Friday, November 28, 2014


TITLE: Falling Up The Stairs
GENRE: Family Saga

All Joey wants is to be loved. When the five-year-old and his six siblings are scattered in foster homes and orphanages by an alcoholic mother during World War ll, they suffer a life of unthinkable cruelty and neglect in "the system."

Joey finds that the road to securing his dream for happiness will take well over three decades and is fraught with many challenging obstacles in life, including hypocrisy, larceny, gross fabrication and unforgettable heartache.

It was unusual for a car to be sitting in front of the house, especially when your family lived on a side street. Very few rich people drove by, and when they did, Joey stared at them until they were out of sight. It was a special event, indeed, for a boy whose family had no car. Most automobiles in the town were black and had an ominous look, especially the sedans. He was fascinated with the one parked very close to his front porch. We’ve got company, he thought.

He spotted the car from a block away after turning the corner on his way home from school. Moping along, he was taking his time, but began to sprint into the April wind, his heart pounded as if there were a bass drum inside his chest by the time he reached the front door.

The house was as quiet as an early Sunday morning. Joey kicked off his shoes, wrestled out of his jacket, and tossed it on a chair in the living room before rushing into the dining room. A woman sat at the table with his mother, Alice, his Grandma Lillian, and sister, Beth.

Joey had never seen the woman before.

Coffee cups sat in front of the ladies. The dining room window was half open, and the curtains fluttered with the breeze. The tick-tock of his grandmother’s favorite clock seemed loud in the silence of the room. They all eyed Joey when he made his out-of-breath entrance,


  1. It's hard to write from a child's perspective, and I see you've chosen to do it as a distant third. My only suggestions would be to get rid of the "Joey thought" part and put it as something simple like: "They had company."

    Good luck!

  2. I agree with Tamara: "we've got company" feels odd in a chid's mind...I'm intrigued by the era and setting, and I think it would be nice if there was a little more of an atmospheric indicator to let me know that this is the 1940s, because but for the logline, I shouldn't have known.

    I like the concept of your story and I wish you luck!

  3. I wondered after reading the logline how you would cover everything in one book, i.e. from the child's life in foster care/an orphanage in the 1940's to life as an adult seeking happiness (in the 1960's?). Does this story take place in a city in the U.S.? They rationed gasoline during WWII and many people who had owned cars before the war sold them. You could easily add a couple of details about the model/type of car to help establish the setting as the 1940's during the war. The writing is beautiful. Good luck.

  4. I enjoyed the writing, although a couple of the sentences were a bit long. The second sentence in the second paragraph might work better in 2 sentences? I am already hooked on the story and would like to read more.

  5. I agree with throwing in a few details to let us know what time period this is from. Also, why was his heart beating so hard after one block of running? Is the family in danger? Is he expecting the car to be more than just an unusual occurence? Seemed like a strong reaction to seeing a car, unless there is more to it that he knows and we don't. I would read more, something about this has me already rooting for Joey

  6. In the first sentence there seems to be a mismtach "in front of the house" and "your family." I'd change the sentence to match things up "in front of his house, especially because his family lived..."

    The second sentence also confused me. It isn't clear how you know someone's rich by them driving by. Unless you are saying that anyone driving a car is rich, but then I'd think the text would just read "Very few cars drove by" or something like that.

    In the "moping along" line, the tenses seem mismatched.

    I like the tension in the last paragraph. You've got me wondering why they are there, just like Joey!

  7. I like the opening, and how you're able to ground us in the time period by talking about how unusual it is for a car to be sitting in front of Joey's house. It did seem a bit redundant to me, though--you might consider if you can cut some of the stuff about the car to pick up the pace a bit.

  8. I thought that the second sentence in the third paragraph could be tighter and quicker. He's in a rush to see who the visitor is, so maybe skip him wrestling out of his jacket and just have him throw it on the chair.

    And then I love it how you slow everything down in the last paragraph to let us take in the scene. We just know something life-changing is going to happen to Joey.

    Good luck!

  9. The voice feels appropriate to the genre and Joey comes across well. I can imagine a 5 year old thinking this way. Carefree until he has reason not to be.

    You have a few things out of order here. He spots the car from a block away after turning the corner. It would be more compelling if we could watch him spot the car, not be told he spotted it "before" he turned the corner.

    He had been moping, but now he's sprinting. What's he feeling? Excited? Scared? Curious? I don't know what changes him from moping to running.

    When he gets inside, the first person he sees is "a woman", then his mom, grandma, and sister, but in the next paragraph on a line by itself, he says he had never seen the woman before. It's a bit anticlimactic since he mentioned the woman first of the four. I'd say mention her last and then say Joey had never seen her before. How does he feel about that? I'm having a hard time connecting with him without knowing what's inside his head.

    Good luck!

  10. """Rubber Matting and Rubber Flooring Make your Home and Companies Secure:
    I am giving you best variety of **foorings** and **mattings** just in our store, our products is rubber matting , rubber flooring, gym mats, gym flooring, rubber sheet, playground tiles and stable mats. These all products is non slip as you know this is now compulsory in organization and houses to secure, and we also give you rubber fooring and rubber matting in very best prices."