Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Entry 11 Susan Oloier

Title: OUTCAST
Genre: YA Contemporary
Contact: Susan Oloier (susanoloier[at]gmail[dot]com

Pitch:
She wasn’t supposed to fall for Chad; he was part of the revenge plan. But Noelle risks friendship, love, and self to get even with Trina.

Second line of first paragraph of first chapter:
I felt it in the desert breeze, heard it in the sounds of broad tailed hummingbirds and mourning doves, and stared at it in the bathroom mirror.

First 250 from second chapter:

The ocotillos writhed and twisted out of the sandy, desert floor as dust devils curled and raced one another. The monsoon season proved a fraud, leaving the last of the autumn months dry and arid.

As I ran that morning, the September sun bled carmine and tangerine from its place in the eastern sky. The Arizona fever scorched the alien, oxide green of the golf courses to a raw sienna. Cumulous clouds, tethered to the air, taunted us. In the Midwest, people call this heat Indian summer. To us, it was a cool-down from the daunting summer temperatures of 120 degrees.

It was Sunday. Another Sunday of wiggling my way out of church. It became a ritual, a ceremony, and a game. I crept down the stairs with predatory stealth, slipping out the back door before my mother even realized I was awake. I escaped the house early enough to avoid 8:00 a.m. mass. My Reeboks beat a rhythm on the asphalt of Civic Center Boulevard. Sweat dampened my sports bra, pooled between my breasts.

The beat of The Black Eyed Peas greeted me as I labored through the door, and I knew Becca had evaded church, too. She took advantage of every moment, every second, of our parents’ absence. She paraded around the living room, phone pressed to her ear. She spotted me and made a curt one-eighty.

“Oh my God! Tell me he did not say that.”
Her chats always revolved around some guy. The new one: Carl.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, Susan!

    I can get a sense of (maybe) what this story is about from your title and pitch, but I think you can expand on that pitch. Make it more clear -- what did Trina do to make Noelle want revenge? If you can keep it succinct, I think that will make your pitch a bit more enticing.

    Absolutely LOVE your second sentence.

    I also really enjoyed your 250-word snippet. Your writing has a nice fluidity to it. The only thing I would change is the order of the second and third paragraphs. It seems like the third paragraph should come *before* the second.

    At the beginning of the second paragraph, the viewpoint character is running. I imagine her running outside. Which is fine. But then the beginning of paragraph three kind of goes backwards in time a bit to right before she left the house... and then she's outside running again. I think that would read more smoothly if you reversed those two paragraphs.

    Other than that, it's beautiful, and I enjoyed reading it. Good luck with this! :D

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  2. The pitch leaves me confused. Who is Trina? Why is she important enough to be in the pitch? Maybe say "get even with her enemy or something" There are too many names and not enough about why they are important.

    Your writing flowed well and kept me reading. I would do as Lydia suggested. Then I think you're good to go!

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  3. I have to agree with Lydia when it comes to your pitch. As it is written it is very interesting and makes me want to read more. However, what you have written leaves me confused becuase it doesn't delve right into the "meat" of the story. But I love your descriptions. You paint a visual that is immediate. I'd like to read more!

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  4. The writing is beautiful and fluid and very evocative, but the pitch didn't grab me at all. I got no idea about the story or the characters from it.

    At this stage, I'd read on because the writing is gorgeous, but if I was picking this up in a bookstore and read this pitch, I wouldn't buy the book.

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  5. I agree with the others that your pitch is not grabbing, I also wanted to know who Trina was, maybe you can say "get even with the one who wronged her" or something like that instead of the specific name because in this short pitch we already have three characters.

    You have a nice way of describing and using metaphors but I think that there's a bit too much description going on and some of it can be whittled down so more actual story can come through.

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