjective. I thought I deleted the comma too, but I guess I missed it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    I appreciate your comments. :)

  5. I've reworked my pitch and my opening to make them both (hopefully) stronger. (I'm hoping Jessica will have time to post the revisions here, but if not that's okay.) Thanks so much for your suggestions!

  6. The pitch confuses me... why is her best friend toxic? why is her best friend convincing Alaina is a frog? The first sentence makes me think Alaina is childish. What is the point of the story. Why do we want to read about Alaina?

    The excerpt is a lot of showing. You just describe Alaina's friends but we learn nothing of Alaina except that she has 2 best friends. So......

    Good Luck

  7. The frog bit does kind of confuse me...I'm not sure if you mean a literal frog or a figurative one. The tense switch in the first 250 words also confused me, since the crux of the story is in past tense but then you're jumping to present during the explanation. It should really all be in either past or present.

    Good luck!

  8. Thanks for your help, everyone! I've done another round of edits, and I'm now watching the clock and waiting to send in my submission for the pitch madness as soon as the clock strikes noon! Good luck to all :)