Ten day challenge day 1: Pitching a fit

10 Day Write Blog Challenge button200So, I decided I needed a little bit more in my blogging life than my weekly Write 1/Sub 1 check in post each Sunday. Enter the Ten Day Writing Blogger Challenge hosted by Hunting Down Writing. I like this challenge because it’s open (until November) and there are alternative prompts as well. 

For someone, like me, who often stares at prompts and gets the mind/screen, both are blank reaction, this is perfect. Day 1 prompt is:

Introduce your latest writing project with an elevator pitch or maximum 250 words.

Or

Discuss whether writers should blog about writing.

I’m going to go with the first, because I think it’s obvious how I feel about the second. Here’s the pitch that won the pitch contest I entered a few months back, for The Fine Art of Holding Your Breath:

MacKenna’s mother died when she was a baby, a casualty of the first Gulf War. Now seventeen, MacKenna has spent her life navigating the minefield of her dad’s moods, certain of one thing: she is destined to follow in her mother’s combat boots. But when she pursues an ROTC scholarship, she finds herself at war before even enlisting.

Her father forbids her from joining the military, inexplicable considering he’d raised her to be a “warrior princess.” MacKenna turns to her grandmother–who arms her with an ammo crate containing her mother’s personal effects from the war. Hidden in the crate’s false bottom is a journal, one her mom stashed there hours before her death.

While MacKenna untangles the secrets of her parents’ tragic love story, her own life unravels. Dad’s behavior becomes erratic, her best friend grows distant and even hostile, and a boy from her past returns–with a life-threatening secret of his own.

If ever a girl needed her mother, it’s now.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but are a mother’s words strong enough to slice through years of hidden pain? Can those words reach through the battlefields of the past to change MacKenna’s future?

As with my other military-themed books, it’s something people like the sound of, but not the actual product. The consensus is: writing–you’re doing it wrong. This is followed by: But if only you did this, or this, or that, or this other thing, then, THEN, then we’d have something.

The problem? This, or this, or that, or this other thing are never the same thing. Ever. This is a two-fold problem. I totally admit to being close to this subject and yes, stubborn about some of the content. The other is everyone has preconceived notions about the military and they can’t help but bring that to the manuscript. I don’t blame them because it is that sort of topic.

What will I do with this book? As of now, I like where it’s at. I really do. If I decide to self-publish, I’d probably want a touch more distance from it (because yeah, I’ve changed my mind about whether something is “done” in the past). For now? I’m happy with it. I learned a lot in writing it, and I’m glad I took the time and effort to get it as close to the book that I want it to be.

2 Comments

Filed under Writing, YA

2 responses to “Ten day challenge day 1: Pitching a fit

  1. Hi, Charity! Thanks for visiting my blog. I like the sound of your story, especially the part about McKenna’s grandmother arming her with a crate of her mother’s personal belongings. Intriguing plot!

  2. Hunter

    I’ve not ever read a military story like yours – as you say, many of us have pre-concieved ideas on the military, and all I stupidly thought about was action-drama with a lot of guns and thrills.

    But I do enjoy well-written coming of age stories where there’s more to think about than a simple romance or relationship problems with a parent. If it’s about people, with an underlying and thoughtful theme then I can see how you could be onto a winner there.

    I feel your frustration with feedback that isn’t repetitive. Thanks for sharing your pitch.

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