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Welcome to Son of a Pitch! The tenth entry… Please save comment area for the participating authors’ feedback. I will put my thoughts at the bottom of the post. Because I can. If you don’t want to know what I think, close your eyes. If you read my opinions and agree, want to add, or completely disagree… GO FOR IT!

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Title: All The World’s a Stage

Age and Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 73K

Query:

Seventeen-year-old London Campbell has a knack for new identities. Reinventing herself has helped her survive the past four years of being shuttled around the US. But when she lands in a small town dressed more like a zombie ninja than a normal teenager, the new kid protocol goes out the window. And so does her control. As the clothes in her closet change to match her new identity, London begins to wonder where the real London is.

After a wreck side-lined eighteen-year-old Jacob Nolan from his BMX passion, he suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. With his friends nagging him to be social and his father drilling him for being a disappointment, Jacob wants them all to go away. And when the new chick rolls into town dressed like the plague, he hits his tolerance limit.

During an after school visit, one of the teachers suffers a heart attack and London administers CPR, a skill she learned in a former identity. She hides when help comes and forces Jacob to take credit. The benefits Jacob receives don’t outweigh the burden of living with the lie, but Jacob soon learns that some truths are not any easier.

FIRST 250

Thanks to Mr. Ferguson, Tuesday quickly became my least favorite day of the week. My footsteps boomed down the deserted halls. I wondered if this is how I’d remember this place. Dark and empty. Once I preferred the halls to be lined with familiar faces. Not so much now.

I found Ferguson hunched over his desk, alone in his classroom, scanning the paper he held. I cleared my throat and walked through the door, finding that a sufficient substitute for knocking.

“Your punctuality pleases me, Mr. Nolan.” Ferguson glanced at the clock, an impish grin already in place.

I dropped into the chair at the table directly facing his desk, per the requirement. Any measure of personal space wasn’t allowed. Ferguson wanted our meetings to be the epitome of discomfort.

“Pleasing you is my top goal.” I pressed my spine to the back of the chair. Slouching felt too relaxed. I needed to be alert.

“We agreed that sarcasm would be checked at the door.” He folded his hands across his chest. “Didn’t we?”

I blinked in agreement. Rhetorical questions were traps. Like most adults, Fergie thought he knew what was best for me. He thought he knew what I needed.

“Tell me about your day.”

“Why do we have to start here each time?” I drummed my fingertips across the table. Time crawled during these sessions, supporting my belief this special purgatory was designed to test my will.

 

Oooh…a contemporary…not my normal thing, but here we go! Hold on tight.

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Query:

Seventeen-year-old London Campbell has a knack for new identities. Reinventing herself has helped her survive the past four years of being shuttled around the US. (Why is she being shuttled around? Parents’ jobs? Foster homes?) But when she lands in a small town dressed more like a zombie ninja than a normal teenager (because she wanted to be different? She thought she would blend in? Why dress like that?), the new kid protocol goes out the window. (Why? What exactly is the new kid protocol for her?) And so does her control. (and she doesn’t like that? Is she used to having control? How does she usually react to moving, to new schools? Why is this one different?) As the clothes in her closet change to match her new identity, London begins to wonder where the real London is. (Love this.)

After a wreck side-lined eighteen-year-old Jacob Nolan from his BMX passion, he suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. With his friends nagging him to be social and his father drilling him for being a disappointment, Jacob wants them all to go away. And when the new chick rolls into town dressed like the plague, he hits his tolerance limit. (why? What is it about her that pushes him over the edge?)

During an after school visit, one of the teachers suffers a heart attack and London administers CPR, a skill she learned in a former identity. She hides when help comes and forces Jacob to take credit. (This sentence might read better if it’s switched a bit…When help comes, she hides, forcing Jacob to take credit.) The benefits Jacob receives don’t outweigh the burden of living with the lie, but Jacob soon learns that some truths are not any easier.

Overall…From the query, I expect a dual POV ms. I am left wondering what the characters want and what they fight to get it. I know their past…I know a bit about them and their stories intrigue me…I know London cause a problem for Jacob…but what is the final choice here, the stakes for their decisions? What is this ms building up to?

 

FIRST 250

Thanks to Mr. Ferguson, Tuesday quickly became my least favorite day of the week. (Love this opener!) My footsteps boomed down the deserted halls. I wondered if this is how I’d remember this place (What place? Where is the mc? Sights, sounds, smells?). Dark and empty. Once I preferred the halls to be lined with familiar faces. Not so much now.

I found Ferguson hunched over his desk, alone in his classroom, (he’s a teacher? Of what? What’s in the room?) scanning the paper he held. I cleared my throat and walked through the door, finding that a sufficient substitute for knocking.

“Your punctuality pleases me, Mr. Nolan.” Ferguson glanced at the clock, an impish grin already in place.

I dropped into the chair at the table directly facing his desk, per the requirement. Any measure of personal space wasn’t allowed. Ferguson (What does he look like?) wanted our meetings to be the epitome of discomfort.

“Pleasing you is my top goal.” I pressed my spine to the back of the chair. Slouching felt too relaxed. I needed to be alert.

“We agreed that sarcasm would be checked at the door.” He folded his hands across his chest. “Didn’t we?”

I blinked in agreement. Rhetorical questions were traps. Like most adults, Fergie (Nice nickname! HAHA!) thought he knew what was best for me. He thought he knew what I needed.

“Tell me about your day.”

“Why do we have to start here each time?” I drummed my fingertips across the table. Time crawled during these sessions, supporting my belief this special purgatory was designed to test my will. (So…some type of therapy?)

Overall…I get a great sense of the character’s frustration. Mr. Nolan has problems and I am curious to know what. I like the voice. I’d like a bit of description, just a few brushstrokes to add dimension and character development.

 

Thanks for submitting! I hope this helps and if not simply ignore me.

Writers unite!

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