Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team CupidsLC #8 - BURNOUT

Title: BURNOUT
Genre: YA contemprary
Word Count: 55,000

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Callie White wants one thing above all else: to become a professional drag racer. And she’s well on her way to having it all until her best friend, Milo, goes and gets himself a girlfriend—a serious girlfriend—and puts Callie in a tailspin. As much as she loves Maxine, her ’68 Camaro, it can’t talk back. It’s not Milo.

When Milo blows off Callie one too many times, in steps Sloane, the ill-intentioned ex-best friend. Once upon a time, Milo, Callie and Sloane were a happy trio, but that was before Sloane traded in ribbons and dolls for Nitros and bad boys. Callie knows she shouldn't trust her, but then Sloane introduces her to the world of underground street racing. It’s fast. It’s deadly. It’s completely illegal. And it sucks Callie in faster than a 700 mph jet car.

Now that she’s had a taste of racing sans rules and regulations, it’s impossible for her to stop. Milo's the only one who can bring her back, but Sloane won’t give up the chance to ruin Callie’s perfect little world without a fight. She plays dirty and even Milo isn't off limits. In the end, someone’s going to crash and burn, and it’s up to Callie whether it will be herself or Milo, the boy she’s realized too late that she’s in love with.

First Page:

Sharpies do not taste good. My nose crinkles as the metallic tang of permanent ink stings the tip of my tongue. With the cap clenched between my teeth, I rip the marker from my mouth and plant my foot on top of the front tire of my jet black ’68 Camaro.

Scribbled all over my gray Converse shoes are numbers, ranging from 10.9 to 14.8. In red Sharpie ink, I scrawl 10.7, my fastest time yet, across the toe. That’s how many seconds it last took to race my Camaro, Maxine, down a quarter mile track.

Hello, Universe. Callie White here, future professional drag racer extraordinaire. 10.5 seconds is what I need. 10.5 is what I’ll get. Just try and stop me. I dare you.

A horn blares nearby, followed by the familiar chug of a motor. I’d know that sound anywhere. Milo’s powder blue classic Chevy truck slows to a stop at the edge of my drive.

One tanned arm hung out the window, he smiles, revealing a set of perfect teeth, and guns the engine. Showoff. Hair on the back of my neck rises in response to his silent challenge. In racing, words are pointless, only used for gloating. I let Maxine speak for me.

I cap the Sharpie, toss it in my backpack and slide into the bucket seat. The smooth vintage leather molds to my body like a favorite pair of worn-in jeans. A swift flick of the keys and Maxine roars to life.

47 comments:

  1. I love the way you've revised the first 250 words here. Excellent job!!

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  2. Loving your opening! I wanna hang out with Callie and take a ride in Maxine. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Sharon!! Callie would totally take you for a ride. You might pee your pants, though. She can get a little crazy ;)

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  3. This entry just leaps off the page. It's so vivid and ROCKIN'!

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    1. hehe thank you, Ann! You are TOO kind :)

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  4. Love the changes!! I want to erase my mind and read it again for the first time. Great description. I do have one question though... did you try out the Sharpie on the tongue to immerse yourself in Callie's head?! :-)

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    1. haha thanks Jessica! And I don't know why you even bothered to ask... you know I did. Blegh. Sharpies do NOT taste good. ;)

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  5. This would so make a cool movie. A girl in the drivers seat of a cool car roaring down the street in an illegal drag race. Love it.

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    1. lol I have to agree with you, Suzi. I think it'd be a kicka*s movie! Then again, I'm a little biased. ;)

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  6. Excellent. This is going to be huge!

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  7. I liked this and I like the premise. Reminds me a bit of Catching Jordan (female HS quarterback) in a good way :) I love tough girls.

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    1. Now that is a compliment I will gladly take any day! Thanks! :)

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  8. Gaaah, LOVE THIS!! Seriously so good, and I agree with Suzi, I can totally picture it as a movie!

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  9. Best of luck to you :D Somehow when I read this I hear the revving of car engines in my ears ;)

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    1. haha thanks! There's no better sound than a nice engine revving up. *swoons*

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  10. I would pick this up and read it in 10.5 seconds! :)

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  11. I agree - very cinematic - good stuff! Good luck!! :D

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    1. Thanks, MK! Good luck to you as well! :)

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  12. Best friend love story AND a drag-racing chick--how can ANYONE possibly resist this??

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    1. lol I can only hope you're right, Dahlia! ;)

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  13. Still not over my total love for this drag racing premise, and your excerpt gives me such great voice and atmosphere right off the bat.

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    1. :-D Your comment has left me beaming! thanks so much, Becca!

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  14. I grew up in a racing family (dirt car, not drag cars) so this world is so familiar and for a little while I too wanted to be a racer. Love the title and I know how well that ties in! Good luck!

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    1. How cool, April!! I'm so glad that you took a moment to read this. I'd love to know your opinion on the racing aspects and all. I actually did drag race as a teenager and for several years. I loved it!

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  15. I loved this concept from the time I first read it. The opening is fantastic! Good luck!

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  16. Excellent opening page. This is beautifully written.

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  17. Solid revisions. Love the idea of a strong female MC.

    Good luck!

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  18. Such a great concept! I love the idea of a teenage drag racer, and Callie sounds like such a strong character. I want to read on! Good luck!

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  19. Wow - Love this opening scene...different, right? Been a fan of this one since first round. Good luck!

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  20. Vroom vroom! This sucker is pedal-the-metal unputdownable! Can't wait to read the whole thing, I'm dying to know what happens with Callie and Milo (seriously. Please tell me something happens.)

    SO proud to be on your team. SO proud to be a new beta. <3

    GO BURNOUT GO!!!!!!!!

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    1. hehehe thanks so much Leigh Ann!!! You are a doll!! :-D

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  21. This sounds fantastic! Love the voice - immediately sucked me in, even though I don't know much about cars! I already want to know what happens between Callie and Milo! Good luck with this!

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    1. I'm sorry. I'm still sort of shocked. Does 'thank you' even come close to expressing myself? No way! But I'll start there. THANK YOU!!!!! :-D

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  23. #8 BURNOUT

    Query:

    I can’t say that drag racing interests me specifically, but it sounds like a potentially unique backdrop for a contemporary. This query seems pretty straightforward and gives us the information we need about the story. One word really gave me pause, though, and that was “the” in “the ill-intentioned ex-best friend.” It made it seem like you were purposefully presenting Sloane as a clichéd archetype, and I’m not sure why you’d want to do this. Why not just call her “Callie’s ill-intentioned ex-best friend”? You could probably even drop “ill-intentioned,” since it becomes clear pretty quickly that Sloane is up to no good.

    Another nit: In the second paragraph, I’d go with “blows Callie off” rather than “blows off Callie.”

    First page:

    Overall, I really like this scene. We get immersed in Callie’s world quickly, and there are some great visual details, like the image of the sneakers.

    In the opening paragraph, I’m a little confused as to how she ends up with the ink on her tongue if she’s just using her teeth to pull off the cap. For some reason, the mechanics of it just really didn’t make sense to me, even after a couple of rereads.

    Also, I’m not in love with the “Hello, Universe. Callie White…
    extraordinaire.” bit; it’s the only part that feels like you’re telling, shoving information at the read that you think he needs to know. I really think we can figure out that she’s into racing from the context, and you can probably get her name in somewhere else soon. “Just try and stop me. I dare you.” also rubbed me the wrong way—I wasn’t sure who Callie was mentally addressing. Unless this is a diary entry or something, I feel like this kind of monologue is out of place.

    I thought that the scene was promising otherwise and would definitely turn the page to see what happened next!

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    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Tara! it's so cool of you to take the time to do this for everyone. I genuinely appreciate it. :)

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  24. Very good, Amy. "but Sloane won’t give up the chance to ruin Callie’s perfect little world without a fight." I don't know why Sloane wants to ruin Callie's world. They used to be friends, and just because they had drifted apart isn't justification for ruining someone's world.

    In the last sentence, "In the end, someone’s going to crash and burn, and it’s up to Callie whether it will be herself or Milo, the boy she’s realized too late that she’s in love with." You've effectively stated that either Callie or Milo is going to suffer a bad fate, so you can't trick the reader and have a happy ending unless you tweak that last sentence. Of course, you may have a fate worse than death planned...

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    1. Thanks for reading, Jez!

      There's definitely more to the Sloane/Callie story line and why there's so much tension and animosity between the two.

      And this book does not have a happily ever after ending.

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