SonofaPitch Entry 10: TOSOM Freshman #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-finalTitle: TOSOM: Freshman
Category and Genre: YA Fiction
Word Count: 60,000

Query:

Amarea is a brat. You may love her, but be honest, she’s a brat. She thinks the world owes her something because she is sick. I guess the world does need to be nice to her, but doesn’t she need to be nice to the world?

She wants to control Joey. I mean she can communicate with him telepathically, so doesn’t that make him hers? Joey just wants to be Joey. I guess Amarea wants some sort of control in her world, really she has none. Cancer did that to her. Stripped her of everything she can control.

She wants friends, but doesn’t know how to be a friend. She wants to be liked, but doesn’t really like anyone.

She’s the hero of this book, because, well, you don’t know any better.


First 250 Words:

Amarea walked between her parents. Maybe that would make her less obvious. She noticed him across the courtyard, big brown eyes and messy brown hair. She blushed when she looked at him. She knew even the top of her skull would be pale pink; that’s the trouble with being a bald freak.

I’m not a bald freak, Amarea thought.

The boy searched the crowd. He found her eyes and stared at her.

Stop looking at me, she thought. The boy looked away.

After a stimulating twenty minutes of welcomes from the principal and assistant principals, students were corralled into their homerooms, girls on one side of the hallway, boys on the other. No one said anything to Amarea. She sat by herself in the corner. She could see people glancing back at her, whispering about her.

I’m not a freak, she thought as a girl carefully placed a piece of paper on Amarea’s desk. The paper contained her schedule and locker combination.

Amarea had trouble opening her locker. The boy had come to her rescue. The lock opened easily with his skillful touch.

“Thank you,” Amarea said. What a cutie, she thought.

“You’re welcome,” the boy said blushing. “Do you need help finding your classes?” 

“That would be great,” she replied. She wondered if he was always this nice.

“Yes, I am,” he admitted.

“Are what?” Amarea asked.

“Always this nice,” he replied.

“Oh,” Amarea said. I wonder if I said that out loud, she thought.

“Yes, you did,” he said.

8 thoughts on “SonofaPitch Entry 10: TOSOM Freshman #TeamDroids

  1. Pingback: #SonofaPitch Round 2 The Golden Rule and the entries | Elsie Elmore

  2. Query : This story sounds like it’s certainly going to tug on a few heart strings and teach a few lessons along the way. You’ve got some strong phrasings in there. Just tinker with the flow and info ☺ More details upfront to give us a better understanding of who Amarea is, what is her conflict and what are the stakes?

    Who is the protag? For example, Fifteen-year-old Amarea has turned her illness into a defense weapon against the world? She uses her cancer as shield and an excuse to treat others badly? Age? Why is she a brat?

    What is their conflict/stakes? She wants friends but doesn’t have them? She wants to control Joey? She struggles with being mad at the world and her bitterness keeps her from having friends? Her cancer has her too scared to make connections so she’s lonely?
    What’s the quagmire/situation/struggle/question? Does she want to control Joey because she likes him and realizes her behavior is out of hand? When she realizes she and Joey share a special link, the need to have him a friend makes her reconsider her behavior/actions – then stakes? Can she change or end up alone? Does she want someone to be on this journey with her?)

    First 250 Words:
    Amarea walked between her parents. Maybe that would make her less obvious. (Intriguing start) Does she usually do that? Does she tuck her head as well?)She noticed him across the courtyard, big brown eyes and messy brown hair. (is the courtyard full of people but she’s drawn to him? Is the only one staring?) She blushed when she looked at him. She knew even the top of her skull would be pale pink; that was the trouble with being a bald freak.
    I’m not a bald freak, Amarea thought. Did she battle her own thoughts a lot – was she tired of the way folks looked at her? Show internalization?)
    The boy searched the crowd. He found her and stared at her.
    Stop looking at me, she thought – was she glaring when she thought this? The boy looked away.

    Are they still in the courtyard? After a stimulating twenty minutes of welcomes from the principal and assistant principals, students were corralled into their homerooms, girls on one side of the hallway, boys on the other. Where did the parents go? No one said anything to Amarea. She sat by herself in the corner. People glanced back at her, whispering about her. She didn’t think she’d ever get used to the stares. She just wanted them to stop?
    I’m not a freak, she thought as a girl carefully placed a piece of paper on Amarea’s desk. The paper contained her schedule and locker combination. She reads over the list of classes, not really paying attention since she didn’t know any of the teachers? Add some snippets to take story deeper.
    Amarea had trouble opening her locker. Show? She spun the center dial three time like the directions said but it didn’t click – or the key wouldn’t budge – The boy had come to her rescue. The lock opened easily with his skillful touch.
    “Thank you,” Amarea said. What a cutie, she thought.
    “You’re welcome,” the boy said blushing. “Do you need help finding your classes?”
    “That would be great,” she replied. She wondered if he was always this nice.
    “Yes, I am,” he admitted.
    “Are what?” Amarea asked.
    “Always this nice,” he replied.
    “Oh,” Amarea said. I wonder if I said that out loud, she thought.
    “Yes, you did,” he said.

    You’ve done a nice job with introducing Amarea and I’m already feeling sympathetic toward her. The detail of her blush going to the top of her head is fabulous. I could dig more depth with her and a little more fleshing out of the moment. Slow the scene down a bit, to throw in details to show more about Amarea and let us experience this with her to make the connection with the main character even stronger. Good start and the story premise sounds great – Thanks for sharing for your words. I enjoyed reading.

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    • Kudos for entering SOAP. If you have any questions/concerns or want another look at changes/tinkerings/updates or need anything else, just give me a yell. All suggestions and opinions are humbly offered and I thank you for sharing your work!

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  3. Thanks so much! I guess I just don’t know how much to add!

    Thank you!! Updated query:

    Fourteen-year-old Amarea is a brat. You may love her, but be honest, she’s a brat. She thinks the world owes her something because she is sick. I guess the world does need to be nice to her, but doesn’t she need to be nice to the world? Cancer has left her bitter, tired, and bald. She wants friends, but doesn’t know how to be a friend. She wants to be liked, but doesn’t really like anyone. The only friends she’s really known are fighting cancer, too, and they leave her, one-by-one.

    Her only “friend” is Joey. She wants to control Joey. I mean she can communicate with him telepathically, so doesn’t that make him hers? Joey just wants to be Joey. But he’s so cute, Amarea can’t help herself. And why does he like her anyway? There’s nothing special about Maddie. Why doesn’t he look at Amarea the way he looks at Maddie? Why is he always getting in trouble because of her? I guess Amarea wants some sort of control in her world, really she has none. Cancer did that to her. Stripped her of everything she can control.

    She’s the hero of this book, because, well, you don’t know any better. Sometimes it’s hard to be a friend, when you really don’t want to be.

    Like

  4. All my opinions are merely that…opinions. Please take what works and forget the rest. I will focus on the updated query, but to be honest, I liked the first one. Had no stakes, didn’t tell me anything about the story, but I loved the voice and would have read the ms. *shrug*

    Updated query:

    Fourteen-year-old Amarea is a brat. You may love her, but be honest, she’s a brat. She thinks the world owes her something because she is sick. I guess the world does need to be nice to her, but doesn’t she need to be nice to the world? Cancer has left her bitter, tired, and bald. She wants friends, but doesn’t know how to be a friend. She wants to be liked, but doesn’t really like anyone. The only friends she’s really known are fighting cancer, too, and they leave her, one-by-one. (Okay…I like this too. I love the voice. I love knowing her friends are leaving…)

    Her only “friend” is Joey. She wants to control Joey. I mean she can communicate with him telepathically, so doesn’t that make him hers? Joey just wants to be Joey. But he’s so cute, Amarea can’t help herself. And why does he like her anyway? There’s nothing special about Maddie. (Who’s Maddie?) Why doesn’t he look at Amarea the way he looks at Maddie? Why is he always getting in trouble because of her? (In trouble because of Maddie?) I guess Amarea wants some sort of control in her world, really she has none. Cancer did that to her. Stripped her of everything she can control.

    She’s the hero of this book, because, well, you don’t know any better. Sometimes it’s hard to be a friend, when you really don’t want to be. (Oh! Facing a choice of actually being a friend, of giving up control? Nice! I really like this. Genre…maybe magical realism. Contemporary for sure.)

    First 250 Words:

    Amarea walked between her parents. Maybe that would make her less obvious. She noticed him across the courtyard, big brown eyes and messy brown hair. She blushed when she looked at him. She knew even the top of her skull would be pale pink; that’s the trouble with being a bald freak.

    I’m not a bald freak, Amarea thought.

    The boy searched the crowd. (A bit of detail…smells, sounds…who is in the crowd?) He found her eyes and stared at her.

    Stop looking at me, she thought. The boy looked away.

    After a stimulating twenty minutes of welcomes from the principal and assistant principals, (They are in the courtyard still?) students were corralled into their homerooms, girls on one side of the hallway, boys on the other.(They were going to the rooms, but they’re in a hallway?) No one said anything to Amarea. (What does she see? What does she do?) She sat by herself in the corner. She could see people glancing back at her, whispering about her.

    I’m not a freak, she thought as a girl carefully placed a piece of paper on Amarea’s desk. The paper contained her schedule and locker combination.

    Amarea had trouble opening her locker. (How? Show us her struggling with it, getting frustrated. Is this a new school? Is she starting high school or did she move?) The boy had come to her rescue. The lock opened easily with his skillful touch.

    “Thank you,” Amarea said. What a cutie, she thought. (What is she doing…give us a bit of action.)

    “You’re welcome,” the boy said blushing. “Do you need help finding your classes?”

    “That would be great,” she replied. She wondered if he was always this nice.

    “Yes, I am,” he admitted. (OH! Love this.)

    “Are what?” Amarea asked.

    “Always this nice,” he replied.

    “Oh,” Amarea said. I wonder if I said that out loud, she thought.

    “Yes, you did,” he said. (AH! That was cool! A bit more detail, to set us in the scene and character development for Amarea. But very intriguing! Mind reading is awesome.)

    Like

  5. This entry is so unusual-haunting- that I want to read more…I’m not getting a good idea of what it’s about from the query, though (even the revised one. I do like the ending of your first query better. That really has impact for me).

    You categorized it as “fiction”, so I don’t know if the telepathy is real. I also know nothing about the conflict or the stakes, just the character. I really like the character, though…

    Like

  6. Hey Hey! Just leaving some last minute thoughts!
    For your query, remove the first person and “conversation” like sentences. Like “You may love her, but be honest, she’s a brat. She thinks the world owes her something because she is sick. I guess the world does need to be nice to her, but doesn’t she need to be nice to the world?” It’s jarring, to be honest, and creates a disconnect for the reader. I can see that it is used to infuse some voice, but I feel like this can be done better by using Amarea’s third person perspective.
    Also, suddenly there’s Maddie. I don’t know who Maddie is because there’s no introduction. Try to iron that out.

    That’s it. Good luck in the query trenches!

    Like

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