Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You Hooked? Young Adult #25

TITLE: One of the Lucky Ones

Falling in love with your best friend is always risky, especially when she already has a girlfriend. And you thought you were straight.

“Okay, guys, you remember the rules.” Dad was doing his best to look stern as we stood outside the door to the library on a warm Saturday afternoon. It was not a convincing performance. He sounded like he was talking to all three of us, but he was watching Millie and especially Owen. He uncrossed his arms and waved a hand in an “I’m-waiting” motion until we all answered.

 Yes, even me. I might have been sixteen, but I knew if I didn’t play along Owen would start yelling, “Annie’s not saying it!” and the rest of the morning would be much less pleasant. At three, he had very strong ideas about what was “fair.”

“No running, no fighting, no yelling,” we all chanted together. “We don’t pull all the books off the shelf,” — I muttered “Owen” under my breath — “we use our indoor voices, and if we want the same book we have to take turns.” Dad nodded and opened the door. The kids didn’t quite run to the children’s section.

Oh good, Ms. Davis is here, I thought. That’ll make it easier.

Ms. Davis was the new children’s librarian, and already had my siblings wrapped around her perfectly manicured little finger. Owen acted much better when she was there, but Dad and I still made sure one of us was close enough to intervene if a storm broke. Millie was five-going-on-twelve; I didn’t worry about her unless Owen made her mad.


  1. Great logline. Super catchy! The voice here is wonderful. Quiet and refreshing. The family scene is so relatable to anyone who has siblings, or knows someone with siblings. :) Great start and good luck!

  2. Good logline that definitely draws you in.

    With the beginning of your story though, I think you need more tension, something to hook the reader into reading further. Good luck!

  3. Logline is great. Definitely gives a strong feel for the conflict.

    I agree with the others that opening your book this way is not strong. In fact it has an almost forced feel to it, which makes it a struggle to push through. Perhaps start with more action, maybe SHOW us one of the little ones doing something that causes the dad to have the quick pow-wow. Right now, as relatable as the family is, I don't care about them and I'm not finding myself invested in them (so hard to do in 250 words, I know!) It's the log line alone that would make me want to keep reading a little more.

  4. I have to disagree with anyone suggesting this opening isn't strong. I thought it was perfect! You nailed the voice and the characters already seem real in such a short amount of time. It doesn't read as "forced" to me at all, but effortless. It's really the openings that start with action that typically feel forced, since writers use that as a tool to get the reader's attention before the characters are even introduced (thus, giving us no reason to care). I thought this was quiet but nicely done!

  5. I think I agree a little bit with everyone above! Great logline! Also, even though the opening is quiet, it definitely captures the personality of everyone involved in a very small amount of words and I want to read more about all of them.

    My suggestions revolve around the connections between the pitch, the opening, and the plot. You have the logline describing a love story between friends, but the opening doesn't have anything to do with this. If you find yourself submitting under these same word restrictions, I would like to see an opening that supports the idea of the plot so that I know how that will feel as I read on. If the submission guidelines let you go longer and this scene happens to go right into something that pushes your MC forward with the plot then this could work. The only thing here that would actually hold me back is the worry that it is just a love story and that there is nothing else to help move the characters along. If there is, it would be nice to state that up front in the logline to strengthen your pitch.

    Great characters!

  6. Great dialogue! But for me, I wouldn't keep reading because I am not sure where this story is going. What is at stake for the mc? Why should I root for her? I became very fixated on the librarian because you gave a great description of her, but I should feel more for your mc.

  7. I wasn't a fan of the logline at all. It feels rather skimpy and one-note and gives me no sense of anything larger happening. That said, I found your opening page to be very lively and engaging and fun. (I loved her muttering "Owen" under her breath).