Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #33

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 67,000 words


Being confronted by her three boyfriends is the last thing Dena
Krester expects on her seventeenth birthday.

Truth is, she used to be friendless. Uprooted almost yearly by
career-obsessed parents, she was shy and introverted, and she spent
all of her time making art quilts, dreaming of the Art of the Nation
Scholarship, and hanging out with her nanny. So when three boys from
different cities befriend her, Dena is over the moon with all of the
attention, until the boys want more.

Dena can’t bear the thought of anyone being upset with her, so she
doesn't say no. Fearing rejection, she weaves a web of lies to keep
these relationships secret, but her tireless effort of keeping
everyone happy eclipses all her priorities, including her artistic
dreams. When her parents decide to split, and she falls in love with
one of the boys, her guilty conscience rips her carefully crafted
plans apart at the seams. And when the boys finally discover the
truth, she realizes that this time, her penchant for stitching things
back together might not fix the mess she’s made. She risks losing
everything—her only friends, her first love, and her art—unless she
finds a way to thread the strands of her life back together.

First 150:

“Ready for your surprise?” Keith asks from across the table, his
grey-blue eyes expressionless.

I hesitate, searching his poker face for the right answer. I force a
smile as the anxiety brewing in my belly slithers up and squeezes my
vocal chords. I clear my throat and will a steady voice. “Aw, you
didn’t have to get me anything.”

His lips press into a thin line and he goes mute once again. He palms
his coffee cup with both hands, and in his silence, I reach for
another napkin from the dispenser and tear it into pieces. I add it to
my growing pile, almost a mountain from our half hour of not talking.

Today is supposed to be my day, my seventeenth birthday. I’m in the
most beautiful café in the City with my gorgeous boyfriend waiting for
some epic present to come through the door.


Johana Vera said...

Right away, I can tell you fell in love with Dena. Her situation is so similar to something I went through as a teenager, and your pitch spoke to me. When you're not used to being the center of attention, is really hard not to say no.

That first line had my eyes popped wide open. I think it would catch some agent's eye. Just a hunch.

In your 150 words, I liked that you nailed that "show, don't tell" thing people keep on flanking to my face. Dena tearing the napkin shows off her ansiety, and we can guess she's expecting something to happen. It's beautiful.

Anyway, best of luck.

Jenna and Ashley said...

I remember reading this during Writeoncon! Loved the story and your first five pages (what I read on the other site).

I do agree with Johanna that your query's first line stands out! But the entire thing has a great voice. Be careful of going overboard on the art/quilt stitching references. I think you could take out "at the seems" in your third paragraph. You have the word art or some form of it four different times throughout the query. "Stitching things back together" and "finds a way to thread the strands of her life back together" are very close in nature. Take one out, maybe?
First 150:
Love the shredding the napkins into a pile detail. Does City have to be capitalized? I've read more of this, so I appreciate how odd the boyfriend's acting because the reader feels sorry for her first, until they learn she's the one who's done something wrong.

I would definitely read this book! Great query and first 150!

Jenna and Ashley said...

I'm Pitch #28, if you have time to check out mine:)

CallMeKarma said...

I love the first line of your query - definitely kept me reading. Was a bit confused about the 'three boys in different cities' do their paths cross? Why does she have to keep friendships secret?
First 150 words worked for me as well...I'd keep reading to find out why there's so much tension on such a happy occasion.
Good luck!

Tif Johnson said...

Thanks everyone!!!! I totally appreciate your feedback! Will head over to return the favor!!

Jessica Becker said...

Great use of showing character traits in the 150 words. So many descriptive actions showing anxiety. I would definitely keep reading.