Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Title: The Offal Truth

Genre:  MG/Humor


Ten-year-old Alex Offal pays his twin Ethan to take his place in the class play but his brainy brother masterminds a stinky and embarrassing climax.

Alex Offal got the lead in the class play!  Problem is, he doesn't want it. Unfortunately, it's for a grade.  And he has to kiss a girl in front of everybody.  Gross!  Desperate to escape this awful scenario, he bribes his identical twin brother, Ethan, to trade places with him. 

Little does he know his evil-genius twin has a stinky, wicked scheme of his own up his sleeve; one that could ruin not just the rest of the school year, but his entire life!

The Offal Truth is a 13,000 word book for reluctant readers. It is intended to be the first in a series but also works as a standalone title.

First sentence: 

My twin brother ruined my life. 


  1. Your first and second paragraph tell some of the same information. I would perhaps get rid of the first paragraph. I'm assuming you are using the first paragraph as a hook, but you don't want to repeat the same information over. I think the second paragraph works on it's own and is nicely written. Your first sentence of your story right away tells me this is probably going to be funny story. I would read on. Good luck!

  2. I agree w/Rena: Your first paragraph is essentially a logline, and you could combine it with the second (without repetition) and make this more solid. "It's for a grade." for some reason I thought grade, like year in school. Maybe twist it a bit, and add more voice with something like: If he doesn't play his role/part, he'll flunk second grade, or whatever.

    I love the stinky twin part of the story, and imagine this is a fun read for kids.

    All the best with it!

  3. I'm having trouble with the word 'offal.' Offal is the entrails of animals. It's their internal organs, brain, and spinal cord, banned from food production due to the possible transmission of mad cow disease and other prion-type organisms. Title is no-go for me.

    The pitch seems pretty choppy and uses too many exclamation points for my taste.

    I have several children who are reluctant readers, so I do love the concept. Best wishes.

  4. I agree that in this case you don't need the pitch in the beginning. I'm also not sure about the exclamation mark after "Alex Offal got the lead in the class play" I feel like its misleading because it sounds very exciting, but he doesn't want it... Plus, you probably want to keep the exclamation marks to a minimum here. Might make agents think you have have in every other sentence in the book (if you do, change it. You can get away with using them more in MG, but it's still not something most writerly types like to see. There are better ways to show excitement.)

  5. I agree with the above comments. I found "offal" off-putting, especially for the age range. It's not like young children would (or should) get the pun. The pitch needs some tightening but there's definitely a fun story in there!

  6. What I like: I love the theater as a setting.

    What I would like: I had some pronoun confusion in the first line. I would also lose the exclamation point as it feels like artificial energy.

    And the two sentences with the same construction (‘Problem is, he doesn't want it. Unfortunately, it's for a grade.’) feels repetitive.

    Again, I think you’ve paired a log line with a more detailed pitch and I don’t think that’s a good idea as it read repetitive.

    Great job!

  7. Sounds like a fun story, but I think you could get rid of the first and third paragraphs, and expand the second one. I agree with the previous comments about the exclamation points. In the second paragraph there are three, which is a lot. I think this would be a fun read, good luck!

  8. Agree with all the other comments. I think the story would be a lot of fun and definitely is one that would help with reluctant readers.


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