Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Entry 15 A. J. Spindle

Title: The Bridge Between Two Minds
Genre: YA
Contact: ajspindle(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pitch: Seventeen-year-old Alice Reid can handle pain, she’s been trained to. But training isn’t enough when her best friend, Daniel Cole, takes a bullet for her. Being a student at KAT was supposed to be like a spy movie, a place where they train teens to work for the CIA. Now she has to deal with her emotions and find his killer before the killer finds her.

2nd line: If I hadn’t tripped, he’d still be here; Alive.

First 250 of 2nd Chapter:
Beep, beep, whir. Beep, beep, whir.

Low noises, white lights. My body hurt like no other. I felt groggy and confused, my head heavier than normal. It took me a minute to realize I was dressed in a hospital gown, stretched out on a bed. Without moving I could feel the IV taped to my arm and shuddered, sending pain radiating up my spine. I sucked in a breath. Ew, I hate needles. I didn’t want to open my eyes with the bright lights over me, but someone was holding my hand. It was rough and calloused. I peeked from under my eyelids to find Dan sitting in the chair next to my bed.

“Hey, how do you feel?” he asked me. I stared at him, it was all I could do.

“Dan?” It was really him sitting next to me. Breathing. Alive.

“Yes, Alice?” he asked. “What do you need?”

“You’re not dead,” I said evenly. My voice was soft like a whisper but I knew he could hear me.

“Neither are you, thankfully.” He tried to smile. Had he been crying? His face betrayed no emotion, but behind his eyes I thought I saw something.

“I’m not dead?” I asked, my voice thick with uncertainty. I didn’t feel dead, but then again I had no idea what “dead” felt like.

“No,” he said and then his smile faltered. “Why did you take the bike?”

The bike. His bike that I had ruined in the crash.


  1. Hello A. J.! Congrats on making it into the contest!

    Pitch Comments:

    I really liked the pitch up until the last sentence. That one sort of felt like a cop-out, like a rushed add on to state what she has to do. The rest of it had great voice.

    Second Sentence of the First Paragraph Comments:

    I like it, but I would either cut 'Alive' altogether, or change it to say 'If I hadn't tripped, he would still be alive.' As is, the tone of the first part told me that 'he' was dead. So when I got to the semicolon and 'Alive' part I was like 'duh, he'd dead.'

    First 250 of the Second Chapter Comments:

    The line 'My body hurt like no other' read awkwardly to me. The rest created a great scene in my mind. I could practically hear the sounds of the hospital.

    By the end, I'm thinking that there's something going on here, as in, she's seen him dead, but has been sent back in time, or seen a future that hasn't happened yet, or something to that effect. If so, it'd be nice to have a more obvious clue right off the bat. I, myself, am the world's worst at not hinting enough at things, so maybe I'm thinking about it too much. But I'd like even just one line of Alice thinking to herself 'This is impossible, Dan is dead!' so I'm not left thinking I know what's going on, but not sure. Of course, this is just 250, so maybe the rest of the scene covers this. If so, ignore my quibbles :)

    Overall, really enjoyed it. Good luck and happy writing!

  2. I really, really, really like this entry! I think the second line is extremely powerful, and yet like the comment above, I agree that the word "alive" is unnecessary. Your 250 words are really strong. Very flowy. I love your straightforward, direct approach. You create great imagery without being overly "writerly" The only thing I would change is to lose the "Ew" in "Ew. I hate needles." That really knocked me off my bicycle. I was thinking that this girl is a tough cookie, telling it like it is. She's used to living in a high-stress world. She's fuelled by adrenaline, and then she goes all girly and says, "Ew." Hmmmmm...
    But I'm really hooked. I would definitely keep reading! Way to go, and good luck.
    P.S. Love the name Alice.

  3. The pitch is not bad, but it can use some editing to make it a little short, maybe take out the part about training teens for the CIA because the idea that is already conveyed by the line before it about KAT being like a spy movie.

    I did like your line/paragraph, I think you conveyed enough without being overly informative so there seems like there'd be a good flow into the rest of the story.

  4. Hi A.j.

    This sounds very interesting. What is KAT? Is this defined in the first chapter? Or are we supposed to know what it is by being told it is like a spy movie? I also wasn't sure about the line "my body hurt like no other" no other what? All in all, I would like to read more.

  5. Hi A.J.!
    Your story sounds intriguing. Here is my 2 cents, for what it's worth:
    Pitch: I like it. I appreciate the fact that you spelled out what KAT is. My only suggestion is to use a dash to offset "spy movie" from "a place..." The comma doesn't seem right there and is distracting.
    2nd line: I like this, too. Another punctuation suggestion. I would keep alive, but have a period precede it, so it is all by itself to make it more pointed.
    250 words: I have spent way more time in hospitals with with younger son than I care to, so a few things feel inauthentic to me about the setting. The beep, beep, whir. I know where you're going with this, but I would rather know what she's hooked up to (the beep of the heart monitor, etc.) What makes a whir? It just didn't put me in a hospital room. Also, bright lights. The only time bright lights have been turned on my son and his bed was when the drs were working on him. Otherwise, they dim them. I know, totally nitpicky. But I wasn't in a real hospital room when I read this passage. That being said, I absolutely love your voice! I felt connected to the characters already.
    Good luck!