Friday, February 27, 2015


65,000 words
YA Contemporary Romance

After indirectly causing an accident that destroys his best friend’s aspiration of playing pro basketball, 17-year-old Sam Daniels vows to continue their dream for both of them. All he needs is a place to live when his parents move away. Luckily, his nerdy cousin, Brandon, offers his home. But his offer comes with strings. This anime-loving, roleplay-gamer wants Sam’s help to catch the eye of his crush. And this includes pretending to be gay to not be a ‘distraction’ to the girl.

Things hit a snag when the crush’s cousin, Kylie, seems to despise him—calling him Satan in basketball shorts. As he spends more time with them, the closer he gets to Kylie. And the harder he falls for her. Revealing his secret might piss off Brandon and ruin his basketball chances. But not saying anything would make any chance of being with Kylie impossible. Basketball or love.  

First 250 words       

No texts. No replies to my emails. Nothing.

Even though I was expecting it (Hell, I would have bet some money if I could), disappointment still ate away at me. Like someone shoved a glowing basketball in my gut, twisting and burning away at my insides.

I pressed Send on the private message to Charlie before I lost my nerve. He hasn’t talked to me since the accident, but if he wanted me to leave him alone he should say something. A simple ‘Screw yourself, Sam’.

I picked up an actual basketball and dribbled it on the ground a few times, hoping it would calm me down. But each time the ball slammed down, a new memory popped in my head. Thud. Giving Charlie the keys to my car so I could stay at the party to hook up with some random chick. Thud. The call about Charlie’s accident. Thud. His body crumpled and broken on the hospital bed. Thud.Charlie mom’s slap and telling me to stay the hell away from her son.

Crap. It’s been over a year and it felt like yesterday.

It wasn’t my fault, but I still felt like it was. I let Charlie take my car even though he was wasted. It was also my car that had the faulty brakes. I’d been planning to get it fixed for ages, but never got around to it. And now Charlie had to pay the price.


  1. I like the revisions to your pitch. It flows better and is much more clear.

  2. Love your first page! I liked your pitch but it took me a second read to figure out what was going on. Maybe say Brandon's crush's cousin? In the second paragraph? I worry your introducing too much.Maybe cut out the fact that Sam's parents move away? It just made me wonder how he could live alone as a minor. Just my two cents! Good luck! #20.

  3. Pitch: needs some work. There's a lot going on here and too many names. I suggest focusing on the heart of the story. It's already there, on the first page. Something like this, maybe: Not only did Sam let his best friend drive drunk, he gave him the keys to a busted up car. Now Sam feels responsible for his best friend's tragic accident. To make amends, he promises to put aside his own dreams (of whatever) to instead live out his best friend's dream of playing pro-ball. But when X happens Sam must decide if living someone else's dream really helps his friend, heals that guilt, repairs their friendship, or makes it possible for Sam to forgive himself.

    +1: First page is terrific. Voice appropriate for age group and genre. Sympathetic MC. Emotional tension.
    Very well done.
    (#14, OSN)

  4. Pitch: The pretending to be gay is a strong new element to the pitch, and it makes the stakes much clearer. I think the pitch works except maybe you don't even need to say Kylie is the crush's cousin. Since the pitch states he's pretending to be gay, the 2nd paragraph can just say he's got he's got a crush of his own, but revealing his secret could....

    250: I like this first page better. Still has lots of voice and appeal for YA readers. Great revisions. Good luck! (#7)


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