Thursday, March 17, 2011

OyMG, it's Friday AGAIN?!?!

Hey, Peepos,

It's that time again, Friday Feedback time, but I'm not here because I'm here:

At the NYC Teen Author Festival (NO, not as a speaker (boo) just as a fan (yay!)). AM excited though because I get to meet some writer peeps I've known virtually for some time, but have never met in person, like fellow CLASS OF 2K11'er Alissa Grosso, author of Popular. Yay!). Anyway, I'm not here in person, but I'm here in spirit, or, um, shoe:


WHY in shoe, you ask? (yes you did, I heard you think it all the way from here. Also, you thought, those are some kickass Frye riding boots you have there, and they match those beach rocks nicely. Why, yes, thank you, they are and they do).

Anyway. Why in shoe? Because my super awesome guest Feedbacker today is a bit of a shoe girl herself.

Here, I'll show you. This is her:


 And, this is her:

And this is her:

Yep. She likes her feet shots.

But, don't be fooled, the rest of her is gorgeous and adorable too:

Amy Fellner Dominy of the Beautiful Hair*
*yes, that is her real name.

See? I kid you notsies. Yeah, I wrote notsies, what of it ? (you try writing four gazillion blog posts in a few weeks...)

Anyway, THAT, is Amy Fellner Dominy, one of my fellow Class of 2K11'ers and all around greatest persons in the world. And she's here for Friday Feedback today. But before we put her in the hotseat (*shoves more newspaper and kindling under to keep it toasty warm*), let me quick tell you about Amy's debut YA novel: OyMG, due out the same day as mine, May 10!

That is Ellie. I adore her.
Ellie Taylor loves nothing better than a good argument. So when she gets accepted to the Christian Society Speech and Performing Arts summer camp, she's sure that if she wins the final tournament, it'll be her ticket to a scholarship to the best speech school in the country. Unfortunately, the competition at CSSPA is hot-literally. His name is Devon and, whether she likes it or not, being near him makes her sizzle. Luckily she's confident enough to take on the challenge-until she begins to suspect that the private scholarship's benefactor has negative feelings toward Jews. Will hiding her true identity and heritage be worth a shot at her dream?

FYI, this is one of the few Class of 2K11 books I've already read and let me just tell you it a beautiful little gem. You should order it.

But enough gushing about Amy, let's put her in the hot seat.

Below is the opening to her NEXT book (yep, deal is made!) Audition and Subtraction due out September 2012, but she's got more revisions to do. She's been working on a new opening and really wants your feedback on what works and what doesn't. In fact, those are the rules today: tell her what works and what doesn't. Period. Then, if you want the same feedback, post your own little excerpt (and tell us what it is!) at the end of your comment or in a new one. Not more than three paragraphs, remember! Also, FYI, I won't be around today and neither will Amy, so the feedback will trickle in Saturday or Sunday. But I promise we won't forget you.

Chapter 1

Death by Bikini.

When I died of embarrassment today that was going on my tombstone.

“Tatum?” Mom called from the bottom of the stairs. “You up?”

“Yeah,” I called back. I was up. I’d even made it as far as my swimsuit drawer. Now, I just wanted to crawl back in bed. I rubbed a hand over my face and felt a frown line between my eyes. Was I face-scrunching in my sleep? Great. One more thing to worry about—wrinkles at the age of fourteen.

I held up the red flowered bikini top, so faded it was practically see-through in the center of one triangle. No way I could wear this to the band car wash. Not without getting arrested for indecent exposure.

“You better get moving,” Mom called again. “Lori will be here in twenty minutes.”

I groaned and dug deeper into the drawer. Normally, the car wash would be a good thing—even if it did mean getting up early on a Saturday. But not only was I bathing-suit-impaired, he was going to be there. Michael Malone. None of us had met him yet, but I already hated him.

- gae


  1. 2K11 authors are awesome! Hi AMY!!!!

  2. Sounds like quite the dilemma. Her name is Tatum? I kinda like that.
    I think the only downfall of this is that it is so short. It leaves me with many questions, but I suppose that isn't exactly a bad thing.
    I'm especially curious about what is up with Michael...hmm

    Ok so, my bit would be somewhere in the middle of the story. It's an important part, but to me it feels like there is something wrong. Maybe it's not detailed enough? or something? I don't know but I can't figure it out. Help?

    "C'mon, let's go!" he holds his hand out to me, "It isn't that far, we can walk. I know that way."
    I press my lips together, and briefly hesitate before putting my hand in his. He leads me away from the side walk to a dirt path leading through someones backyard. I squeeze his fingers, feeling the doubt seep in with the darkness.
    We pass five houses, and an empty playground, before we get to a group of three convenience stores with no lights on.
    I stop walking, letting the distance grow between us. Our arms outstretched.
    "How far?" I ask.
    He backtracks until he's so close to me, I feel his breath on my face. It smells like smoke. The grin on his face is a bit unsettling.
    "A little farther than I thought, but what's the rush?" He strokes my cheek and leans in. His lips are hard against mine. Fast and urgent. I attempt to kiss back the same way. I've done this before, right?
    That thought brings my skin to a crawl, and I desperately try to hide my unease. I wonder if he can tell. I wonder if he does notice, will he care? That's ridiculous. He's my boyfriend, why wouldn't he care?
    One of his hands slides lower on my hip while the other hand reaches for my neck. He pulls me closer with both.
    I gasp into his mouth, not knowing what to do,and his tongue slides in.
    I try to break the kiss, but his grip tightens around my neck, and his tongue probes deeper. I gag, and shove him with my arms, but he just drags me two steps to the nearby wall and sandwiches me between it and him. His mouth is back on mine, tongue in place before I even think to scream. I give it a shot anyway.
    My muffled voice sounds weak, formed around the slimy intruder, and unable to escape. Just like me.
    I scream again, trying to be louder this time, and the response I get is one against my pelvis.
    The shock of my situation brings a waterfall of tears streaming down my face, into my mouth, and I'm willing to bet, into his too. He doesn't seem to care.

  3. Ellie, I agree that Amy's is too short. I should have made her give me more! But I love how her humor is right there from the first lines, in your face!

    As for yours, for a rough draft for me, it TOTALLY works, and it's nice to see your prose writing vs. poems. IMHO you write like a pro, girl. If anything, I think, given the intensity of the situation, if you pull out a few words (even though they're good words creative-writing wise), scale back the writing, the urgency will come more(THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO REWRITE ANYONE'S WORK (taking out a few words and leaving the writing is different than rewriting and changes voice! I say so and I AM THE BOSS OF THIS SITE! :D). I only did the last two paras. See what you think of it now:

    I try to break the kiss, but his grip tightens around my neck, and his tongue probes deeper. I gag and shove him, but he (holds on?) drags me to the nearby wall and sandwiches me. His mouth is back on mine, tongue in place before I think to scream. I try anyway, my muffled voice weak like me.

    I scream again, trying to be louder this time, and the response I get is (hard?) against my pelvis. The shock of my situation brings a waterfall of tears streaming down my face, into my mouth, and I'm willing to bet, into his too. He doesn't seem to care.

    Anyway, either way you slice it Ellie, you've done a great job with this scene.

  4. I don't mind at all that you tweaked it. You were right about the urgency too. Maybe that's what it was. I'll work on it :)

    A pro? Serious? Wow! Thanks a bunch, Gae xD

  5. Hi All,
    Thanks for comments!

    Cari -- hugs!!
    Ellie -- I'll tell my daughter you like the name Tatum. She says I come up with terrible character names and so I let her name the protagonist in this book -- which is how I ended up with Tatum. For the record, I think I come up with great character names. Ellie is the star of OyMG, so I'm guessing you'll agree. :-)

    I really like your scene, Ellie. I'm drawn in through the situation that develops. The way you use actual distance to create emotional distance is great. If I had one suggestion, it would be that you add in some description of the night in that first paragraph. They walk past five it cold? Is the breeze prickling over her skin? Or is it hot...stifling? She can't breathe? Is the ground uneven, does it smell unclean? In other words, perhaps you can draw a fuller picture of her world and at the same time build the mood, her discomfort (and mine).
    Nice work -- keep going!

  6. Ellie is a great name, for the record lol I do like Tatum though :)
    I knew it needed something. Now it looks like it might need two somethings, but at least I know what they are now. More build up at the top, and cut back at the bottom lol Thanks for the help guys. I couldn't figure it out and you've both given me great to work on it :)

  7. Great *ways* to work on it lol

  8. LOVE the beginning of Amy's next book. Such great humor and voice! Eager to read it - as well as her first one.