Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #22: KISS OF FIRE

Young Adult, paranormal


Joclyn Despain hasn’t heard from her father since a scar appeared below her right ear on her fifth birthday. Eleven years later he sends her a cursed stone, saying her scar has given her supernatural powers and the cult he has referred her to will ‘save’ her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man; and her best friend, Ryland, has a father who is threatening more than just her friendship with his son.

Joclyn only wishes to hide behind her large clothes, forget about her delusional father, and keep a promise to her mom. But, weird things have begun to happen. Normal people shouldn’t be able to throw their enemies ten feet in the air or fall fifteen feet without getting hurt, right?

Joclyn finally begins to find her footing, when Ryland finds her scar. Not only does he know what it is, but he insists that she will be hunted and killed because of it.

First 150 Words:

My long board clicked rhythmically down the sidewalk as I moved, the warm wind of early summer tugged against my dark hoodie, pulling at the long strands of black hair that had fallen out of the hood that I had pulled down low over my head. I didn't like traveling in front of the houses in this part of the neighborhood. I normally took the alley but today some road crews were working on pot holes and I had to make my trip in front of the giant mansions that littered the hills in the east side of the city.

The rich ladies with their upturned noses liked to look out their windows at me as if I was somehow infecting their perfect little world with a contagious disease. They looked at me like I was poor (which I was), a menace (which I wasn’t), and like there was something wrong with me (which I wasn’t even sure of).


  1. Really strong characterization and voice in your 150! Good luck!

  2. Your 150 sounds great, this girl sounds like an interesting character.

    The summary seems exciting, but I keep thinking its missing something.

    Good Luck!

  3. I remember this from the pitch polish and I still love it. It sounds more streamlined since I first read it then.

    Awesome job! It's a story I would definitely read.

    Good luck.

  4. PITCH: The strengths of this pitch lie in that second paragraph—the details about Joclyn, other than the scar. I’m intrigued by the promise to her mom I wonder how it would read if paragraphs 1 and 2 were reversed? Nitpicky comment: the first paragraph has some awkward comma & semi-colon action going on. The pitch as a whole would benefit from spelling out what Joclyn’s goals are—why she wants to hide behind large clothes & keep that promise. We know she’s being hunted. Is there anything else at stake?
    FIRST 150: The second paragraph is strong, with the good rhythm & parallelism going on. The first paragraph could be tightened a bit for both flow and hook-iness. The first sentence is a bit cumbersome, although I love the longboard. I don’t see too many skater girls in YA.

  5. The second paragraph in the pitch raised a lot of questions that details might help flesh out. What promise? Sounds interesting.