#SonOfAPitch – ENTRY #9 – THE SCHOOL

b36ce-soap-final#9

Title: The School

Age and Genre: YA/Contemporary

Word Count: 62,000

 

Query:

In my 60K word YA contemporary novel, Veronica Mars meets the Firm as a high achieving student’s media project exposes corruption in her school, implicating the mayor of her city as well as her own mother. Caught between the FBI’s demands that she surrender evidence and the Russian gangsters that want her silenced forever, Asia Bowman is running out of time in THE SCHOOL.

In THE SCHOOL, the former Major League Baseball hero mayor of a beleaguered California town runs a federally funded charter school aiming to serve poor students. High achieving student media journalist Asia Bowman is happy to do her part to promote the program’s success. She doesn’t even mind that her mother is dating the mayor and working as an assistant in the principal’s office. Asia and her best friend Jamie have successful futures planned, including college, careers in broadcasting, and getting out of their poor, nowhere town forever. Yet when schoolresources disappear, her favorite teacher is killed, and an FBI agent accuses her mother of embezzlement, Asia’s dreams for her future threaten to crumble as she hustles to stay one step ahead of the law and the Russian mob in order to keep her mother and herself alive. 

First 250:

Millions of people watched me lie. You were probably one of them. Did you believe the things I said? I’ll tell a secret. There is no such thing as reality television. Reality belongs to the one who tells the best story.                                                                 

     The studio people in Los Angeles did my hair so that it lay flat. They twisted it into a bun worthy of a ballerina. Mom would be happy when she saw that at least my hair was tamed. They powdered my face, glossed my lips, curled my eyelashes. When they were done I was a geisha girl, unrecognizable to myself. It was what I imagine getting ready for prom would have been like.

     After sitting in the green room by myself for half an hour a man took me to the set. I sat under lights as hot as the sun.

     You can’t tell from watching a screen how bright the lights are on the people beneath them. The lights would melt my makeup if I stayed on the stage too long. Then my mask would slide into my lap and everyone would see the real me.

      I thought about wearing the friendship bracelet Jamie made me in ninth grade. If she saw it she would know that I still cared and would maybe want to be my friend again. I didn’t end up wearing it. Jamie knew I was sorry. It just wasn’t enough in her mind to make up for what I did and what happened after.

 

***Note: Please do not comment on other entrants’ posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else’s.***

15 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch – ENTRY #9 – THE SCHOOL

  1. Pingback: Son of a Pitch Contest – Week 2: My ten entries | Elsie Elmore

  2. First things first: WOW for premise. Okay, that is all.

    Your query is off to a strong start, but the format of putting your comps first is throwing me. Being unorthodox is not a bad approach, but your kick ass line: Caught between the FBI’s demands that she surrender evidence and the Russian gangsters that want her silenced forever, Asia Bowman is running out of time… feels bogged down there and it would be a slam dunk later on in the body of the query once more is known.

    You have a slew of awesome sentences in your query, but the order slows me. Step back and tinker with the sentence order and see what happens: for example, here’s what I did to see if I could mix it up a bit: (and I totally assumed that Asia attended the school since she did her part to promote)

    High achieving student journalist Asia Brown and her best friend Jamie have successful futures planned, including college, careers in broadcasting, and getting out of their poor, nowhere town forever. But for now, Asia attends a beleaguered federally funded charter school aiming to serve poor students run by XXXX, the former Major League Baseball hero turned mayor. Asia is happy to do her part to promote the program’s success. She doesn’t even mind that her mother dates the mayor and works as an assistant in the principal’s office.
    But when school resources disappear, her favorite teacher is killed, and an FBI agent accuses her mother of embezzlement, Asia’s future dreams threaten to crumble. Caught between the FBI’s demands that she surrender evidence and the Russian gangsters that want her silenced forever, Asia Bowman must hustle to stay one step ahead of the law and the Russian mob in order to keep her and her mother alive.

    First 250
    Millions of people watched me lie. You were probably one of them. Did you believe the things I said? I’ll tell a secret. There is no such thing as reality television. Reality belongs to the one who tells the best story. (watch switching verb tenses.)
    The studio people in Los Angeles did my hair so that it lay flat. They twisted it into a bun worthy of a ballerina. (Can you combine these two to condense? The studio people in Los Angeles did my hair so that it lay flat and twisted into a bun worthy of a ballerina.) Mom would be happy when she saw that at least my hair was tamed. (Hmm a hint…) They powdered my face, glossed my lips, and curled my eyelashes. When they were done, I was a geisha girl, unrecognizable to myself. (Ooh, ;)) It (please define it) was what I imagine getting ready for prom would have been like.
    After sitting in the green room by myself for half an hour, a man took me to the set. (I sat under lights as hot as the sun. Is this line needed? You describe this in the next paragraph)

    You can’t tell from watching a screen how bright the lights are on the people beneath them. The lights would melt my makeup if I stayed on the stage too long. Then my mask would slide into my lap and everyone would see the real me.(nice)
    I thought about wearing the friendship bracelet Jamie made me in ninth grade. If she saw it, she would know that I still cared and would maybe want to be my friend again. I didn’t end up wearing it. Jamie knew I was sorry. It just wasn’t enough in her mind to make up for what I did and what happened after. (compelling lead in)

    Hook, line, sinker.

    Tinker with your query and polish up 250 just a bit.

    Best of luck! if you have questions, let me know. 🙂

    Like

  3. Query: SWEEEEEEET. I’d take out the name of the best friend – you have enough names already. But that’s really it. Couple typos, or at least formatting weirdnesses from being copy/pasted.

    250: Pretty sure “lay” should be “laid”.

    And uh…yeah, that’s it. Captivating. Great voice. Vivid.

    Thank you for your entry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree. Your query needs help, but your writing is very solid. I really love it. If you want a query critique when you rewrite it, contact me. Good luck! (I haven’t voted yet 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reworked the query. Thank you so much, authors.

    High achieving student media journalist Asia Bowman and her best friend have successful futures planned, including college, careers in broadcasting, and getting out of their poor, nowhere town forever. But for now, Asia attends a federally funded charter school focused on helping underserved students, a program run by Derek Hollis, the former Major League Baseball hero turned mayor. Asia is happy to do her part to promote the school’s success and to live up to her mother’s high expectations for her grades and behavior. She doesn’t even mind that her mother is dating the mayor and working as an assistant in the principal’s office. Yet when school resources disappear, her favorite teacher is killed, and an FBI agent accuses her mother of embezzlement, Asia’s dreams for her future threaten to crumble as she hustles to stay one step ahead of the law and the Russian mob in order to keep her mother and herself alive.

    In my 60K word YA contemporary novel, Veronica Mars meets the Firm as a high achieving student’s media project exposes corruption in her school, implicating the mayor of her city as well as her own mother. Caught between the FBI’s demands that she surrender evidence and the Russian gangsters that want her silenced forever, Asia Bowman is running out of time in THE SCHOOL.

    Like

  6. Aaaaaaand now I’m voting, and GUESS WHAT? You got it! I VOTE FOR YOU.

    Now get on that query and take your awesome writing to the bank. My email is leighstatham23 * gmail if you want a private query critique. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great premise and wonderful voice. Follow the instructions here and you’ll have your perfect query. Good luck and congratulations on your participation in Son of a Pitch – your hard work speaks volumes regarding your courage and willingness to follow your dreams and achieve your goals!

    Like

  8. the query. Thank you so much, authors.

    More tweaking!

    High achieving student media journalist Asia Bowman and her best friend have successful futures planned that include college, careers in broadcasting, and getting out of their poor, nowhere town forever. But for now, Asia attends a federally funded charter school focused on helping underserved students, a program run by Derek Hollis, the former Major League Baseball hero turned mayor. Asia is happy to do her part to promote the school’s success and to live up to her mother’s high expectations for her grades and behavior. She doesn’t even mind that her mother is dating the mayor and working as an assistant in the principal’s office. Yet when school resources disappear, her favorite teacher is killed, and an FBI agent accuses her mother of embezzlement, Asia’s dreams for her future threaten to crumble as she hustles to stay one step ahead of the law and the Russian mob in order to keep her mother and herself alive.

    In my 60K word YA contemporary novel, Veronica Mars meets the Firm as a high achieving student’s media project exposes corruption in her school, implicating the mayor of her city as well as her own mother. Caught between the FBI’s demands that she surrender evidence and the Russian gangsters that want her silenced forever, Asia Bowman is running out of time in THE SCHOOL.

    First 250:

    Millions of people watched me lie. You were probably one of them. Did you believe the things I said? I had a secret. There was never such thing as reality television. Reality belonged to the one who tells the best story.

    The studio people in Los Angeles did my hair so that it lay flat and twisted into a bun worthy of a ballerina on a stage. Mom would be happy when she saw that at least my hair was tamed. They powdered my face, glossed my lips, and curled my eyelashes. When they were done, I was a geisha girl, unrecognizable to myself. Getting ready for my interview was what I imagine getting ready for prom would have been like.

    After sitting in the green room by myself for half an hour, a man took me to the set. (I sat under lights and waited to begin.

    The audience could not tell from watching the screen how bright the lights were on me beneath them. The lights would melt my makeup if I stayed on the stage too long. Then my mask would slide into my lap and everyone would see the real me.

    I thought about wearing the friendship bracelet Jamie made me in ninth grade. If she saw it, she would know that I still cared and would maybe want to be my friend again. I didn’t end up wearing it. Jamie knew I was sorry. It just wasn’t enough in her mind to make up for what I did and what happened after.

    Like

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