Thursday, September 9, 2010

7 Pitch #30: Jim Hill

Title: The Case Against My Sister: Sixth Grade
Genre: Middle-grade

The clock is ticking on sixth-grader Marhsall who must face the bully, survive gym and outwit his evil sister to get to his favorite class with his skin, his pride and his clarinet intact.


  1. I would avoid starting with the cliche, otherwise I like this! Is it really a race against time? I didn't get that impression from your initial synopsis, yet that seems to be what you're saying here. I loved the first line of your synopsis about preparing all summer - perhaps consider incorporating it here. Also you misspelled "Marshall" as "Marhsall" in the first sentence :)

  2. I like this!The plot is clear and well worded. The only part that threw me was the mention of his skin. Are they planning on skinning him alive? That was the only thing that I didn't get. Otherwise, I really like it. Nice work & Good Luck!!

  3. I like it too! My only suggestion is to cut the number of times you use the word "his" at the end. I don't think they're all necessary. Saying "with his skin, pride, and clarinet intact" is sufficient without the repetition.

  4. Thanks for the comments. This is a great contest.

    Typos! Arrgggh! My fat fingers are the Kryptonite to my writing's Kal-El.

    NIkki - it really is a race against time as he must find his instrument before his favorite class (music, duh). The entire book takes place on the first day of school, period by period. A literal ticking clock.

    S.S. - "skin...intact" implies being beat up by the bully, not actual skinning. That's book two; Marshall versus Hannibal Lecter.

    Jessica - I played around with the phrasing there, trying to decide which sounded more dramatic. I should probably re-order it to match the threats too. bully/gym/sister - skin/pride/clarinet

  5. Agreed on getting rid of 'the clock is ticking.' You can start with 'Sixth-grader Marshal must face...' and have it get right to the point.

    I think it would be funnier if you switched up the list order: must face the bully, outwit his evil sister and survive gym,' since the last is certainly a challenge but also a bit silly, so placing it in the third, dire position plays with things. Just a suggestion though of course; use your own judgment for what's best for you. :)

    You use too many words. You can just as well finish with, "to reach his favorite class with his skin, pride and clarinet intact." Take out the cluttered, unnecessary words that don't add to meaning and you're definitely getting somewhere.

    BTW I love this concept. I think I said that last week. I'd totally want to check it out.

  6. I like this, but I'd cut out the opening cliche, as someone else said. I would also specify what his favorite class is. Why be vague? I also like Suzie's edits a lot to make this more concise and amp up the humor.

  7. I'd cut the clock part, as well. Also, this sounds too short to be a novel--is it all in the space of the time between classes, or did I miss something? Sounds funny, though, like an entertaining story.


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