First off... NEWS: I met my 2010 goals, albeit about 16 hours late with the book... I had more last minute changes than I thought and when I talked to my agent, she said New Year's Eve was hardly a day they were going to be picky about. She sent a message and we agreed I'd have it there before business Monday, though in actuality, I got it in at about 4:00 Saturday afternoon. I'm glad I talked to her, as I probably would have met the deadline but missed some of the things that make it smoother. And I learned an important lesson... EDITING IS NEVER DONE! *rolls eyes* I wish there was a point at which you think 'man that's good' and everyone would just agree (and by everyone, I mean... everyone... I'm not asking for kiss-ass help... I wish the READERS would all see it as fabulous at that point, TOO.)
Okay, so normally I don't do writing blogfests, mostly because I don't READ appropriately to evaluate writing via blog—I don't feel like I do the task justice, so I just opt out. But I really couldn't resist the innuendo on this one... it's too good. PLUS, being me... I sort of altered WHAT I'd be showing.
This is about sharing our NaNoWriMo, and on THAT part, I am in... but instead of a scene, I decided this would push me to get my first draft of my PITCH in order. I'm sharing TWO pitches, from both of my last two WriMos... the first, because that is the spirit of the blogfest (sharing our most recent NaNoWriMo) and the 2nd because I need a PITCH for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (and it was my JUNE WriMo) (more on ABNA tomorrow)
These are both rough, first drafts... The Player Down one isn't even all that URGENT (more a teaser) but I would LOVE help spotting strengths and weaknesses in the Kahlotus one.
Zachary Grodin seems to have everything going for him. His grades are good. He has a string of girls wanting to date him. He is a star basketball player and a talent scout is on his way to watch him play, promising a scholarship offer. Unfortunately, Zach also has manipulated, used and mistreated one too many people.
Callie Vaughn has been drifting since she got to high school. Her classes took a more academic track than her friends from middle school, and the gossipy, boy crazy scene is just not her thing. She has maintained a close friendship however, with Paige Flannery, a girl who moved in with her boyfriend at sixteen to avoid her mom's drug-infused life. The two girls have lunch together in the woods off campus daily, and one day see something suspicious through the trees. When they investigate after school they find a foot buried in dirt and leaves, which cause the police to unearth the body of Zach Grodin.
When the school counselor is accused, Callie and Paige begin to look into some clues they think the police may overlook, finding Zach had a lot more enemies than anybody would admit and his crimes ranged from sexual pressure, rumor starting, and blackmail, to a much darker secret that threatens to expose not only other athletes, but several important adults.
When the counselor is found dead and Paige is accused of the murders however, Callie is led on a wild goose chase, and she has to wonder whether she has put her faith in the right boy.
In the high desert of Eastern Washington, miles from anything other than a few farms, grain silos and a small cluster of modest houses, sits the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Mentally Retarded and Insane. The doors to the hospital have been officially closed since 1953 when the suicide of a resident spurred an investigation and found serious abuses in care.
Helen has been alone since then, in the abandoned institution that caused her such pain, but thankfully, her death ended the seizures and the death of the hospital ended the screams. There is other sadness, but she believes the worst is over.
When the notice is nailed to the heavy front door Helen is shocked to realize she's been dead sixty years. When trucks and workmen show up several days later; however, she realizes her death is going to change drastically. The damaged young people assigned to the Kahlotus Project have not entirely bought into the idea of a reform school. They bring with them tragic pasts, mental illness, and a vast deficiency in coping skills. They posture for dominance, manipulate each other, and, when official backs are turned, cause each other, and themselves, harm. Helen can't work out what to make of these people, but is drawn to them like a circus show.
Only a handful of the new residents can see Helen, and in the case of a schizophrenic girl, she is taken as evidence of psychosis. But the girl who really touches her is the one who seems just as surprised as Helen to be seen. Serena has spent her life alternately trying to be invisible and to be seen, always visible to those who would hurt her, unseen by the rest, unbelieved by those who should help. Perhaps this unlikely friendship can heal more hearts than just their own.
Okay! I would ADORE constructive criticism here!
And the list of other particiapants is in the sidebar here!