#SonOfAPitch Team Leia: OFF PITCH

Title: Off Pitch
Category and Genre: New Adult LGBT+ Romance
Word Count: 93,000
star wars soccer
Query:
Off Pitch follows 20 (almost 21)-year-old, Northwestern University women’s soccer star and biomechanical engineering student Adeline Fahey. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she has her life all figured out. She is going to finish school in two years and join a professional soccer team, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.
 
Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto, a prodigy in her own right, and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class walks into her life. After a drunken night in a t-rex costume, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together. 
 
In the face of so much resistance Adeline and Gabriella struggle to find a reason to stay together. With the help of her sharp-tongued best friend, Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to prove to the woman she loves that their relationship is worth fighting for.
 
First 250 Words:
I watched with pride as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the corner of the goal, as a whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline. I sighed contentedly, and jogged toward the net to help clean up the mess of balls that littered the goal area.


“God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.

“After 14 years, I thought you’d have learned the answer to that question,” I teased.

“Well, there was that ONE time in first grade when we sat in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica quipped sarcastically.

“Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine. “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a
sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”

“Wow, your highness! You are so magnanimous. Thank you soooooo much…” Jessica continued her sardonic charade. As much as we teased, I did feel a little guilty for dragging her to this practice. It was the last day before the start of fall classes, and while pre-semester practices weren’t mandatory, I was beginning to feel the stress of the inevitability of graduating in two years. I only had two seasons left to impress scouts and get picked up by a professional team, or risk becoming another college has-been. That was a fate to which I refused to succumb.

13 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch Team Leia: OFF PITCH”

  1. My opinions only…please take what helps and ignore the rest.

    Off Pitch follows 20 (almost 21)-year-old, Northwestern University women’s soccer star and biomechanical engineering student Adeline Fahey. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she has her life all figured out. She is going to finish school in two years and join a professional soccer team, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.
    (So Adeline is a badass…and either put her at 20 OR almost 21, don’t think you need both. I know what she wants! Good set up!)

    Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto, a prodigy in her own right, and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class walks into her life. After a drunken night in a t-rex costume, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together.
    (And conflict…GO! And the detail of T-Rex costumes makes me want to read this!)

    In the face of so much resistance Adeline and Gabriella struggle to find a reason to stay together. With the help of her sharp-tongued best friend, Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to prove to the woman she loves that their relationship is worth fighting for.
    (Don’t know if I need to know about the best friend in this…just that Adeline has come to the moment of choice…don that costume and fight …or don’t…and then give me stakes. What will happen is she does or doesn’t? But seriously, you had me at T-Rex costume.)

    First 250 Words:
    I watched with pride as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the corner of the goal, as a whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline. I sighed contentedly, and jogged toward the net to help clean up the mess of balls that littered the goal area.
    (I watched is a weak way to start…The soccer ball soared into the corner of the goal, and I straightened my shoulders in pride at my work. A whistle blew from the sideline…*which signals what?* Sweaty? Tired? Has she been doing this for a while? Who is around her? Is it daytime? Sunny?)

    “God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.
    (What does she look like? Is she helping pick up balls? Why is there a whistle if the season hasn’t started? Who blew the whistle? I’m wondering why they are there…what is driving her?)

    “After 14 years, I thought you’d have learned the answer to that question,” I teased.

    “Well, there was that ONE time in first grade when we sat in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica quipped sarcastically.
    (LOL! I’d do one in italics not all caps.)

    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine. “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”
    (Love existing on sarcasm and caffeine!)

    “Wow, your highness! You are so magnanimous. Thank you soooooo much…” Jessica continued her sardonic charade. As much as we teased, I did feel a little guilty for dragging her to this practice. It was the last day before the start of fall classes, and while pre-semester practices weren’t mandatory, I was beginning to feel the stress of the inevitability of graduating in two years. I only had two seasons left to impress scouts and get picked up by a professional team, or risk becoming another college has-been. That was a fate to which I refused to succumb.
    (Ah! Nice! Way to let us know what she wants, her goals, though it was a lot in one big clump. You can break it up a bit, scatter her thoughts in the action. A good set up for when the who-know-what hits the fan. And maybe there is more to life than impressing scouts…)

  2. UPDATE:

    Query:
    Off Pitch follows almost-21-year-old, Northwestern University women’s soccer star and biomechanical engineering student Adeline Fahey. She’s never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she has her life all figured out. She is going to finish school in two years and join a professional soccer team, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

    Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto, a prodigy in her own right, and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class walks into her life. After a drunken night in a t-rex costume, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together.

    In the face of so much resistance Adeline and Gabriella struggle to find a reason to stay together. When their love for one another cannot overcome their need to chase their dreams, Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to prove that their relationship is worth fighting for. Before Gabriella, there was only soccer, but now Adeline knows the pitch will never be enough.

    First 250:
    I stood back to watch my handiwork as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the corner of the goal, and a whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline to signal the end of practice. I sighed with contentment, and jogged toward the net to help clean up the mess of balls that littered the goal area. My auburn locks clung to my sweaty forehead as the summer sun beat down from the clear, August sky and reflected off Lake Michigan, bathing the soccer field in a double-whammy heat wave.

    “God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.

    “After 14 years, I thought you’d have learned the answer to that question.” I gave her chestnut ponytail a playful tug, and she glared at me, leaning casually against the goal post.

    “Well, there was that one time in first grade when we sat in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica quipped sarcastically.

    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine. “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”

    “Wow, your highness! You are so magnanimous. Thank you soooooo much…” Jessica continued her sardonic charade.

  3. This is such a sweet and intriguing concept! I love your characters already.

    Query: Off Pitch follows almost-21-year-old [I like this better than in the first version, but I’m not sure you even need it. It’s classified as NA, and she’s a college student with a major, so we catch her age without saying it], Northwestern University women’s soccer star and biomechanical engineering student Adeline Fahey. She’s never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch [I see why you put this here, but it’s contradictory. She’s a biochemical engineering student…which sounds like a pretty deep interest in something besides soccer]. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she has her life all figured out. She is going to finish school in two years and join a professional soccer team, no if’s, and’s, or but’s [ifs, ands, or buts…and no apostrophes :D].
    Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto, [I’d set this off with em-dashes instead of commas]—a [what kind of?] prodigy in her own right, and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class—walks into her life. After a drunken night in a t-rex costume, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together.
    In the face of so much resistance Adeline and Gabriella struggle to find a reason to stay together. When their love for one another cannot overcome their need to chase their dreams [I’m not sure I really like this sentence…if chasing their dreams actually precludes them being together, I’m almost sad if they end up together. Dreams are important. I’m hoping they find some way to have BOTH. I would be less likely to read the book if I think they aren’t able to do both, so I’d leave this sentence out], Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to prove that their relationship is worth fighting for. Before Gabriella, there was only soccer, but now Adeline knows the pitch will never be enough [I don’t think you really need this last sentence, either. You’ve shown us this well enough].

    “…subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine.” Love it.
    The only things that bug me in the 250 are the “auburn locks” part – people don’t usually think about the color of their own hair so it seems contrived. You can work in her hair color a little later on…someone could say something about it or whatever. Also, the very last part: “Jessica continued her sardonic charade.” You don’t need that. You’ve showed it.

    Good entry!

  4. UPDATE #2

    Query:
    Off Pitch follows Northwestern University women’s soccer star Adeline Fahey. She’s never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she has her life all figured out. She is going to finish her last two years of school and join a professional soccer team, no ifs, ands, or buts.

    Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto – a cello prodigy in her own right and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class – walks into her life. After a drunken night in a t-rex costume, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together.

    In the face of so much resistance Adeline and Gabriella fear that their love may not be strong enough to keep them together. No longer able to subsist on soccer alone, Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to prove that their relationship is worth fighting for.

    First 250:
    I stood back to watch my handiwork as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the corner of the goal, and a whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline to signal the end of practice. I sighed with contentment, and jogged toward the net to help clean up the mess of balls that littered the goal area. My bedeviled locks clung to my sweaty forehead as the summer sun beat down from the clear, August sky and reflected off Lake Michigan, bathing the soccer field in a double-whammy heat wave.

    “God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.

    “After 14 years, I thought you’d have learned the answer to that question.” I gave her chestnut ponytail a playful tug, and she glared at me, leaning casually against the goal post.

    “Well, there was that one time in first grade when we sat in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica quipped sarcastically.

    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine. “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”

  5. I finally found the T-Rex costume! Yay!

    YOUR QUERY

    I just read through your original query and your revised query and I really love the changes you made. It flows so much better and really captures my interest.

    My only (admittedly nitpicky) suggestion would be to tighten up the grammar. Because “Tyrannosaurus rex” is a proper noun, you need to capitalize the T in “T-rex”. You’re also missing a comma after “In the face of so much resistance”.

    YOUR FIRST 250

    I’m impressed with your revised 250 words. They’re really good! Yet again, I only have a few nitpicky suggestions.

    1. So far Jessica has whined and quipped, but she hasn’t said anything. Stick to using “said” as a dialogue tag as often as possible, or skip using one altogether and go for actions instead.

    “Well, there was that one time in first grade when we sat in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica said, sarcasm dripping from her tone.

    2. In this sentence (I gave her chestnut ponytail a playful tug, and she glared at me, leaning casually against the goal post.) it’s not clear who is leaning, since you have action from both of the girls right there together.

    3. I would break that last paragraph up to unbury the last few lines of dialogue.

    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine.

    “I’ll tell you what,” I said. “Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”

    Best of luck!

  6. Query:
    Adeline Fahey, Northwestern University women’s soccer star, has never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants and a straight-A student has her life all figured out. Finish her last two years of school and join a professional soccer team, no ifs, ands, or buts.
    Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto – a cello prodigy in her own right and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class – walks into her life.

    After a drunken night in a t-rex costume starts a love affair neither expected, Adeline and Gabriella must brave the storms of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build a relationship together.

    When their commitment to chase their dreams overcomes their love for one another, Adeline dons her dinosaur costume one last time to prove that their relationship is worth fighting for. Before Gabriella, there was only soccer, but now Adeline knows the pitch will never be enough. (I really liked when you closed with a word from the intro 🙂

    I think the query is off to a strong start and you’ve definitely identified the protag and the conflict. I read your updated version(s) and merged parts. I tinkered with your new last paragraph. Maybe my musings will help – or not. Sounds like a great story – best of luck!!

    First 250

    I stood back to watch my handiwork as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the (which one? Left or right?) corner of the goal. A whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline, signaling the end of practice. I sighed with contentment (why? Any contact with the soccer ball was cathartic – this was her home? Internal thought?), and jogged toward the net to help clean up the balls littering the goal area. My bedeviled locks clung to my sweaty forehead ( in a matted mess?) as the summer sun beat down from the clear, August sky and reflected off Lake Michigan, bathing the soccer field in a double-whammy heat wave.
    “God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.
    “After 14 years, I thought you’d (have learned know?) the answer to that question.” I gave her chestnut ponytail a playful tug, and she glared at me, leaning casually against the goal post.
    “Well, there was that one time in first grade when we sat (quietly? – to show the opposite of her maniac on the field mode?) in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica quipped sarcastically.
    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine.(love this) “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, ( I’ll take you out to coffee (coffee’s on me?) after we’re done here.”

    I really like your first 250. You’ve started establishing Addy’s personality with movement, intensity, and dialogue and that’s great. I had a few tinkers – use if they’re helpful – ignore if not.
    Great start!!

    All the thoughts/opinions/suggestions are humbly offered. Thanks for sharing your words.

  7. UPDATE #3! (This one has me all abuzz!)

    Query:
    Adeline Fahey, Northwestern University women’s soccer star has never taken an interest in the world outside of the pitch. The daughter of wealthy Irish immigrants, and a straight-A student, she she sees nothing but the goal: finish her last two years of school and join a professional soccer team, no ifs, ands, or buts. Or, at least, that’s the plan, until Gabriella Soto – a cello prodigy in her own right and the teaching assistant in Adeline’s dreaded Beginning Spanish class – walks onto her playing field.

    After a drunken night in a T-rex costume boots their hearts onto a collision course, Adeline and Gabriella must tackle a field of school scandal, homophobic parents, and their own passionate career goals to build to have a shot at something more. In the face of so many obstacles, Adeline and Gabriella fear that their love may not be strong enough to score them the championship relationship they never knew they wanted.

    No longer able to subsist on soccer alone and determined to triumph, Adeline must don her dinosaur costume one last time to win over the ultimate prize, Gabriella’s heart.

    First 250:
    I stood back to watch my handiwork as the soccer ball soared gracefully into the top-right corner of the goal, and a whistle blew from somewhere near the sideline to signal the end of practice. I sighed with contentment at my own spectacular skill, and jogged toward the net to help clean up the mess of balls that littered the goal area. My bedeviled locks clung to my sweaty forehead as the summer sun beat down from the clear, August sky and reflected off Lake Michigan, bathing the soccer field in a double-whammy heat wave.

    “God, Adds! Do you ever let up? The season hasn’t even started, yet,” Jessica whined from her position inside the goal.

    “After 14 years on the pitch toghether, I thought you’d have learned the answer to that question.” I gave her chestnut ponytail a playful tug, and she glared at me while she leaned casually against the goal post.

    “Well, there was that one time in first grade when we sat down in your living room and watched a movie,” Jessica said with unbridled sarcasm.

    “Ha. Ha.” I rolled my eyes. Jessica Strobel and I had been best friends since first grade. Now, going into our junior year at Northwestern University, our relationship subsisted entirely on sarcasm and caffeine.

    “I’ll tell you what. Since you managed to block almost 10% of my shots, and I know what a sore loser you are, I’ll take you out to coffee after we’re done here.”

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