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Friday, August 5, 2011

Contest Time Again. Revise-Third time a Charm Righ?

 Okay guys, I've reworked the first paragraph more.  I still left the last 3 sentences. I kind of need them so it flows with the next.  I fixed up the stars part, who and argue when so many agree.  Thanks so much for your opinion.  I really appreciate it!  Scroll down and let me know what you think.

Gabriela Lessa sent me an email to let me know she's holding a contest.  This contest is a great one. All the judges are from Sourcebooks, how great is that? All you have to do is enter the first paragraph of your work of art with a pitch.  The first paragraph is easy, that part is already done.  What I found out is the pitch is a lot harder than I thought.
So. I'm posting my entry for you to critique.  Here goes:  Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Name: Cynthia

Title: Light Weight 

Genre: YA

Manuscript word count. 74,091

Judge: Leah Hultenschmidt

One sentence pitch: When Tony is given the chance to win a college scholarship and leave the life of the gang, he finds that following his dreams has deadly consequences.

First Paragraph:

Chapter One The Fight#



I never saw it coming. The impact sent lighting bolts of pain through my jaw. I saw stars as the tunnel vision blocked my sight. Then I felt my body smashed against the brick wall behind me. I needed to defend myself. I lifted my arms to block my face. I knew I couldn't stand much more. I thought about how I got here. It was stupid really, if you thought about it. All I did was try to do something right for once.

8 comments:

  1. I'd cut a few things to tighten it up a little. Ex.

    "I never saw it coming. The impact sent lighting bolts of pain through my jaw. I swear I saw stars dancing around my head. I didn't have time to focus on that, though, because my body smashed against the brick wall behind me. I lifted my arms to defend my face. I knew I couldn't stand much more. I thought about how I got here. It was stupid really. All I did was try to do something right for once."

    I have a couple of questions from to think about. How long has this beating been going on and how does he know he can't take much more? Would he take the time to think about what happened in the middle of the fight?

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  2. This sounds like a great topic for your audience. Here are my thoughts:

    The pitch: Change following "your" dreams to following "his" dreams.

    The sample: I agree with Kayleen. You should tighten up the sentences by combining them and omitting things that are redundant. I also wonder if the MC would be thinking of anything while being brutally beaten.

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  3. Seconded. (As someone who sees stars on a regular basis, I can tell you they don't dance around your head, they sparkle all over your vision which narrows).

    The pitch is great and so is the fight scene, but I'm afraid that a flashback is coming up. This early in a story, a flashback normally tells me that you started your story in the wrong place (for whatever reason). Think about showing the events leading up to this fight first. That way, we know the MC and care for him some more.
    Just my opinion of course, it's your story

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  4. I'm going to be the voice of dissent here. I loved this! I think we do think of some pretty crazy things in the middle of crisis situations. I think the kid knows that he can't go on much longer because we all know when we're about at the end of our ropes. And, I know the rules say don't start with a flashback, but...this is a creative process and I hate to see that stymied by formulaic approaches to writing. That being said, I'm not an editor at Sourcebooks, and I'm not as experienced as the above writers and they are probably right. All I know is that I loved it and I would have wanted to continue to read it. You've got a great YA voice, Cynthia. Good luck with your writing!

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  5. I like the pitch. The main idea behind the story is clear, and it sounds interesting. I'd read it.

    As already mentioned, the first paragraph could be tightened up. I have to agree with the stars, they block the vision and squeeze at it. And I wonder if he'd be having any deep thoughts while getting the snot beat out of him... but then, I've never been beat up ;)

    But I like it. If you ever get published, let me know. I'd love to read it!

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  6. This looks really interesting - I like the premise very much. The only comment I have is that almost every sentence in your paragraph starts with "I", and it might be a good idea to break that up a bit.

    Good luck!

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  7. Just wanted to say, saw your revisions and thought you did a great job of taking everyone's advice and making your piece even stronger!

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