Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

Blog

The Teenaged Nitpick Critique: 7

Thursday, 27 September 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Title: BETTER LIVES
Genre: YA sci fi
When Gil and Lew came to my dorm room with the idea of stealing the physics final, I normally wouldn’t have considered such a dumbass move. [I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I like the voice, but for some reason, this line reads like the opening of a query to me. Maybe it’s the “when” that’s throwing me off?] It wasn’t that I’d had any moral objections to cheating or stealing.  An “A” in a one class, even Jeffrey Mr. [You’re better off saying “Mr.”; I thought you were talking about another student at first.] Taylor’s, just wasn’t worth the risk of being kicked out of prep school.  
But these were special circumstances. I had opportunity, thanks to Gil and Lew. I had motive, thanks for to the shitty semester, with Mr. Taylor. And I had an ace-in-the-hole, thanks to hooking up with pretty, but already annoying, fifteen-year-old  totally hot sophomore Courtney [insert last name here] under Mr. Taylor’s desk. [I’m not entirely sure how that last part is relevant, but it does sound like a teen boy.]
By the time I arrived in front of reached our teacher’s small Cape Cod [Did you mean to add something else here?], the snow, no longer falling, had gone from good cover to major annoyance. [This is awkwardly-phrased. Maybe just say: “By the time I reached our teacher’s small Cape Cod house, the snow had become a serious problem.”] Not only was I leaving footprints in the fresh powder, but the white, clinging   the snow clung to the tree branches as well, sweetening the already cloying charm of Maple Street’s tidy cottages and made me want to puke.
Stealing the broom from the porch next door [This line is a jump from the previous paragraph. Maybe transition it a little better.], I slipped to the back of the house. Gil was waiting for me.
“Door’s locked.” His breath was visible in the cold.
 
 Then I’ll open it,” I said. 

Gil gave me a classic Gilbert and Lewis dull look. [But I don’t know what “classic Gilbert and Lewis dull look” means, because I’ve only just met them—“classic” is a jump. Just say “dull look” for now and transition into the next line, in my opinion.] The two of them might as well have been brothers, both with Nordic good looks, several inches over six feet…and both not too bright.
“I’ll open it,” I repeated. Handing him the broom, I took out my tension wrench and wide-tipped pick.
Gil’s jaw went slack, mouth hanging open slightly before he closed it. “I’ve seen this shit on TV, Marc,” Gill said with a smile. “You’re going to pick it?”
I like it! You have great voice, you capture the teen boy POV very well, and you get straight to the hook. I’d read on. My only issues are minor (and noted above). Good luck with this!

* Comments are welcomed. Each critique comment you make on the entries’ posts, is an entry into the drawing to win one of five 500 word critiques from me (Brenda). It can be ANY 250 words — your query, the first page, or a page any where in the manuscript that you want a second pair of eyes on.

Leave a reply

Disclaimer:

We’d love your comments but ask that you please keep it polite. Although your views are definitely your own, we do not condone harassment or bullying and don’t want to see it here. We reserve the right to delete any comments for any reason, including being abusive, profane or off topic.

IMPORTANT!
We're thrilled at the different ways those in our Pitch Wars community are giving back—and we encourage them to do so. However, please keep in mind that Pitch Wars is not affiliated with any of these various contests, promotions, etc., including those of our mentors and mentees. Promoting any such opportunities via our social media channels doesn't imply endorsement or affiliation. We encourage you to do your research before participating.

Pitch Wars takes a stand. ANTI-BULLYING. Click here to review our policy


Check out our 2018 list of Participating Agents

Blog Archives

Blog Categories